This is Pastor Tim’s Article that appeared in the Evening Leader on Monday, Feb 15.
I want to take today’s article and address the Morgan Wallen incident. For those of you who don’t know who Morgan Wallen is, he is a country music singer. I have never heard of him prior to a few days ago, I don’t know a single song that he sings, and I have no opinion whatsoever on his talent or the music he sings. But I think that the Morgan Wallen incident is indicative of one of the glaring problems in our culture today.
For those of you who don’t know, let me give you a brief description of the incident in question.
A while back, Morgan Wallen and a couple of his friends came home very drunk. They were being loud and disruptive in the middle of the night. So, his neighbor did what people do in this day and age, he pulled out his phone to video what was happening. Wallen referred to his friend by a racially derogatory name, an n-word. He used this terrible word a couple of times as the neighbor filmed. Of course, the neighbor posted the comments online and the hate mob set off to end this man’s whole career.
There are a couple of problems with what happened. First, Wallen’s friend is a white man, so the term made no sense. It was as stupid and insensitive thing to say about his friend. I also do not in any way approve of drunkenness of any kind especially public drunkenness. So, there was a lot wrong with Wallen and what he said.
Does that mean that he deserves to be dropped by his record label? Does it mean that he should never be able to sell an album ever again? Does his life and everything about him need to be cancelled and destroyed because of what he said? I think that is taking it a bit far. The anti-hate mob, who regularly cancels people for the most minor of offense, is behaving in a very hateful way.
Wallen was wrong for being drunk and saying something stupid. The hate mob was wrong for going after this man’s livelihood over a comment that clearly was not meant to be derogatory. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I am tired of everyone getting cancelled for what they say. This is a world where there are times things are going to happen that we won’t all like. That doesn’t give anyone the right the cancel anyone else based on words alone.
Literally everyone is wrong in this situation. But I just read that it got a step worse. It turns out that in the days since the incident, sales of Wallen’s music have skyrocketed. It will be interesting to see how long Wallen remains cancelled when the record labels see how much Wallen is making in sales. The record labels have been backed into the corner. It will be interesting to see what they do now.
There is a yet another layer of this story that is what I really want to reflect on. How will the media explain why the sales of Wallen’s music suddenly went through the roof? The first possible narrative is because Wallen is a vicious racist and so is America so in support of a fellow white supremacist, we all ran out and bought his music to support his views. I haven’t heard this position taken yet, but the story is still new. Who knows what explanation will be given? But I legitimately fear this will be how it is explained. I don’t for a moment believe this is why the sales went up. I am just afraid that is the spin that will be put on it.
What I am much more inclined to believe is that the sales went up as a response to cancel culture. That is what I believe people are truly sick of. There is plenty to not like about what Wallen did and what he said. I didn’t go out and purchase any of his music and I don’t intend to. But I am sick to death of the roving band of woke keyboard warriors who are pouncing on any perceived slights from the safety of their mom’s basement. The only defense of free speech that matters is when you are willing to support the free speech of someone who says something you disagree with. To support free speech of people you agree with is not a free speech issue.
It is time that we all stop having our lives controlled by the perpetually offended.