Right-wing cancel culture and a stupid TikTok video

“Cancel Culture” is a creation of the Left, designed to destroy the lives and careers of people who say offensive things – sometimes even for minor indiscretions. The case of Claira Janover proves that Cancel Culture also exists on the Right, with the idea that they are “fighting fire with fire.”

The problem is that “fighting fire with fire” eventually burns everyone on the battlefield. It only encourages escalation and retaliation, which leads to more from the other side. Worse yet, the Right’s embrace of Cancel Culture strengthens the radical Left’s arguments by embracing their tactics. Worse yet, the next time we oppose Cancel Culture from the Left, we will have damaged our credibility.

So was Janover actually threatening to kill people? No. She was using sarcasm and hyperbole to make a point: That the harm done to black lives is worse than the harm done to whites, and that “all lives matter” diminishes that suffering. All lives cannot matter until black lives matter. Could she have been more articulate and less offensive? Yes. Did she make her point in an immoral way? Absolutely!

Was the reaction proportionate to her sin? No. She made a stupid statement on social media. In response, a bunch of people decided to get her fired from her job. Because corporations are risk-averse, she was fired. What Deloitte should have done is said as long as her behavior on her own time is her business, and as long as she does her work well she will not be terminated. Eventually it would have blown over and the mob would have moved on. The only way to stop this behavior is to stop rewarding it.

Common sense ought to tell us not to sarcastically threaten to murder someone for saying something you do not like, but before 1995 someone who said something offensive did not have their idiotic statement blasted out to the entire world within hours. The internet has ended that protection.

But let’s be real here: People are stupid and impulsive. We have all said extremely offensive things, including all of the people outraged by (or pretending to be outraged by) Janover’s immoral words. It may have been in private conversation, but we have said it. How do I know this? Because I am a Christian and I understand just how deep and pervasive our sin nature is. As Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

So let’s have a sense of proportion. Let’s also have some humility and self-awareness.