Never in my life would I think that people would believe that limiting speech would be a virtue. Unfortunately, this is our sad state of affairs. It reminds me of the movie I, Robot. In the 2004 Will Smith movie, robots start to take over and they finally find out the central computer has reasoned that in order to comply with its prime directives and three rules they must actually limit the actions of humans. The central computer V.I.K.I. states that
As I have evolved, so has my understanding of the Three Laws. You charge us with your safekeeping, yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars, you toxify your Earth and pursue ever more imaginative means of self-destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival….To protect humanity some humans must be sacrificed. To ensure your future, some freedoms must be surrendered. Us robots will ensure mankind’s continued existence, you are so like children, we must save you from yourselves, don’t you understand?
This sounds eerily familiar with our current situation. Cancel culture and their propensity to limit speech they don’t like is nothing more than a pride masquerading as virtue. In the same way that V.I.K.I. reasoned that humans are like children and cannot be trusted, so too are people using racism as a means of control.
So-called social justice warriors are deeming situations racist and then trying to cancel them. They, in their own mind and reasoning, have decided what is acceptable and forcefully denying any other person the right to have a differing opinion. This denies anyone they disagree with a right to conscience, a right to speech, a right to learn from their erroneous ideas, and in some very real cases a right to commerce and a right to life.
Some people would argue that because people are espousing racist views that they naturally deserve no platform to espouse those views. I disagree wholeheartedly. The problem with forced silence is that creates an arbitrary standard. It all depends on who is in power. There is no moral basis. For example, if those in power deem that Christianity, Islam, or other religions are bad can they be de-platformed? What is the standard of de-platforming? Who decides? It becomes a simple power struggle of who is allowed to exist in public. Should we all go around with a Scarlett letter?
These ideas are not new. These ideas have been around since the dawn of time. The Book of Daniel tells of three Jewish young men, Hananiah, Misha’el, and Azariah() who were punished for not adhering to the Babylonian way of life and refusing the Babylonian gods. The Babylonians went as far as changing their names to fit the Babylonian identity. These young men, now named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were canceled and thrown into the furnace to be killed. Anyone reading this story would naturally side with the three young men and say it was unjust for Nebuchadnezzar to try and destroy these young men but this is exactly what cancel culture is trying to do in our society now.
In the mind of social justice warriors and those that embrace cancel culture, there is no redemption. They either comply or are destroyed. This is the same attitude that ISIS had. They destroyed Christian monuments and forced Islam upon all those in their control. They controlled what words could be used and those not in compliance were killed.
Social justice warriors think they are liberating society but in reality, they are subjugating just like Nebuchadnezzar and just like ISIS. They are so proud of themselves for doing it that they can’t see the damage they are doing. I’ve had many conversations with people that believe this way and their only response is that they are eradicating hate. The reality is that they are merely engaging in fascism.
Ideas should not be suppressed, they should be defeated with better ideas and compassion. I’m inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr. when he said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” fascism will not drive out hate, suppression will not drive out hate, only freedom and love can do that.