“Cancel culture” puzzle | JSU professors talk about the culture of politically driven shame Share for free

When a TV show no longer attracts enough viewers to justify its production cost, the network cancels the show and removes it from that air. But even a popular show with a large fan base can be canceled if an actor or person involved in the show has said something that his viewers might find offensive.

When Roseanne Barr posted a controversial post on her Twitter page about Obama’s former White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett, her new sitcom was quickly canceled from the ABC network after a cry from people calling for her end. The show was eventually reported, but without its main star. Likewise, Paula Deen lost her cooking program on the food network due to public reactions because of the comments she made in the 1960s.

This phenomenon of “cancellation of culture” that requires the rapid cancellation of a person or a show due to offensive statements, real or perceived, has spread from the world of entertainment to other areas of life, in which a blurred observation made on a person’s social media page, even years ago, it can trigger a cancellation campaign.

The Sand Mountain area saw a prime example of this “culture-wiping” movement, after Geraldine’s deputy chief of police Jeff Buckles published a controversial and politically accused post on his Facebook page on House President Nancy Pelosi .

“Pelosi has just torn his [speech], “Buckles wrote on his Facebook page.” Roadside bomb as he returns home and all the other fools. “

Thousands of people replied to the post asking for the immediate closure of Buckles. People from all over the country called Geraldine Mayor Chuck Ables to express their outrage. Major media outlets such as The Daily Mail in the UK have published a story on the post. The backlash on his comment was swift and far-reaching.

The Reporter contacted the professors of Jacksonville State University to make their decision on the issue and the cancellation of culture in general.

“It’s basically a phenomenon we’ve had for centuries called rushing to trial,” said Richard Kania, a professor of criminal justice. “You have partial information and decide to punish on that basis … In the late 70s or early 80s, a man used the word ‘negra’, which is a good, solid English word, meaning mean or economic, and they asked for his fire because he used the word ‘n’. Obviously, they didn’t know grammar or vocabulary. “

As a retired former police officer and army officer, Kania said she would not recommend the resolution given what she knew about the Geraldine accident.

“If I were his boss, I would call him, discipline him, send him home for three days without pay or something just because of a bad judgment, because it’s totally inappropriate,” he said. “If you are a police officer, you have to do better than the general public.”

Last week Ables announced that Buckles had been placed on paid leave pending a hearing.

Although Kania claimed that she considered her offensive and criminal place limit and that people were free to express their disgust for the deputy director’s comments, she did not believe that the backlash was justified.

“If every person were crucified for something stupid that he said in his life, there would be a lot of us going around to dry,” he said.

Psychology professor Heide L. Dempsey echoed Kania’s thoughts, saying that the culture of cancellation is part of the broader idea of ​​public shame, which has been part of society for a long time.

“It seems to me that the cancellation culture mentality has shifted from celebrities from TV shows (whose shows can actually be canceled if they say something offensive) to this idea that you can somehow cancel a person,” he said. “Public shame has been around for millennia (think of public stocks in a medieval city) and generally hasn’t worked.”

Dempsey said that although shame is “essential” to a person’s sense of morality and to prevent them from violating social norms, it can become too “dominant” and cause feelings of “worthlessness”, abstinence and depression.

“As for people who shame the audience, they are often driven by a sense of empowerment because calling others gives them a boost to self-esteem,” he said. “However, in our current instant response culture, people often don’t try to get all the facts in a story before answering … Maybe 30 years ago, when you heard a rumor about a person who misbehaves, you may have talked to your friends or significant other that this person should be fired. Today you hear a “voice” through social media, immediately republish it and thousands of people around the world have instant access to your opinion.

“The type of social media you are exposed to is further limited by the algorithms used by social media companies to fuel your confirmation bias (desire to see only information that confirms what you already believe in) so that it is unlikely to see conflicting points of view, “he added. “And yet, people don’t like to feel stupid and therefore are likely to become defensive if you call them with their confirmation bias.”

Dempsey said there is little hope that this type of behavior will change socially.

“Humans will always prefer their ingroups (us) over outgroups (them). Research has shown this time and again with children as young as three months old. Therefore, it is always likely that we fall prey to the confirmation bias that shows that our group is good, fair and correct. The only hope of fighting this is if social media platforms actively changed their algorithms to show you stories that contradict your confirmation bias (unlikely because then they would probably lose money because people get mad at those apps), or people were mentality to actively challenge themselves about their automatic prejudices.

“Most people don’t want to think about things harder than they should and don’t want to carefully examine their own prejudices and prejudices,” he continued. “They are happier to stay in their little bubble and to meet and repeat only information that does not explode. Therefore, public shame will probably continue and people will probably continue to think that” those people “deserve what they get.”

Geraldine’s city council will hold a hearing scheduled for Tuesday 25 February at 17:00. to determine what potential disciplinary action should be taken against Buckles.