Now cancel culture is coming for children

School-age kids are being ‘exposed’ as racist on the internet.


Topics Free Speech USA

Cancel culture is now coming for children. The latest Black Lives Matter-inspired fad is for schoolkids to invite other schoolkids to cyberbully their peers because they have been found to have said something racist.

There was a time when stupid and even offensive behaviour by children was put down to them being, well, children. As youngsters, we all did things we would find embarrassing today. Lacking social awareness and maturity, children say and do things that upset each other on a regular basis. But hopefully we all grow up and, with the right guidance, learn from our mistakes.

But the innocence of youth is apparently worthless in the eyes of the ever-growing mob. And the futures of those accused are seen as fair game by those attacking them online.

The 16-year-old administrator of one social-media group dedicated to exposing racism at school told the New York Times that she wanted to target those about to go to university because she did not want ‘people like that’ to get jobs through their education.

Paradoxically, denying the right to education appears to be a tool of those seeking to ‘educate’. Another young group administrator said: ‘My aim is not to send people to bully these people; it’s to send people to go educate and inform them about what they’re saying and how they’re wrong.’ ‘If I have [the accused’s] Instagram or Snapchat’, she added, ‘I’ll post that along with their racist behaviour because I believe in having productive conversations’.

But publicising bad behaviour on social media, invoking a potential tide of abuse against them, is unlikely to lead to a productive conversation.

What is most astonishing here is not that children are essentially finding new ways essentially to bully each other — rather, it is the absence of adults who are willing to put a stop to it.

Instead, many adults are cheering it on. Skai Jackson is a young celebrity who has been sharing the usernames and schools of alleged racist kids to her 560,000 Twitter followers. Media outlets have fawned over her doxxing of children. Cosmopolitan , for instance, said she was ‘doing the Lord’s work online’ by ‘expos[ing] racist teenagers’. This is terrifying.

Yes, kids should talk to each other about the problem of racism. But they should avoid doing it in a way that can ruin a person’s life, possibly forever. Perhaps raise it with them personally, or with an adult. Don’t invite the world to take them down.

Most of all, adults need to recognise that cancel culture is out of control when it is going after children.

Help spiked prick the Covid consensus

So here we are – 14 weeks into Britain’s three-week lockdown. We hope you are all staying sane out there, and that spiked has been of some assistance in that. We have ramped up our output of late, to provide a challenge to the Covid consensus. But we couldn’t have done that without your support. spiked – unlike so many things these days – is completely free. We rely on our loyal readers to fund our journalism. So if you enjoy our work, please do consider becoming a regular donor. Even £5 per month can be a huge help. You can donate here.Thank you! And stay well.

Donate now

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Dominic Straiton

22nd June 2020 at 7:42 pm

My brown, hopefully ex muslim(im waiting for them to make their own minds up) grandkids wont give a bollox. They will be made of sterner stuff.

Gorge On the Gopher

22nd June 2020 at 6:49 pm

This is America though and American kids are a bit weird. Don’t they call their dad ‘sir’?

I remember a few years back when my lad was younger if I told him to tidy his room or do his homework he’d joking say I was “bare racist” for asking him. Here in the UK most of us just laugh at the stupidity mentioned above. Outside the air conditioned ivory towers of the toxicGuardian and the BBC we all know it’s a bit of a joke.

Yeh, you’ll get plenty of people using the whole anti-racism stuff to get attention and make themselves look good to their ‘right on’ mates, but it’s all BS. They couldn’t really care less.

To the rest of us the word ‘racism’ has become meaningless. When barbecues are accused of cultural appropriation and the black and white smoke in Thomas the Tank engine is racist you know the whole thing has gone way past the point of seriousness.

Nobody ever has but if anyone seriously called me racist I’d just laugh in their face. I don’t really hang around with those types. I don’t know anyone who does and I don’t think there are actually very many of them out there.

L Strange

22nd June 2020 at 7:12 pm

I’m afraid you’re “whistling past the graveyard”, as it were.

Children are being doxxed, exposed and pointed out as targets for bullying or worse, for supposed racism which probably actually isn’t given the bizarre nature of some accusations. But the details don’t matter to the mob, just that there is an accusation.

The internet never forgets and such finger-pointing will likely follow them beyond school.

Andrew Shaughnessy

23rd June 2020 at 8:18 am

Call me a pessimist but I wouldn’t be too sure that it couldn’t happen here. John Ronson’s book “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” shows how social media has taken us back to the era of public floggings. Some of the examples he gives are truly horrendous. If adults can behave this way, how will children behave?

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.