It's happened to all of us: we've posted something on the Internet, or said something in a group of friends, that wasn't considered politically correct and we've been called out on it. Usually, the person's intention is a good one; it's meant to inform us that what we said was offensive to another person or group of people and why. This information is essential to society as it helps all of us learn to be more conscious of how our words and actions may affect other people. However, despite these intentions and the potential to engage in a mutual learning experience, the phenomenon of "call-out culture" leaves many people feeling alienated, stupid, or afraid to speak out in fear of being "cancelled." This alienation stagnates any potential for fruitful dialogue and exchange, and instead creates division.
In this New York Times article, Professor Loretta J. Ross describes combatting cancel culture in her classroom. She explains how she encourages her students to live in discomfort, and encourages the practice of "calling in" to engage in meaningful exchanges through compassion, conversation and context. Check out more of her story and her teaching experiences here!