Cancel culture doesn’t apply to Islamophobia, leading U.S. democracy to dissolve in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has incited growing extremist groups in the United States, the most prevalent being self-proclaimed Zionists.
This is the plight of so-called American Zionists: it is antisemitic to stand for the liberation of the Palestinian people, it is antisemitic to call Israel an apartheid state, and it is antisemitic to question any of the Israeli government’s actions — or more so, war crimes.
Comedian Amy Schumer took to Instagram on October 24th, where she generalized the beliefs of Palestine supporters to “Gazans rape Jewish girls only in self-defense” and they are “proud of our rapist martyrs.” This rhetoric promotes and exemplifies Islamophobic propaganda that have caused decades of violence towards the Muslim community, especially from a celebrity with influential status. Although this post was deleted, Schumer received no substantial backlash.
Celebrities like Amy Schumer have a large influence over people in my age group. As an Asian woman attending Wake Forest, it was concerning to see how many peers I attend school with liked his post; it makes me fearful for the next generation of politicians and world leaders.
Actress Melissa Barrera was promptly fired from her role in Scream 7 after making a post in support of Palestine stating, “I too come from a colonized country… Palestine will be free.”
Spyglass Films responded to Barrera’s comments, stating that they have “zero tolerance for anti-semitism or the incitement of hate in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech.”
It is ironic how a post which advocated for the liberation of innocent Palestinians is seen as hate-speech, whereas a post which generalizes dangerous Islamophobic propaganda is left unseen.
If Schumer did not receive a slap on the wrist by her employers for advocating the murder of Palestinians, then why is Barrera being fired for simply advocating for the basic human rights of a group of people? Is it because Barrera’s posts were genuinely harmful towards the Jewish community and Schumer was spreading a so-called God’s truth on Gazans? Or is it because the United States is so willing to turn a blind eye to Islamophobia that they allow the right to free speech and belief to be dissolved.
Although cancel culture is seen as a point of trivial activism, we are now seeing how the posts of those in power manifest in real time and influence a great number of individuals. As a community, it is important to recognize the repercussions of these posts and prevent propaganda from spreading.
Schumer is not the only celebrity spreading Islamophobic propaganda. Other celebrities such as Noah Schnapp and Michael Rapport have additionally been extremely notable in their unapologetic racist posts.
I will not grace them by including their abhorrent posts within this article; however, I will say that these two white men have tried to garner any ounce of oppression they can scrap in order to support their comments against Palestine. Neither of them faced repercussions from the broader community.
How can we learn to think freely when we are so easily influenced by a post on Instagram that upholds Islamophobic propaganda? This is exactly why our democracy is failing due to a lack of accountability for those in power.
** The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the editorial board and affiliates**