It’s not hard to find examples of cancel culture. The mob has gone after the Founding Fathers, Dr. Seuss and the co-founder of the left-leaning infotainment website Vox, Matthew Yglesias, for having writings that veered too far off the woke path. Celebrities and politicians called for a boycott of Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, after its CEO appeared with President Trump. It didn’t work as expected: Goya ended up seeing sales surge in response. Many are not as lucky as Goya.
For those who find themselves being targeted, it is not by a group interested in winning an argument, but rather silencing political enemies through intimidation, financial ruin, and outright censorship. The sad reality is that, whether or not you are famous, a parent or a teacher, an executive or an employee, a Republican or a Democrat, you’re at risk of offending the woke mob. To stand up against this system of intolerance, I founded Unsilenced Majority, a new advocacy group aiming to harness grassroots opposition to cancel culture before it’s too late.
The truth is that behind the woke mob is a highly organized, sophisticated network of wealthy individuals who create cancel culture pressure campaigns to influence the largest of American private sector institutions. The result is that corporate America—with all the power and money at its disposal—has functionally become a wing of the radical left and increasingly, the Democrat Party.
This corporate wokeism was perhaps no more on display than in the aftermath of the Georgia State Legislature passing election security legislation. Georgia companies like Delta claimed credit for working with lawmakers on the bill, before bowing to the mob. They not only distanced themselves; they also denounced the law. Not to be outdone, the MLB moved the all-star game to (the very white) Colorado – costing Georgia small businesses, many of them owned by the very minorities for which they were claiming to represent, $100 billion in tourism dollars. These are multi-billion-dollar companies, and their decisions to bend to the will of the political Left have far-reaching impacts on their employees and communities.
Rather than face the mob, many companies have found that it’s far easier to solve PR problems by indiscriminately firing employees. After an article surfaced that was written more than three decades earlier in which he argues women shouldn’t serve in the military, Niel Golightly was forced to step down as the head of communications at Boeing – despite making it clear those were no longer his views today.
One would assume a former executive would be able to land back on his feet, but consider that anyone is one misconstrued viral social media post away from losing their job.
A Mexican-American truck driver was fired after it was alleged in a viral video he was using a white-power sign, when in reality he was cracking his knuckles. He said: “It’s scary that you can be charged, tried and convicted on social media, without your permission, with no corroborating evidence, of any type.” Once your name and character have been dragged through the mud, good luck finding a job in today’s digital world.
Cancel culture is particularly rampant in higher education – a place that once thrived on the free exchange of ideas and where students would grow from having their opinions challenged. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of unconstitutional speech codes, boycotts of conservative speakers, and professors being fired for daring to suggest students consider alternative points of view.
Skidmore College students called for the dismissal of a professor who merely attended, as an observer, a pro-police “Back the Blue Rally.” Several months later, the Student Government Association at the school blocked the formation of a Young Americans for Liberty chapter – an organization with the goal of promoting free speech on college campuses.
This kind of irrational narrow-mindedness is a threat to the bedrock of our free society. It has become so pervasive that many Americans find themselves self-censoring for fear of what might happen to them if they express an unpopular opinion or even express skepticism of a woke truism. Without truly free political dialogue, the United States is at risk of an irreversible decline.
The rising intolerance of cancel culture is breeding fear and paranoia in our politics, across the corporate world, at our children’s schools, and even in our neighborhoods.
Unsilenced Majority speaks for an emboldened majority of Americans who recognize the imminent threat that cancel culture poses to our nation. It must be stopped.
Mike Davis is the founder and president of Unsilenced Majority, an organization dedicated to opposing cancel culture and fighting back against the woke mob and their enablers. Davis is the former Chief Counsel for Nominations to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and also leads conservative advocacy organizations opposing Big Tech and defending an independent judiciary.