adrienne maree brown

We Will Not Cancel Us

Cancel culture addresses real harm…and sometimes causes more. It’s time to think this through.
“Cancel” or “call-out” culture is a source of much tension and debate in American society. The infamous “Harper’s Letter,” signed by public intellectuals of both the left and right, sought to settle the matter and only caused greater division. Originating as a way for marginalized and disempowered people to take down more powerful abusers, often with the help of social media, cancel culture is seen by some as having gone “too far.” Adrienne maree brown, a respected cultural voice and a professional mediator, reframes the discussion for us, in a way that points to possible ways beyond the impasse. Most critiques of cancel culture come from outside the milieus that produce it, sometimes from even from its targets. Brown explores the question from a Black, queer, and feminist viewpoint that gently asks, how well does this practice serve us? Does it prefigure the sort of world we want to live in? And, if it doesn’t, how do we seek accountability and redress for harm in a way that reflects our values?
69 páginas impresas
Publicación original
AK Press


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    Bianca Beltráncompartió una citaanteayer
    Oh unthinkable thoughts. Now that I have thought you, it becomes clear to me that all of you are rooted in a singular longing: I want us to want to live.

    I want us to want to live in this world, in this time, together.

    I want us to love this planet and this species, at this time.

    I want us to see ourselves as larger than just individuals randomly pinging around in a world that will never care for us.

    I want us to see ourselves as a murmuration of creatures who are, as far as we know right now, unique in all the universe. Each cell, each individual body, itself a unique part of this unique complexity.

    I want us not to waste the time we have together.

    I want us to look at each other with the eyes of interdependence, such that when someone causes harm, we find the gentle parent inside of us who can use a voice of accountability, while also bringing curiosity—“Why did you cause harm? Do you know? Do you know other options? Apologize.” That we can set boundaries that don’t require the disappearance of other survivors. That we can act towards accountability with the touch of love. That when someone falls behind, we can use a parent’s voice of discipline, while also picking them up and carrying them for a while if needed.

    I want us to adapt from systems of oppression and punishment to systems of uplifting and transforming.

    I want us to notice that this is a moment when we need to orient and move towards life, not surrender to the incompetence and hopelessness of our national leadership.

    I want us to be discerning.

    I want our movement to feel like a vibrant, accountable space where causing harm does not mean you are excluded immediately and eternally from healing, justice, community, or belonging.

    I want us to grow lots and lots of skill at holding the processes by which we mend the wounds in our communities and ourselves.

    I want satisfying consequences that actually end cycles of harm, generate safety, and deepen movement.

    I want us to have an abundance of skill in facilitation and mediation when what needs to be addressed is at the level of misunderstanding, contradiction, mistake, or conflict. I want us collectively to be able to use precise language and to be comfortable asking each other questions for the sake of providing each other the absolute best, most healing and most satisfying support possible.

    Within Black movement, I want us to hold Black humanity to the highest degree of protection. Yes, even when we have caused harm. I want us to see each other’s trauma-induced behavior as ancestral and impermanent, even as we hold each other accountable.
    Bianca Beltráncompartió una citahace 3 días
    When I get that torn feeling within, which in recent years comes very rarely, in twinges and wisps, I now recognize it as a suicidal tendency in me. It’s not the truth, not the only truth, not my truth, not the choice I want to make. But the tendency is wily, using the voices of people I love to make itself heard. I have to be vigilant, listen between the lines, ask: who would benefit from my absence? Who benefits from my self-doubt?
    Bianca Beltráncompartió una citahace 3 días
    It feels like we don’t know how to belong to each other, to something big and collective and decolonizing.

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