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Encourage Calling In, Not Calling Out to Build Bridges and End “Cancel Culture”

diverse hands, calling out instead of cancel culture
Rawpixel on Deposit Photos

Imagine the last time someone effectively changed your mind on an issue. If you can remember, did they win the argument by shaming or “canceling” you? If not, why would this method be effective with others? If you want to persuade someone to change their opinion, we must be open to a new, inclusive communication method of “calling in” change to challenge the practice of humiliating and blacklisting people for their actions. It’s time to end “cancel culture.”

Our culture encourages being right by “calling out” what’s wrong and even “canceling” them in our polarized society. As a real-life example, imagine being my friend who helped organize an event on a college campus. Regardless of the issue, a non-profit group’s (who didn’t go to the college) sole mission is to “call out” people who oppose their views, label them as a part of a hate group and troll them on social media and search engines. Sounds Orwellian! The non-profit effort didn’t change anyone’s mind on the issue. Instead, the organization bullied, demonized and dehumanized a person’s life at the expense of arrogance and righteousness. 

Winning hearts and minds requires a different mindset. Professors Anita Bryant and Gambrell’s principle of “calling in” (source) encourage a collaborative approach to promote change through difficult conversations. If you’re more interested in the solution than winning an argument, then read more through the “Calling In” Guide. 

“Call In” doesn’t work with every cause. Both actors must commit to cause no harm to the other person. As a former homeless youth and a domestic violence survivor, I have not physically seen my parents in 18 years because I accept that they cannot communicate without harming me. You must have the judgment to assess the situation. 

For a stronger America and a better future, we need to take mutual responsibility for our actions. We can try to solve problems by putting out a hand and engaging in dialogue, not taking it away through a boycott or putting out a fist for violence. If possible, please rate your success in being able to find a solution than winning an argument. 

Is it time to end “cancel culture”? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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