Survey: Young People Embrace Cancel Culture To Advance Social Justice Even When They Are The Victims
According to the report, “by a 48–27 margin, respondents under 30 agree that ‘My fear of losing my job or reputation due to something I said or posted online is a justified price to pay to protect historically disadvantaged groups.'”
Democrats are fond of making fun of Republicans every time the subject of cancel culture comes up for debate, which is often.
“There’s no such thing as cancel culture,” the Democrats will claim, knowing full well and good that for them, the chances of getting canceled for holding viewpoints deemed “unacceptable” or “politically incorrect” by social media outrage mobs and our supposed intellectual betters in the mainstream media are slim to none.
But cancel culture is a very real thing, as Legal Insurrection has documented extensively here. It has negatively impacted all facets of life: the workplace, academia, social media, sports, medicine, politics, science, entertainment. You name it. Any person, place, thing, or idea that offends social justice warriors and their allies in the press is subject to getting canceled at a moment’s notice.
And while anti-cancel culturalists on the right and those who’ve had a wake-up call on the left have been putting up a good fight against the weaponized use of this tactic, a comprehensive new report suggests they still have a long way to go when it comes to changing attitudes, especially among younger generations.
A new report compiled by the Manhattan Institute’s Eric Kaufmann indicates a stark generational divide on opinions of cancel culture. While older generations largely oppose it, those under 30 are not only fearful of it but also believe the threat of it “is a justified price to pay to protect historically disadvantaged groups”:
Another front in the culture war is censorship of speech, usually justified on grounds that such speech would inflict psychological harm on minorities and that power should be redistributed to “marginalized groups.” Activists pushing for such censorship organize online flash mobs and pressure campaigns, wielding accusations of racism, homophobia, or transphobia to ruin a person’s reputation and have them fired from their position. The problem is especially acute in higher education: the number of academics targeted for cancellation has exploded in recent years.
Young people are especially afraid of cancel culture. Forty-five percent of employees under 30 worry about losing their jobs because “someone misunderstands something you have said or done, takes it out of context, or posts something from your past online.” Just 29 percent of those over 55 have the same worry.
This fear, however, doesn’t appear to lead young people to oppose cancel culture. Most millennials and members of Generation Z are not cultural liberals too scared to say what they truly believe. Instead, many privilege cultural equality over freedom. By a 48–27 margin, respondents under 30 agree that “My fear of losing my job or reputation due to something I said or posted online is a justified price to pay to protect historically disadvantaged groups.” Those over 50, by contrast, disagree by a 51–17 margin. Younger age brackets are both more fearful of cancel culture and more supportive of it than are older age groups.
The new cold war will pit cultural liberalism against cultural socialism, and the latter has the edge among younger generations. My latest @CityJournal based on my new @ManhattanInst reporthttps://t.co/Fbs9POTYsM pic.twitter.com/Oz6R4fot7m
— Eric Kaufmann (@epkaufm) January 26, 2022
Kaufmann also noted that from a political standpoint, opposition to cancel culture was an issue that Republicans prioritized and also “largely united” them and independents, which he said created a “political opportunity for Republicans and a substantial risk the Democrats must manage”:
2/ These issues divide Democrats and largely unite Republicans and Independents, creating a political opportunity for Republicans and a substantial risk the Democrats must manage pic.twitter.com/saRSMaXlSa
— Eric Kaufmann (@epkaufm) January 25, 2022
3/ The profile of the culture wars has risen to the point where cancel culture and critical race theory are leading issues for Republicans and mid-ranking issues overall. 48% of 2020 Trump voters selected cancel culture a top-3 set of concerns from a list of 9. pic.twitter.com/TrBj3K2fw2
— Eric Kaufmann (@epkaufm) January 25, 2022
The Republican/independent mindset on “woke” cancel culture as part of the broader issue of the ongoing culture wars played out to a significant degree in the Virginia red wave in November 2021. Independents abandoned Democrats over educational issues like the implementation of Critical Race Theory, and thanks to Terry McAuliffe accusing critics of CRT of being racists and also saying during a debate that he didn’t believe parents should have any input in public school curriculums.
In the radical left’s efforts to defund the police, we’ve also seen elements of cancel culture, with politicians who reject efforts to “reimagine policing” being branded as racists who should be ousted from office. In November 2020, this backfired on House Democrats, where they lost 13 seats to Republicans, substantially narrowing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s majority.
Though over the last couple of years we’ve seen more voters stand up in rejection of the cancel culture mentality, the issue still persists in our society at large. It is likely to get worse as long as younger generations are conditioned to believe that fear of it is a justifiable tool to use so that leftists can avoid getting their feelings hurt from being exposed to differing viewpoints.
To read the full Manhattan Institute report (PDF), click here.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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