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2 Responses to Cancel Culture and Public Administration

  1. Dillon Boss Reply

    July 31, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Very good. A relevant and much needed commentary of a scary symptom of the culture.

  2. Morgan Higman Reply

    July 31, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    I would challenge the notion that “Cancel culture disguises itself as a form of accountability, but in reality it is democratized public shaming… perpetrated by random internet mobs, levied against celebrities and other public figures”. Though certainly not without missteps, cancel culture has given way to collective action and accountability where institutions and established authorities have failed. I would point to the litany of #MeToo cases in recent memory as both a testament to such failures by leadership in a range of fields and a demonstration of the meaningful impact of this new accountability mechanism.

    Public administration is a complex science, and certainly there is a place for experts and veteran administrators who provide continuity and a long view of good governance. However, to suggest that the outrage that occurred in Minneapolis and across the United States is by people who are “demanding major changes with little interest in outcome” is simply disingenuous. Black protestors and their allies have a profound and vested interested in the protection of their lives, and the lives of their family and friends, in the course of interactions with law enforcement authorities. That is an outcome they undoubtedly care deeply about. Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis campaigned on promises to addresses widely recognized policing problems within his city. Perhaps if he had acted more swiftly or radically his ‘cancelation’ might have been avoided. Of course, booing him is not enough. There remains the important work to be done in restructuring police forces, revisiting police practices, and healing the tensions that have long plagued Black communities affected by police misconduct. In this sense, cancel culture is but a wake-up call – but an effective one.

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