Calling Cancel Culture's Bluff: No More Points for Wokeness | Opinion

This week saw another example of cancel culture in action. Unfortunately, the victim became a willing participant.

At some point, those of us who rightly decry the hyperventilating wokescolds should stop feeling sorry for those being canceled when they either play the game or seek to turn themselves into heroes. All they're doing is ensuring this disturbing trend continues unabated.

When "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" star Ellie Kemper was 19 years old, back in 1999, she attended a debutante soirée in St. Louis called the "Veiled Prophet Ball." At the event, she earned the "Queen of Love and Beauty" title.

The host organization had a racist past. When founded in 1878, it banned black and Jewish Americans. It only allowed black membership in 1979, a year before Kemper was born. But that did not matter: Kemper participated in an event the organization sponsored.

When photos surfaced of her involvement, people feigned outrage. Though the organization itself had no association with the Ku Klux Klan, a small group of Twitter users criticized Kemper, calling her the "KKK princess."

Perhaps inspired by cancel culture victims before her, Kemper wrote a lengthy apology on her Instagram account. One might not blame her: We've seen this story play out before and we know how it ends. Cancel culture crusaders were out for another helpless victim, and now it was Kemper's turn.

For that, we could offer Kemper some sympathy. She doesn't deserve this. She did nothing wrong. But her embarrassing, pandering apology where she attempts to play hero only ensures this toxic strategy by progressives will continue.

So instead, let's call Kemper's bluff.

The apology starts simple enough. She acknowledges she was just 19 and that she "was not aware of this history at the time." She calls out the host organization for its "unquestionably racist, sexist and elitist past."

Ellie Kemper speaks onstage during the 2019
Ellie Kemper speaks onstage during the 2019 Ad Council Dinner on December 05, 2019 in New York City. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

But then she quickly leans into the very irrational attitude that the wokeratti routinely deploys to destroy careers. She proudly declared that "ignorance is no excuse. I was old enough to have educated myself before getting involved."

Oh, is that so? Fine. You were old enough to have done the research. In 1999 and at 19 years old, you should have done the necessary research demanded by 2021 wokescolds. I'll give in and agree.

Thus, Kemper, according to her own professed logic, should never work again. She chose to celebrate and associate with a racist and sexist group. Why should she get a pass? She admits what she did. She doesn't even want a pass.

"At the same time, I acknowledge that because of my race and my privilege, I am the beneficiary of a system that has dispensed unequal justice and unequal rewards," Kemper continues.

Again, I will lean into the madness. Kemper's race and privilege offered unequal rewards. So, let's fix it right now and make sure she never works again. Why should she continue to benefit from a racist system she abhors?

Too often, leftists decry supposed white privilege. Yet, those same leftists never give up their own privilege. They'll just lecture other people about it, from their positions of power, in order to gain social currency.

I'm not in the business of handing our social currency and I find virtue-signaling annoying. So if Kemper or anyone else will give into cancel culture in a way so over-the-top as a means to not merely protect themselves, but to ensure the continuation of the tactic, then they should actually be canceled themselves.

And if you're still not with me and think Kemper is just trying to quell the contrived criticism—well, she says she's not.

"There is a very natural temptation when you become the subject of internet criticism, to tell yourself that your detractors are getting it all wrong," Kemper continued. "But at some point last week, I realized that a lot of the forces behind the criticism are forces that I've spent my life supporting and agreeing with."

See? Give her what she wants. It's time to cancel her.

Jason Rantz is a frequent guest on Fox News and is the host of the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH Seattle, heard weekday afternoons. You can subscribe to his podcast here and follow him on Twitter: @jasonrantz.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.