Spearheaded by the recent protests and riots over the unjust killing of George Floyd, the dogmatic outrage and conceit that inform cancel culture are now invading the American workplace. As the outrage foments, it’s no longer enough that politicians and public figures get pitchforked into online kangaroo courts.
Adam Rapoport, the editor-in-chief of food magazine Bon Appétit was recently forced to resign after a photo from almost two decades ago surfaced of him dressed in a Halloween costume viewed by some as a Puerto Rican stereotype.
According to The Hill:
Several staff at Bon Appétit reacted to the photo by calling for Rapoport’s resignation and for better compensation and treatment of people of color on staff. Sohla El-Waylly, an assistant food editor at the magazine, told BuzzFeed News that Rapoport called a staff-wide Zoom meeting to apologize and that she requested he resign.
According to Business Insider, El-Waylly also made other accusations about disparities at Bon Appétit.
These are, however, high profile instances. Sadly, it’s reasonable to assume that cancel culture and its wild arsenal of accusations of racism, sexism, and privilege will infest the average American workplace wholesale soon.
Worse, the massive corporate virtue signaling amid the protests will only enable such accusations. As companies like Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks insist on pursuing their cynical brand of “woke capitalism,” views and opinions that exist outside the tidal progressive narrative will be summarily dismissed. Companies simply don’t want to risk their bottom line over bad PR.
According to Time:
In an age when companies have detailed information on customers’ ages, incomes and political persuasions, they’re calculating that these socially aware consumers are more lucrative than those who might be put off by social-justice campaigns.
As outrage becomes weaponized in the workplace, many Americans may be forced to employ some form of Orwellian Doublethink. Those holding religious and political views outside the progressive norm will be coerced into silence or compelled to publicly disavow such beliefs to avoid being ostracized or worse.
Are many, ultimately, going to have to apologize in some inane, servile manner for any and all perceived slights or untoward gestures made in our lives? According to the NAACP, BLM, and their new site, I Take Responsibility, the answer is a definitive and dystopian yes:
This begins with white men and women taking responsibility for their personal role in eradicating racism in America – taking a stand and committing to change. It is not enough to not be racist. We must be anti-racism. That’s humanity.
One can’t help but hear the echoes of Mao and his Cultural Revolution as cancel culture encroaches upon the American workplace and tramples American values into oblivion. That parallel no longer seems untenable or some farfetched attempt at fearmongering.
A fortnight later…the party’s official mouthpiece newspaper urged the masses to “clear away the evil habits of the old society” by launching an all-out assault on “monsters and demons”…students sprung into action, setting up…divisions in classrooms and campuses across the country. By August…the mayhem was in full swing as…allies urged [the students] to destroy the “four olds” – old ideas, old customs, old habits and old culture…Schools and universities were closed and churches, shrines, libraries, shops and private homes ransacked or destroyed as the assault on…traditions began.
Certainly, cancel culture has yet to reach the violent, terrible zenith that the Cultural Revolution achieved. It also seems rooted more in nihilism than any kind of discernable ethos. Still, cancel culture echoes the same treacherous tropes that Mao insisted upon.
Are we now facing a similar purge in America today as cancel culture invades the workplace? At the moment, the easy answer is “no.” The more difficult and complex answer remains “not yet.”
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