Monday, April 5, 2021

There's No Such Thing as Cancel Culture

 (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.) 
For at least two decades, there's been a well-known acronym that's become familiar among progressives and liberals: IOKIYAR. It's OK If You're a Republican. It symbolizes in seven brief letters the never-ending GOP hypocrisy in reserving for themselves the right to do and say certain things while forbidding the left from engaging in identical or similar behavior. 
     We're seeing this shameless hypocrisy (which Rachel Maddow once famously declared was the one crime in Washington for which there's no punishment) in the wake of the Georgia voter suppression bill that, among other things, actually made a felony handing out food and water to black voters standing in line half the day because of Republicans gleefully closing polling places in heavily minority districts.
     Coca Cola and Delta, both headquartered in Atlanta, decided this was the time to cynically burnish their credentials and corporate stewardship by quickly putting themselves on the right side of history. It's a side that a man with two cataracts can see. Even with 253 voter suppression laws either debated or passed, it's obvious that keeping minority voters from voting is wrong from both a legal and moral standpoint.     
     After the 2020 election that saw Trump lose Georgia and, two months later, saw incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue lose their Senate seats, thereby giving control of the upper chamber to Democrats, we should have expected this racist, right wing backlash. All their other schemes had failed: Gerrymandering, all but eliminating early voting, getting rid of ballot drop boxes, demanding photo IDs then making it virtually impossible to get those IDs, voter roll purges, closing polling places in exclusively minority districts... It had all failed. Trump lost Georgia and they lost two Senate seats, hence the Senate.     
     It also shouldn't have surprised us that the Peachtree State would lead the charge in crafting and passing at warp speed (it took just a day) the most Jim Crowish voter suppression bill this side of Bull Connor and George Wallace. Iowa had passed a similar bill and was quickly followed by Texas. But of those three states, only Georgia can claim credit for their apple cart being upset by, more than any other racial demographic, the African American voter bloc.
     The GOP backlash is simply revenge against black voters for spilling all those poisoned apples from their cart onto the street.      
     The debate about the morality and legality of the bill was ratcheted up a notch when Major League Baseball weighed in and announced it was pulling the 2021 All Star Game out of suburban Atlanta. Of course, this only helps punish Georgia Republicans in a PR sense. The actual people who will pay for this boycott will be Georgia baseball fans and private vendors who would have brought upwards of $100,000,000 into Georgia. Plus, one has to question themselves why, since there was so much advance press about the upcoming bill and the certainty of its passage, did Georgia-based corporations wait until after the bill was passed when their saber-rattling would have been much more effective before it was passed?      
      But setting that very good question aside, the real issue here is that corporate America's belated muscle flexing has exposed for the entire world to see the Republican Party's self-destructive hypocrisy regarding "cancel culture" and their long-established attitude toward Big Business. It betrays under the pitiless glare of disinfecting sunlight their hypocrisy which is nothing more or less than poorly-veiled racism and contempt for democracy. 
 That'll Show Y'all!
The symbolism and behavior of the bill's signing couldn't have been more unmistakable and unambiguous. Kemp signed the bill behind closed doors surrounded by other white Republican men, beneath a painting of a notorious Georgia plantation from the antebellum era. Meanwhile, outside Kemp's office, black state lawmaker Park Cannon was knocking on his outer office door trying to witness the signing from which, obviously, all black people were barred.
     The Georgia state police swiftly moved in, putting Rep. Cannon in handcuffs and charging her with a felony. She became the latest in a lengthening line of black female lawmakers and other elected officials who have been arrested in recent years, thereby only bringing the bill's overt racism and cruelty into more merciless relief.           
     Without once mentioning this Jim Crow-era racial injustice to Rep. Cannon, Georgia's corporate powers that be sprang into action out of their Laz-E-Boys from the comfort of their climate-controlled boardrooms and issued typical corporate doublespeak and waggled their pudgy fingers at the faces of those to whom they'd donated vast sums of money to both their individual campaigns and GOP super PACS.
      MLB's departure from Trust Park is the most immediately damaging from both a financial and PR standpoint as it's guaranteed to lose the state over $100,000,000. If Delta really wanted to (belatedly) flex its muscle, it could threaten to pull out their HQ and into another state out of many that would fall over themselves to give them tax breaks. It's also worth noting that Delta Airlines is the state's largest employer (34,500). A headquarter relocation would be very costly but it could be done.    
     In response, Republican lawmakers did what Republicans do and childishly proposed legislation revoking Delta's tax breaks and even revoking MLB's antitrust exemption. Trump called for, among other things, a boycott of Coke although, as one can expect, that, too, was a case of, "Do what I say, not as I do."
     So now, in response to corporate America's tardy conscience, right wingers who were once hostile to taxing and regulating corporations and cancel culture in general are now all for these things. Clarence "Uncle Tom" Thomas, is now all for regulating exactly the same social media networks who'd banned Donald Trump for life (which is basically all of them). They're all for revoking Delta's tax break, even though doing so will result in massive amounts of retaliatory layoffs. They also want to break up baseball into baby baseball leagues. Give them time and by the end of the year, they'll be going after not only baseball but grandma's apple pie and Chevrolet.
     In short, it's not about "cancel culture" or any other bogey man or straw man. It's simply about silencing dissenting voices. The so-called "cancel culture" is simply racism and authoritarianism dressed up in self-righteous attire, all the way down to the sackcloth, ashes and crocodile tears.


At April 6, 2021 at 3:53 PM, Anonymous CC said...

I'm more surprised by the presence of books and a newspaper on Trump's desk. You mean he actually reads?

At April 6, 2021 at 3:54 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

About himself he does. That's it.


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