By eliminating anything that can be questioned it prevents us from coming up with answers

We are all familiar with the practice of Cancel Culture, the outright attempt to remove someone entirely from the public square over any perceived insurrection from their past. It is a practice in full swing at the moment, as the heightened tension across the country has apparently emboldened everyone to be aggrieved and to look for targets to takedown. It is a practice that is metastasizing, as individuals are no longer the sole target but institutions are becoming placed in the cultural crosshairs.

Just this week the cancel culture has been in effect. At Conde Nast Publishing, an editor from Bon Appetit Magazine was exposed as having dressed in offensive costuming well over a decade ago. Last night, on the Pod Divided podcast, we covered how this was responsible for touching off a maelstrom of racial issues within the company. Journalist Yashar Ali followed this by going after cooking writer Alison Roman for a supposedly racist costume, when in fact she was dressing as Amy Winehouse. That he saw it as racist said more about him, but Roman was compelled to an apology anyway. The exercise company CrossFit has been removed from scores of gyms, and the CEO was forced out, all because he responded to a tweet in a fashion that some could have possibly interpreted as insensitive.

But this hypersensitivity is only growing. Across the country activists and protestors are eliminating statues and monuments to figures who have a history that some contemporary citizens just cannot grapple with facing.

As Kira Davis covered today, the new streaming service HBO Max has been compelled to offer up a warning label of sorts on the movie ‘’Gone With The Wind’’, because of the historical depictions. Apparently millennials today have a hard time filtering that a film made in the 1930s, depicting events from the 1800s in dramatic fashion, might have differing viewpoints. Hollywood is under the swinging blade right now. Calls are going out from various black sources condemning films such as ‘’The Help’’, and ‘’Green Book’’ because they portray what has been dubbed ‘’White Savior’’ plotlines, where blacks are allegedly only elevated in life via the help of Caucasian protagonists. These are titles sure to be targeted for corrective measures being required.

In similar fashion to the ‘’GWTW’’ disclaimer, the streaming service Disney+ has recently added the entire catalogue of the Saturday cartoons staple Schoolhouse Rock to its library. This informative series from the 1970s also requires a warning label to potentially offended viewers: ”This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.’’ It would be more impressive if they had added one additional phrase – ”So get over it.’’

One of the biggest steps being taken in this new move to Erasure Culture has taken place in England. The University of Liverpool has agreed to rename one of its housing units, due to a hurtful past. Here is the kicker; the named individual is not the guilty party. The call from students in the midst of George Floyd protests — again, taking place in England, for some reason — was to have the name of Gladstone Hall changed. Named after former Prime Minister William Gladstone, the four-term leader will have his name expunged due to the fact that his father was a slave owner throughout the Caribbean. His esteemed record as Britain’s prime minister is now blithely eclipsed by his familial guilt.

This is the sort of thing we can expect to flourish in the current climate of hysteria, but we need to keep a focus on something — reality. Listen to all of the calls going out and lectures being made right now regarding systemic problems in our police systems and the alleged racism that is rampant in other institutions, then ask a question — how are the problems being addressed by erasing these historical realities?

How are the problems cited today repaired by dredging up decades-old Halloween costumes, censoring movies that have long been released, and removing historical landmarks and renaming buildings to remove figures from the past, all because you cannot handle being triggered by supposed offenses? Avoiding the reality that these things happened and pretending the monuments did not exist does nothing to fix what are claimed to be serious problems today.

If you do not want to hear about what happened in the past you will not be able to have the needed conversations to come up with solutions going forward. Erasure Culture is abject denial. It will not provide the remedies that are being demanded.

Brad Slager
Covering politics, as well as the business side of Show Business. Expert in fine bourbons, good cigars, competent hockey teams, and horrible movies.

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