CityinThree

Pictured: Kanye West who made "slavery is a choice" comments.

In a politically correct, ‘woke’ society, we are constantly evolving. We are looking back at our past and acknowledging wrongs done to marginalized groups in society and working towards reconciliation. It is in this process of evolution that we are both learning and unlearning -- unlearning prejudices, biases, and stereotypes, while also, learning how to be better.

With social movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, we are not learning that racism and sexual violence are wrong; but rather, we are bringing their wrongness to the light and attempting to rectify the harm done. However, this level of social awareness is less likely to be labelled as a privilege, as though it is not dependent on our access to resources such as the internet, proximity to activists, and those willing to have these open conversations.

This degree of privilege became very apparent to me in conversations with my mother. My mother and I were raised in very different surroundings -- her, in rural Sri Lanka with limited technology, and I, in Canada, with technology at my fingertips. This availability for clarification on concepts I did not understand or fully grasp was significantly easier for myself as I could Google a term I did not understand. However, by virtue of this difference in accessibility leads to my mother and I having very different opinions on certain topics such as abortion, sex work, and legalization of cannabis.

This is not to say that others raised without the same access to resources are close-minded or should be, to use the Twitter vernacular, ‘cancelled’, but is to say that if anything, there should be more of an emphasis to engage in open, understanding, conversation with them. Furthermore, the culture of ‘cancelling’ those who say or do things that are problematic stunts potential for growth from either person. To refuse to engage with someone who has been problematic blocks any possibility for them to ever learn any better, and it allows the one ‘cancelling’ to remain in an echo chamber.

However, this argument is not meant to be used as a blanket to cover all those who have problematic incidents. If one has done so, apologized and learned since, there is no reason to believe that there was malicious intent in their actions. An example of this is Chris Hemsworth, who apologized for wearing the traditional dress Native American peoples at a Hallowe’en party, and stood alongside many Indigenous peoples at Standing Rock in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. On the other hand, if one has done something time and time again, showing little humility, it is fair to believe that they are not someone worth supporting.