Free speech. The ability to speak, whether orally or written, what is on your mind.
Free speech does not mean that people cannot disagree with you.
Free Speech does not apply to lies. (In Wyoming anyway, per Art. 1 Sec. 20 of the Wyoming Constitution, see below.)
Free speech does not mean that there are no consequences for the things you say.
And all actions, including speech, have consequences, pretty sure we all learned that in science class.
Newton’s Third law of motion states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
But speech is not a motion you say… Well, God spoke everything into existence. And try speaking without moving your lips, or your hands, and you cannot type or write without motion. Communication requires some form of motion.
Ironically if you disagree with me, you just proved my point about Newton’s Third Law applying to free speech. (You still have the right to disagree with me, I would just be remiss if I didn’t point that out.)
But I digress.
Not everyone is going to agree with you. That does not mean that you should refrain from sharing your thoughts and beliefs, it also does not mean that by sharing your thoughts and beliefs that others cannot express that they disagree with you.
People have a right to not agree with us. We may think they are completely wrong, but until them being completely wrong, harms someone, they have that right.
Which brings me to Cancel Culture, and what is and what is not Cancel Culture.
We are allowed to boycott businesses who say, do, and/or support things that are in diametric opposition to what we believe and/or stand for.
We have the right, as many of us (on all sides of the issue) did during the C19 mask craziness… Some proclaimed they would never shop at Menard’s, PetCo, or Best Buy ever again because of the way that they went about enforcing their mask policy…
Some proclaimed they would boycott stores like Home Depot, because they didn’t actually enforce their mandatory mask policy (except for employees).
People from both sides had the right to boycott those places and share with whomever would lend them an ear (or in this virtual world we now live in, an eye) which businesses they are boycotting and why.
Those private businesses had the right to make the decisions on how their businesses would run, and as free people, we have the right to decide who receives or does not receive our hard-earned money.
Boycotts are not Cancel Culture. Boycotts are a way to exercise one’s free speech with their wallet. Boycotts are also not censorship, unless an individual, a group, an organization, or a business is actually being prohibited from saying or doing something they have the right to say or do.
Cancel Culture is different.
Let’s say a person was employed by a company that implemented a mask mandate. Now let’s say that person adhered to the mandate at work, in order to continue being gainfully employed.
And let’s say that person expressed his opposition to mask mandates and maybe masks in general on his social media… Now, if that person was fired for speaking on behalf of himself, on his time off, that would be considered being “canceled” because this person was on their own time and dime.
Stripping a State Senator or US Representatives of their committee assignments because they said something that offended someone, hurt someone’s feelings, or having “unpopular” opinions, is being “canceled”.
The difference is clear.
People voting with their wallet and sharing why, is not cancel culture. People voicing their opposition to something is not cancel culture. People have the right to agree and disagree with the things that people/organizations/businesses say and do, and how people/organizations/businesses go about saying and doing those things.
People also have the right to speak on their personal time as themselves, without their employer being held responsible for what the employee said, off the clock, on their own time.
Some people need to be victims. They cry foul when the game just isn’t going their way. Just because a person cries foul, it doesn’t make it so.
People hurting your feelings or saying things that make you mad, people refusing to give a business or organization money based on things that they said or did, are consequences of the exercise of free speech, not cancel culture.
We must be prepared to have people disagree with us, we must be prepared for heated discourse, because Newton’s Third Law of Motion applies to speech. It applies to decisions businesses make regarding their policies and things they support, it is cause and effect, not cancel culture.
Wyoming Constitution, Article 1, Section 20 Freedom of speech and press; libel; truth a defense.
Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and in all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, when published with good intent and [for] justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense, the jury having the right to determine the facts and the law, under direction of the court.