In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal with examples the truth that cancel culture has always existed.
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What Is Cancel Culture?
‘We don’t like what you did, said, wrote or believe. We want you to think and act the way we do! Therefore, we are cancelling you and all about you – your brand, movies, shows and voice! We want to publicly shame you and end your popularity, power, influence, wealth, or career.’
Welcome to ‘cancel culture.’
People against cancel culture argue that it is driven by today’s liberals or ‘woke’ culture; woke referring to a push against social injustice – racism, sexism, discrimination.
But is cancel culture truly something new? Is it a phenomenon of the liberals, the woke or the weak, ‘flake’ elements of society?
It is not.
Cancel Culture has been around for as long as people have been around – and it has been led by the Church, by governments and by people of all ideologies – both conservatives and liberals.
Below are a few examples of cancel culture throughout history.
Cancel Culture 1966: The Beatles Protests & Burnings
March 1966, John Lennon is quoted in the London Evening Standard: “We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock ’n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”
When Lennon’s words were later quoted in the US, they “incited protests and threats, particularly throughout the Bible Belt in the Southern United States. Some radio stations stopped playing Beatles songs, records were publicly burned, press conferences were cancelled, and the Ku Klux Klan picketed concerts.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_popular_than_Jesus
Cancel Culture 1938-1975: House Un-American Activities Committee and McCarthyism
“HUAC was created in 1938 to investigate alleged disloyalty and rebel activities on the part of private citizens, public employees and organizations suspected of having Communist ties. Citizens suspected of having ties to the communist party would be tried in a court of law.” https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/education/presidential-inquiries/house-un-american-activities-committee
“Between HUAC and the McCarthy hearings, Congress held broad, roving investigations into the political activity of many Americans suspected of being communists or communist sympathizers.” https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/815/house-un-american-activities-committee
Nearly 300 actors and others employed in the movie industry were also blacklisted or prevented from working for alleged ties or for sympathizing with Communism.
Cancel Culture 2015: Donald Trump Pushes To Cancel Macy’s
In 2015, Macy’s stores decided to stop selling Donald Trump’s merchandise. Trump’s response was to try and take Macy’s down, even gloating when its shares dropped. “I hope the boycott of @Macys continues forever. So many people are cutting up their cards. Macy’s stores suck and they are bad for U.S.A.”
Cancel Culture 2017: The Canceling Of Milo Yiannopoulos
A conservative activist, Milo proudly attacked Jews, Muslims, women, lesbians, transgender people, feminists, fat people, certain individuals, Liberals and progressives, and the Liberal victimhood culture. Conservatives welcomed him. However, in 2017, several video clips surfaced where he said that sexual relationships between 13-year-old boys and adult men and women can be “perfectly consensual” and positive experiences for the boys. CPAC (the largest US conservative conference) withdrew the invitation to Milo to speak; Milo’s book deal was canceled, and after a dozen staffers at conservative Breitbart News threatened to walk out if Milo wasn’t fired, Milo resigned from Breitbart.
Cancel Culture 1478 – 1834: The Spanish Inquisition
Also, the Catholic Inquisition, Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition.
“150,000 people were prosecuted for various offences [heresy – beliefs or opinions contrary to the Catholic doctrine] during the three-century duration of the Spanish Inquisition, of whom between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition
The Catholic Church and other religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to ex-communicate or disfellowship members who defy religious doctrine.
Cancel Culture 1692-93: Salem Witch Trials
“The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft – the Devil’s magic – and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted.”
“A belief in accountability does not involve condoning threats or violence – and freedom of expression does not mean freedom from consequence.”– Billy Bragg
Cancel Culture or Consequence Culture? Accountability
There have always been examples of ‘cancel culture’ – groups, individuals, corporations or government that punish people for differing viewpoints, and who attempt to cancel with the intention of maintaining just one single viewpoint, and thereby blocking free speech.
However, there is a need for consequences that one must bear when opinions, statements or actions affect the people targeted by the words or actions of that person. Thus, consequence culture VS cancel culture should be about righting wrong, redirection of behavior, atonement and forgiveness.
Harvey Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most powerful movie producers sexually harassed and raped various women over several decades. He was never cancelled by his own people in the entertainment industry); he faced the consequences of his actions only with punishment by law. After all, his own people enabled him to continue abusing his power. But the legal consequences were realized only when women finally spoke up against Weinstein – #MeToo.
There will always be the need to reign in power and its abuse. And there will always be the need to promote and safeguard free expression, and the exchange of ideas and opinions!
If you have experienced any sexual abuse or trauma, get the help you want, need and deserve. Do it now gently, easily, and quickly with my SRTT process. Book an SRTT session and be set free from the past.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D. Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.