“Cancel culture” has its benefits, according to an online anti-racism course being taught to over 100 British academics.
“Union Black,” a class being taught by The Open University, teaches professors that “In relation to racial/social justice, cancel culture has been shown to realize benefits.”
These benefits, according to class materials, include “holding people or entities accountable for immoral or unacceptable behavior” and “promoting collective action to achieve social justice and cultural change through social pressure.”
Benefits also include “motivating allies to reveal themselves” and “mobilizing public opinion and sharing collective expressions of moral outrage.”
Cancel culture has become a controversial topic in the U.S., with many on the left denying it even exists.
The College Fix, however, recently identified nearly 200 cases over the past academic year in which professors, students, mascots, paintings, honorary degrees and the like were either canceled or protested on campus. To date, The Fix’s Campus Cancel Culture Database has collected over 1,500 examples of cancelations or attempted cancelations.
“For people who claim that cancel culture is a made up right-wing phenomenon, I invite them to scroll through page after page after page of our Campus Cancel Culture Database,” said Jennifer Kabbany, editor in chief of The College Fix, when the results of the analysis were released.
“You can’t go a week without something on campus being memory holed, erased, fired, renamed or what have you,” she said. “Thank God for the database, or America could easily lose track of how many things have been censored and purposely forgotten by this country’s colleges and universities.”
The Union Black documents urge “due diligence before effectively ‘cancelling’ someone,” but consider calling out people for their transgressions is “a last-ditch appeal for justice.” The course counsels that social media can be “a place to sow discord.”
The Open University began the course in 2021 and it is now taught in 90 UK universities including schools in Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, and Imperial College London.
The course is backed with 500,000 pound investment by Santander investment.
“We are proud to have worked together with Santander on developing this course which is aimed at increasing awareness of racism and building allyship to support inclusion,” an Open University spokesperson told The Telegraph.
“Feedback from participants on the course has been extremely positive, and we are recommending it to staff and students across all UK universities,” the spokesperson said.
[Editor’s note: The spelling and punctuation in this story has been Americanized to allow for easier reading.]