The (unintended) creation of hate
It’s really weird how some members of society believe that in order to make the world a better place all we need to do is cancel those that say or do racist things. That by destroying their lives in regards to their job, friends, and family, we somehow benefit. Unfortunately though it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Through these actions we only deepen the thoughts these people have to their racist prejudice by giving them a scape goat as to why they are in that situation. Especially since after these people are publicly shamed they are left behind, barred from any kind of redemption for their actions. Instead its like they are locked into this scenario that they are dehumanized pieces of garbage that no one cares about. What do you expect to happen to these people when they are stripped of everything except their remarks with no real chance to right their wrong? Simple, they embrace the only thing they are known for and use it in an attempt to lash out. A current public example of this scenario is a man named Paul Miller, also know by the online alias of Gypsy Crusader. Before this example is continued it is important to clarify that what happened to him that lead him to this path is disheartening, but in no way justifies his later actions or development. It just shows how cancel culture can affect the average joe.
Paul Miller was a private investigative journalist originally living in New Jersey. Back in 2018 he went to a Gavin Mcinnes event in New York (the Proud boy founder)with a friend in order to cover a story there, while there Antifa was protesting the event from outside. During it, Paul had an heated exchange with one of the protestors that led to a small scuffle which was quickly stopped by cops. Towards the end of the event as Paul was starting to head home with his friend, they were surrounded by Antifa members who attacked them. Paul fought them off giving his friend a chance to run. Paul, along side two people that saw he was in trouble, were able to fight off the Antifa members long enough for his friend to come back with police. Following the altercation, Paul was actually interviewed on the news show “One America News Network.” After this interview, Paul started getting cancelled through getting doxed, receiving death threats, got him fired from his job after multiple people called his boss telling him/her that he was racist, and overall tormenting him. His breaking point was during the BLM protests in early 2020 where he made a statement online in regards to the protests. Following this BLM members arrived to his mothers house and proceeded to openly threaten his mom with violence unless she said that “Black lives matter.” This sent Paul over the edge. After everything he moved to Florida and adopted the online persona Gypsy Crusader. Feeling powerless in his loss of about almost everything he had. He did the only thing he felt he could do, radicalize. He began publicly streaming online on websites like Omegle (a website were you would facetime strangers) where he would dress up as the Joker and spew incredibly racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic things at strangers as a way to make an income. Everyone that happened to pop into a call with him would be subjected to horrible slurs/ treatment from him. He contains no filter on himself as he attacks minorities calling them every slur in the book for his own self satisfaction. During one of his live streams, he gave the origin of his “creation” before telling his watchers “I did not tell anybody that story for sympathy, I do not want sympathy at all, zero, zero. … I’m just telling you that because it could happen to you. Everything that happened to me could happen to you.”
Paul through the actions of cancel culture became a racist monster to society. The very thing Cancel culture is trying to stop. Paul became the embodiment of hate, not because that was what he wanted to do with his life. It was the only thing he felt that he had a control in becoming, stepping into the darkness and embracing it rather than running from it like the rest of us would.
While not usually as socially prominent as this people who are cancelled have been pulled down this rabbit hole, where they feel powerless in their current situation so they become the thing they were cancelled for in order to take some of that power back.
Others who observe the wrath of cancel culture take a different route in an attempt to avoid such a negative fate. When on Social media they only observe online activity and never openly participate in the creation of original content. As discussed in “Call-out culture: How online shaming affects social media participation in young adults” This action, often called lurking is comprised of “90 % of social media users” who” do not actively contribute to the networks in which they belong.” In fact it was determined that only 9 % of social media users are regularly contributing input and only 1% create original content(streamers, youtubers, bloggers). Now looking at these numbers raises a very big question. Why do so many people lurk, why not engage with the masses in online discussions or posts? Well based off the study it is hypothesized that so many social media users don’t engage since they fear what they posted online will” … cascade out of control leading to adverse personal consequences, namely a public shaming. ”
These people likely saw others, whether it was family, content creators, or figures in general get cancelled and lose everything. So they decided the best course of action to avoid that same terrible fate was simply no action. To remain completely neutral on everything occurring online. After all, you can’t get cancelled if you don’t do anything that’s considered cancellable.
Huffman, E. M. (2016). Call-out culture: How online shaming affects social media participation in young adults (Order No. 10120833). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1795577817).