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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