Within our society and culture we have decided that retribution can be dealt out collectively by way of “canceling”. However many critics of cancel culture, especially those of the faith, find fault with the societal practice due to the lack of forgiveness displayed or lack of education of the individual who find themselves opposing the public.
The definition of canceling can be succinctly described as the black balling of a public figure by society due to perceived transgressions. The phrases use and popularity has even had it find its way into the dictionary. According to Merriam Webster cancel culture is defined as "the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure".
Public figures such as R Kelly, Chris Brown, Carl Lentz, Da Baby and countless others have all faced backlash and ultimately ended up on the receiving end of cancellation. Some these individuals warranted the wrath of the masses due to the perceived severity of their actions. The most recent example can be seen in the reaction to Da Baby's inflammatory statements at Rolling Loud. The artists remarks, which were both homophobic and offensive to those surviving with HIV/AIDS, didn't bode well for him or his career. Various performance venues turned their back to the artists and removed him from concert line ups in order to solidify their stance with the public. Many other celebrities also shared their commentary all over social media and a few even had the rapper's credit on their songs removed such as singer Dua Lipa.
Many hoped to defend the artist such as rapper Boosie however seemingly only inflamed the situation further. Instead of pointing out what possible wrong he had committed Boosie simply agreed whilst throwing in his own bias sentiments. Only singer and child star Miley Cyrus spoke to the idea of extending grace and educating the rapper on his misgivings and why although he is welcome to his opinion it may have been recieved as hate speech.
Cyrus took to her instagram profile to post screenshot of her thoughts on Dababy's situation with the caption;
"@DaBaby check your DMS - would love to talk and see how we can learn from each other and help be part of making a more just and understanding future!
In her screen grabbed post Cyrus mentions she's a proud and loyal member of the LGBTQIA+ community. She goes on to mention how the internet "can fuel a lot of hate & anger and is the nucleus of cancel culture... but I believe it can also be a place filled with education, conversation, communication, & connection." Cyrus goes on to say, "It's easier to cancel someone than to find forgiveness and compassion in ourselves or take the time to change hearts and minds. There's no more room for division if we want to keep seeing progress! Knowledge is power! I know I still have so much to learn.
A few Twitter users took to the platform to share their own takes and some similar sentiments on cancel culture and the idea of extending grace instead of judgement.
Cancel culture says you make one misstep and you have nothing more to offer.— Matt Brown (@evangelistmatt) July 21, 2020
Kingdom culture says there’s repentance, grace, and restoration despite all your greatest failures.
Cancel culture needs to be cancelled. Bring back forgiveness, grace, and understanding.— kristen (@kristenhutch) February 9, 2021
Cancel “cancel culture” and establish “grace culture”. All of us at some point or another deserve cancellation but God loves us regardless. Let’s create a culture of love, accountability, correction & mercy. Eliminate corrupt systems. Restore broken people. #BlessedAreTheMerciful— Pastor YPJ (@PastorYPJ) July 21, 2020
HOT97 kept DaBaby on their Summer Jam lineup and God made it rain.— NUFF (@nuffsaidny) August 22, 2021
Boosie spouted homophobia and got an appearance on one of the most popular radio shows in America but cancel culture amiright.— David Dennis Jr. (@DavidDTSS) August 23, 2021
Weren’t y’all saying someone needs to educate Da Baby??? Miley Cyrus comes along in hopes to educate him and spread LOVE AND POSITIVITY and NOW y’all wanna complain?— thomas (@DuhTommyy) August 4, 2021
In some cases a certain level of grace can be extended to those who have behaved in an uncouth or problematic manner. As we all know no one is above mistake or reproach. We are all equal in the eyes of the powers that be. However, this is not to excuse them. Individuals must be receptive to understanding the ways their words or behaviors may offend or hurt others. No one is asking for a change of mind, but perhaps a change heart. Common decency calls for respect of an individual regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and more. The phrase is love thy neighbor in doing so that entails being kind even to those that may hold a difference of opinion.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Should the reception of Da Baby's comments have been so intense and should grace and forgiveness be extended to him so quickly? Comment down below!
Written by Precious Onukwuli