Republican Leader Claims Cancel Culture May be Harming Freedom of Speech in the United States

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By Lisbeth Martinez

WASHINGTON D.C. – With the COVID Stimulus Bill still languishing, the economy’s failings and debates on how to stop climate change, one lawmaker believes the “scourge” in the U.S. today is the “cancel culture.”

Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote to U.S. Rep., Jerrold L. Nadler, about his concerns about the cancel culture, worried that it was posing a severe threat against citizens’ freedom of speech rights.

Cancel culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is exiled from a social or professional circle, whether it be online, on social media, or in person. The result of being cancelled typically takes place after someone does something that other people do not approve of in some fashion.

According to Jordan, it is because of freedom of speech that the rest of the world wishes to be like the U.S. It has allowed citizens to express their ideas without fear of punishment, and empowered them to become innovators, he maintains.

Jordan argues freedom of speech is losing its power, since there are now expectations present that require citizens to censor or silence some of that speech.

He provides an example where a (reporter/columnist) of a newspaper who was asked to resign his job for publishing his opinion about a Republican Senator that did not coincide with the news outlet’s beliefs. Companies like Amazon have also refused to sell books “reflecting certain political views,” he said.

Social media has become susceptible to this censorship, Jordan said. For instance, Twitter and Facebook have banned conservatives, such as former President Donald Trump, for their choice of publications. Jordan shares that recently two Democratic lawmakers contacted 12 cable companies asking them to not broadcast news networks.

In addition, he mentions that cancel culture is greatly affecting our society whether we “agree or disagree with the views being censored.”

Rather than cancelling someone when people disagree with their ideas, society should continue to promote the exchange of freedom of speech, added Jordan, stressing to Nadler that if cancel culture continues without opposition when controversial ideas and opinions arise, every idea will eventually be at risk as well.

At the end of his letter, Jordan restates that cancel culture is seriously harming the U.S. democracy, and that it needs to be stopped before it is too late.

He believes that at their first full committee hearing Democrats and Republicans should join force to address “the scourge of cancel culture in the United States.”

Lisbeth Martinez is a third year at UC Davis, double majoring in Communication and Political Science. She currently lives in Shafter, California.


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The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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26 thoughts on “Republican Leader Claims Cancel Culture May be Harming Freedom of Speech in the United States”

    1. Bill Marshall

      Yes… we cannot suppress the inalienable right to deceive, lie, foment misbehavior (being charitable), spoof phone #’s for phishing (or identity theft), etc.  God-given (if you choose to believe in that sort of ‘lie’ that there is a God).

      Rebuttal, counter arguments, sanctions, charges that something is libelous, slanderous… corrections, removal of twitter, etc. “rights”, like all “cancellation” needs to be forever banned, and those who try to do such things should “get the needle”…

      Death to anything that appears to be ‘cancelling’, in any one’s personal view… we need to cancel “cancelling!!!”

      Free, unfettered, ‘speech’ forever!!!

  1. Alan Miller

    BTW, I was at first commenting (elsewhere) being against the cancelling of Dr. Suess, based on the articles I initially saw that didn’t actually show or describe what the six ‘cancelled’ books contained.  I dug on Google and found not only the depictions, but some earlier works of Dr. S.   OMG . . .  Um, yeah, I actually agree with the decision of the publishing house.  Some pretty offensive stuff, and the earlier pre-children’s cartoons cannot be called anything but racist.  I don’t ever want to see this erased or denied, nor should all Suess be cancelled, but I’m actually surprised those images weren’t eliminated from Suessdome decades ago.  If you don’t understand, look it up.  And as with all such things, tell the full story – though I doubt the Suess museum ever will.

    1. David Greenwald

      Thoughtful comment by Alan, my question: why are we bound by past mores on what was appropriate? Because the south honored Robert E Lee in 1921, means we have to in 2021?

      1. Bill Marshall

        So, the desecration/demolishment of the Ghandi statue was appropriate… and we should expunge all public records of it being erected, or words said when it was “accepted”…

        After all,

        why are we bound by past mores on what was appropriate?

        Two-edged issue… let’s just forget ‘history’ and have no ‘mores’…

        mores – Bing

        After all, once a ‘more’ is adopted, it is in “the past”… basic logic…

      2. Alan Miller

        No on Mr. Lee.  However, I don’t want to see the past denied/erased, just the culture enlightened.  Like I’m cool labeling possibly offensive content, but not removing access.

  2. Tia Will

    I think we walk a very fine line when considering “canceling” a book or other means of depiction. For example, there are schools that have banned the reading of To Kill a Mockingbird because of some of its language and depictions of blacks. And yet, having been raised in a politely racist family, it was this book that first, at the junior high level, opened my eyes to the ongoing existence of racism. Now my eyes would have been opened eventually, but a head start definitely helped me later in life.

    1. Eric Gelber

      Ha!  When I was in school Robin Hood was banned from school libraries because taking from the rich and giving to the poor was communism.

    2. Bill Marshall

      Hitler encouraged ‘cancelling’ books by encouraging the folk to burn them… another kind of ‘holocaust’… and ‘cancelling’ folk that read the Pentatuch, Talmud, etc.

      “you will only read what the ‘fuhrer’ wants you to… only book you should read is ‘Mein Kampf’!”

      Had an English teacher in HS (one of the books was ‘Huckleberry Finn’, who pointed out (actually, insisted on the interpretation) the “homosexual” relationship between Huck and Jim… she was in late 30’s, early 40’s and was well known to seducing, and be ‘being banged’, regularly,  by one of our football stars (~17)…

      I have ‘cancelled’ her name from my memory…

       

      1. Don Shor

        Potato flowers possess both male and female parts, being botanically ‘perfect’, and thus each potato should be addressed as ‘they’.

    1. Keith Olsen

      Anyone who would be offended by “Mr. Potato Head” or thinks that they need to change him to gender neutral are the problem – the rest of us are sarcastically laughing at them with disbelief that things like this are actually happening.

        1. Keith Olsen

          Says the CIS White Alpha Male

          You’re slipping, you usually add ‘old’ to that.

          CIS…so in your mind is it actually considered a ‘privilege’ for someone to identify with the gender of one’s birth?

          1. David Greenwald

            Oh yeah. Although I’m not sure age is a factor here.

            CIS is a huge advantage – having known people who struggle with gender identity and deep depression, yes.

            My point is less about whether or not I think there is a problem with Mr. Potato head and more about whether someone in your position is really qualified to tell people not to worry about stuff.

        2. Keith Olsen

          Someone in my position?

          You mean someone who identifies with the sex they’re born with and doesn’t wake up every morning looking for something to be offended about?

          whether someone in your position is really qualified to tell people not to worry about stuff.

          So in turn is someone in your position really qualified to tell people what they should be worried or not worried about?

          1. David Greenwald

            Yes, you fail to see your privileged position. Maybe you would feel differently if you ever had to wrestle a knife out of your kid’s hand, trying to harm themselves. Again, I didn’t say anything about what people should or should not be worried about, only pointed out that you weren’t in the position to do so.

        3. Keith Olsen

          Again, I didn’t say anything about what people should or should not be worried about, only pointed out that you weren’t in the position to do so.

          But you being a middle aged white man somehow puts you in a position to comment on racial issues as you often do?

  3. Bill Marshall

    Funny topic… in Republican circles, they have tried to “cancel” Liz Cheney, Ben Sasse, etc… “free speech” (or ‘principled speech’), if it is yours, not so much if from another, particularly if the other is broaching “party lines”…

    Crocodile tears from Republicans…

    Democrats not much better… less, but not unknown… I expect much more from ‘progressive’ Democrats towards less ‘progressive’ members of their party…

    Just depends on whose ox is being gored… a pox on them all… no sympathy for the whiners…

    1. Eric Gelber

      Democrats are not much better.

      Internal Democratic disagreements are not comparable to GOP conduct with respect to those who show any disagreement with or “disloyalty” to Trump or Trumpism.

      Disagreement within the GOP is subject to censure, claims of being a RINO, un-American, treasonous, and far worse.

      Trump is king of cancel culture. Just ask Colin Kaepernick, the news media, Republican election officials in Georgia and around the nation, or even Mike Pence.

      And Jim Jordan has been among Trump’s most ardent supporters. So, coming from him, claims of cancel culture being at the top of the list of issues confronting the nation reek of hypocrisy.

  4. Don Shor

     For instance, Twitter and Facebook have banned conservatives, such as former President Donald Trump, for their choice of publications.

    This is false. Twitter banned Trump for incitement of violence.

     Jordan restates that cancel culture is seriously harming the U.S. democracy

    Jordan and his confréres in the House Republican caucus have done more harm to our democracy than anybody trying to “cancel” anything. He’s largely a waste of bandwidth on this topic or any other.

     

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