YouTuber Shane Dawson made jokes about bestiality and pedophilia a few years ago. This was wrong of him and if he had been making these jokes today, he would deserve to be “canceled.”
“Cancel culture,” or not supporting someone anymore because of something inappropriate they’ve done, doesn’t allow people to grow and educate themselves, because they’re too busy defending themselves to learn why they’re wrong.
Dawson, thankfully, is one of the few people who has learned from his mistakes and would never say those things today. Dawson is a comedian and crossed the line with these two jokes, but would never say such things today.
Toxic masculinity is something that is deep-rooted in men and isn’t necessarily their fault, but it is their job to unlearn it. Most men are taught at a young age that they need to be big, strong and take care of women. This doesn’t give most men anywhere to grow.
When these men are corrected, it doesn’t sit well with them because they were taught they can do no wrong from a young age. “Cancelling” these men is especially unhelpful because they are not learning, they are just defending.
It is not our job to educate these people. We can not waste our energy telling everyone what is right and what is wrong. It is 2019 and Google exists — people can educate themselves. People will be less likely to educate themselves if they’re busy justifying their wrong behavior.
Dawson apologized for his jokes before this recent rehashing. He’s about to release a new YouTube series with makeup artist and YouTuber Jeffree Star. People know Dawson is about to make a lot of money and get a lot of views.
Many, including myself, assume this controversy was rehashed to keep him from his rising success. Dawson also got engaged right after this scandal came out, so some accused him of trying to distract from this scandal. The timing of all of these events is not a coincidence.
His racist jokes are worse than his jokes about pedophilia and bestiality. While pedophilia and bestiality are unarguably vile and illegal, racism is not illegal and extends across the U.S. with a reignited vigor.
The fact that more people were upset about his obviously joking statement about his cat and not about his old videos where he would say the n-word and wear blackface exposes where the public’s priorities truly lie.
Dawson should not be “canceled” for comments that any sensible person would know were jokingly made. Let’s focus on what’s important, not resorting to these trivial and unimportant cancellations.
Ashlon Lusk is a 20-year-old mass communication sophomore from Houston, Texas.