Cancel culture has “benefits”, academics at almost 100 U.K. universities have been told as part of an anti-racism course. The Telegraph has the story.
The Open University has devised a training programme titled Union Black, backed by £500,000 of Santander investment, which offers teaching staff lessons including “white people have a responsibility to solve the problem of racism”.
Academics taking the course are urged to become “active allies” in advancing racial justice, course materials reveal, and taught about the advantages of “cancelling” people and institutions.
Material in one online module states: “In relation to racial/social justice, cancel culture has been shown to realise benefits.”
Examples of these benefits in the material include “holding people or entities accountable for immoral or unacceptable behaviour” and “promoting collective action to achieve social justice and cultural change through social pressure”.
Course documents also add “motivating allies to reveal themselves”, as an advantage, along with “mobilising public opinion and sharing collective expressions of moral outrage”.
The documents urge “due diligence before effectively ‘cancelling’ someone”, which is an act of making an individual a pariah – often through social media pressure and sometimes to the point of people losing their jobs – that has become a growing issue in academia.
I wonder how much stress was placed in the course on the importance of academic freedom, freedom of speech and tolerance of differing points of view. Little or none, I would hazard.