Psychologist Explains the Unhealthy Incentives Behind 'Cancel Culture'
If there was a video documenting every second of my life, you can bet it would contain some pretty stupid comments I’ve made over the years. I would also probably be reminded of some opinions I no longer believe. If you’re being honest with yourself, yours likely would be equally cringe.
The things we have said in the past may not have been outrageously offensive, but we have all made comments, or held opinions, we later regret. We are, after all, inherently flawed creatures.
But imagine if one instance of poor judgment or one “fringe” opinion stuck with you forever. This is the problem our society is now facing with the prevalence of cancel culture.
In 2016, then-high school freshman Mimi Groves posted a video to Snapchat in which she used a racial slur. The video later circulated around her school, though it wasn’t met with controversy at the time.
Fellow classmate Jimmy Galligan hadn’t seen the footage until last year when the two were seniors—four years after it first made the rounds at Heritage High School. By this time, Groves had moved on to focus on her role as varsity cheer captain with big dreams of attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a school known for its nationally ranked cheer squad.
For Groves, summer 2020 had been a time of celebration as she found out she had been accepted to the university’s cheer team. But her joy was short-lived when the death of George Floyd rightly outraged the nation, sparking a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Like many teens, Groves used her social media platforms to urge people to protest, donate, and sign petitions in support of ending police brutality. It was then that her unfortunate video came back to haunt her.
“You have the audacity to post this, after saying the N-word,” one commenter, unknown to the teen, posted on her Instagram.
That’s when her phone began ringing nonstop.
Tags: bullying, ostracisation, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, call-out, banishment, repost
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