'An exercise in moral power': Conservative filmmaker says 'cancellation' is 'evil dressed up as good'
Conservative author and filmmaker Shelby Steele denounced the latest sweeping moves by corporate America to silence President Donald Trump and his supporters.
The Hoover Institution senior fellow weighed in on the wave of actions from Big Tech and liberal media to stamp out dissenting views during an interview on Fox News Monday. The raging cancellations have now “become an exercise in moral power,” according to Steele.
With the removal of the president’s social media presence and the veritable purge of conservative voices on multiple platforms, the all-out censorship has escalated rapidly in the course of a few days under the banner of outrage over last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol.
Several U.S. companies also targeted Republicans who questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election as the move to cancel all things connected to Trump grew.
(Source: Fox News)
Steele discussed the developments on “The Story” with Fox News host Martha MacCallum, noting how the “moral power” is being demonstrated by eliminating the ability of critics to “engage” in any form of argument or dialogue.
“It is something you are so morally above, that you obliterate it , you just eliminate it and you don’t have to argue but you can get credit for all sorts of virtuous sentiments when all you have done, really, is run away from an issue,” he said.
“It undermines our democracy which is based on debate and cross-examination and so forth,” the documentary film maker added.
Steele recounted the way his film, “What Killed Michael Brown?’ was not allowed to be streamed on Amazon. The documentary on race relations in the U.S. was rejected by the company which informed Steele in a “nasty letter” that had a “tone of moral outrage that they were going to not accept our film because it was somehow immoral.”
Steele, a scholar on race relations, noted that Amazon did not reject the film because of any offensive images or “excessive bad language.”
“It was they did not like the message which partly had to do with the film that black America, that protest was fading away as a viable means of advancement.
“Whether one agrees with that, or one doesn’t agree with that, it’s got to be something that Americans can consider, think about for a moment,” Steele said. “But Amazon felt that they were somehow so morally superior to that option, that they were so wonderful, in other words, that they could simply cancel it and move on, and thereby do a good service to American life.”
“So in that sense, evil is dressed up as good. And in cancellation, that seems to me to be the formula,” he added.
At the time the film came out last October, Steele had told the Wall Street Journal that the company “let themselves be captured by white guilt.”
“Amazon doesn’t want justice for blacks as they claim. They want the look of racial innocence attached to their brand,” he had said. “What is most frightening about this experience is that you see up close how much power these tech behemoths wield over us.”
MacCallum noted on Monday that these corporations have set a “dangerous precedent” in their moral grandstanding.
“I think that all of these companies set such a dangerous precedent when they began doing these things, and started making political judgments and boycotting different things based on, you know, sort of a moral decision as you point out,” MacCallum told Steele.
“So now they find themselves where they have to respond to everything,” she added. “And they put themselves in a box. They going to alienate, obviously, a lot of customers.”
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