One thing that politically left people are often accused of is cancel culture. They say that when someone makes a (small) mistake, politically left people are immediately angry and then we cancel that person. This person is then a victim and their life is over. But that is simply not true. I’d say cancel culture is a good thing. But unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. Here’s why cancel culture doesn’t exist.
What is cancel culture?
Maybe you’ve never heard of cancel culture. Let me explain. Cancel culture is what is perceived as this: when a public figure does something, which is interpreted as wrong by the public, this person is cancelled. And cancelling a public figure can be in a numerous way. It can be refusing to watch a tv-show, refusing to listen to certain music or refusing to give that person a platform.
Examples in The Netherlands
Here are a few examples of when many people said ‘cancel culture’ was a thing. They’re all in Dutch context. The first example I immediately think of is a Dutch public person in a talk-show: Johan Derksen. He’s said many things which were awful/harmful on live television, like homophobic statements which I won’t repeat here. But things reached a peak when he told a story of how he had raped a women with some friends many years ago, in that television show. He told it like it was funny and nobody at the table intervened or was shocked, instead they made jokes about it. The public reacted with cancel culture. People refused to watch the tv-show anymore, urged brands to stop sponsoring the show and asked the directors to fire Derksen.
Another example is Lil Kleine. Lil Kleine is a famous rapper in the Netherlands, his real name is Jorik Scholten and he’s also had some songs hit the charts in Germany too. In 2022 he was exposed being a domestic abuser. Footage of Scholten was leaked. The footage showed him dragging his wife out of a taxi very aggressively by her hair. His wife later stepped out of the marriage and said that Scholten had been physically abusing Vaes almost their entire relationship. And there was cancel culture again. People refused to go to his concerts and were urging labels to fire him.
Cancel culture doesn’t exist
Now comes the part where I tell you that cancel culture doesn’t exist. Because I wish Lil Kleine doesn’t give any concerts anymore and I wish Derksen was fired as a show-host. But that is not true. Johan Derksen still sits at that same talk-show table today and he’s being broadcasted on a weekly basis. Lil Kleine gives concerts all the time and his Instagram has 1,5 million followers. Cancel culture doesn’t exist. It does not affect them. People who claim to be the victim of cancel culture are claiming bullshit. They’re still as rich and famous as ever.
But that brings me to the next messed up thing: these public figures, which are rapists, domestic abusers and what else, claim to be the victim here. We should feel pity for them, because they’re the victim of cancel culture. That is infuriating. I mean, who is the real victim here?
People tend to forget
But I guess people forget about someone’s history very fast. Just recently, I was at a concert by Frenna. And all of a sudden, he said he wanted to bring one of his friends whom he made a song with to the stage. And there he is, Lil Kleine. I see people cheering for him, singing along with the song. All I could do is stick up my middle finger and call boo. It’s upsetting to see how fast people forget what he has done. This man has abused his wife for years. He deserves no cheering. He deserves punishment.
Why cancel culture should exist
And that brings me to my own thoughts on cancel culture. Cancel culture doesn’t exist. Or at least, it doesn’t effect the people who claim to suffer from it. But, oh my, I wish it did. And that’s not me being a sour. No, I only think cancel culture should apply to public figures or people with much wealth. Some people oppose cancel culture because they say that we should leave our justice system to handle crimes. I disagree. Yes, people should be punished through our juridical system. But after that they can never be a public figure anymore. Not someone who has prestige, like artists on a stage or tv-hosts. They had exemplary function and they screwed it up.
They can get a second chance of course, but not in this profession. If a cashier raped someone and served their sentence, I think they should be able to become a cashier again after that. And that applies for Lil Kleine too. He is free, after he has served his time, to become a cashier, plumber, have an office job or anything alike. That’s his second chance. He can contribute to society but giving us his labor. But Lil Kleine should not be able to give concerts anymore, or be a millionaire. In The Netherlands we think it’s normal to showcase a rapist as an example on television, and cheer for a domestic abuser in a concert hall. I don’t.
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