In the new, emerging “call-out culture,” those with whom you disagree, or those who somehow make you uncomfortable, are ipso facto labeled dangerous and must be silenced or otherwise banished. Call-out culture, and its cousin, “cancel culture,” are a new scourge on the Body Politic.
In the call-out culture people regularly and publicly proclaim their bona-fides, i.e., “virtue-signaling,” within a given ideologically righteous group by attacking (calling out) others within, by definition, an ideologically unrighteous, therefore dangerous, group.
Call-out culture suddenly is the way to behave on social media. Have offense, will travel, will call-out. And it seems everyone is offended by everything. While there may indeed be wrong, even needlessly offensive behavior to which one should respond, there are ways to do it that does not turn into social toxicity. But this is not call-out culture.
Call-out culture is not about tolerance, though this concept is constantly referenced, but intolerance, particularly toward any idea and person defined as unacceptable or unworthy in this new pop worldview. Call-out culture intolerance, especially when it morphs to cancel culture, can be wielded in authoritarian if not totalitarian fashion. Freedom is not the first priority. Removing all offense to anyone and everyone’s feelings is the absolute goal, which requires silencing “insensitive” ideas—Who gets to decide what idea is offensive?— and even getting offenders removed from, among other places, faculty positions and speakers’ daises.
This self-righteous idea is one reason young people are now suffering record mental issues and are fearful, anxious, and unhappy. They’ve been taught to be offended, to believe their personal well-being hinges upon what others might say or do. They’ve been sold a bill of goods by misguided ideological pied pipers.
These social developments now have a grip on academia, politics, and Hollywood and in their worst forms amount to a direct threat to Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, America’s fundamental distinctives. It’s not paranoia to say this is scary. It’s not exaggeration or overstatement to say these ideas and associated actions undermine and put at risk America as a free society.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020
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