Republican Rep. Jim Jordan has called for Congress to have a full committee hearing to address the dangers of cancel culture. Social media lit up in response, with many users requesting former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick be called as the first witness if the hearing happens.
In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler dated March 1, Jordan decried cancel culture as “a serious threat to fundamental free speech rights in the United States.” He added it was a “dangerous trend toward silencing and censoring certain political speech” before detailing examples of Republican voices being silenced, including Trump’s ban from Twitter.
“Cancel culture is a dangerous phenomenon whether you agree or disagree with the views being censored. Our society must always promote the free exchange of ideas, not cancel the ideas with which we disagree,” Jordan wrote. “If cancel culture goes unchallenged, it is not just the unpopular or controversial viewpoints that are at risk. Every viewpoint and every idea – whether widely accepted or not – runs the risk of eventually falling into disfavor with the ever-changing standards of cancel culture.”
The Ohio congressman found support among his GOP colleagues, including Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop. Gaetz retweeted Jordan’s letter and wrote “Absolutely.” Bishop elaborated, tweeting Jordan was “right” because “Cancel culture is insidious. It erodes the First Amendment & is inherently unamerican.”
Many people on social media balked at Jordan and his supporters, noting how hypocritical they sounded and saying if the hearing takes place Colin Kaepernick should be the first to testify, since they so effectively canceled him from the NFL for standing against racial injustice through peaceful protests when he took a knee before games as the national anthem played.
“If this hearing happens, I hope Colin Kaepernick is the star witness,” columnist Catherine Rampell tweeted. “Bring. It. On. Sometimes, I wonder if Republicans ever think anything through?? Surely Colin Kaepernick had to come to mind? Or, did they cancel him so completely that they don’t even remember?” user @jpear02 responded on Twitter.
Others elaborated on what they called the hypocrisy of the GOP, pointing out members of the party were among the main proponents of cancel culture. They added former President Donald Trump was infamous for “canceling” anyone who disagreed with him.
“GOP is becoming blatantly partisan and hypocritical. As our demographic changes and we move towards being more diverse and egalitarian, they’re running out of outlets to spew venomous rhetoric. They’d be better off adapting to a changing world than digging in their heels,” author Tonya Lampley wrote on Twitter.
“Since we’re discussing #GymJordan #JimJordan and Kap #colinkaepernick and #CancelCulture because poor “conservative voices are being silenced” @LisaKudrow let’s not forget the cancel culture king Karen Trump. “Conservatives” get instant amnesia when you bring up cheeto god,” user @web_classy tweeted.
Still others pointed out it was a white supremacy and systemic oppression issue. “First up: Women, all Minorities, kids in cages, Colin Kaepernick, Sexually abused guys on wrestling team, George Floyd. Oh wait he died at the hands of white men,” wrote user @AntsCjohnson.
The user’s reference to the abuse of wrestlers alluded to Jordan’s stint as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the 1990s. It later emerged that the team doctor was sexually abusing wrestlers during Jordan’s tenure there, and he has been accused of helping to cover up that behavior.
“No one demonizes whites but themselves. Nothing to fear but fear itself. Whites started that cancel s–t with #colinkaepernick. Now that they have to wear that same boot, it’s too tight,” added user @tamaralig.
Jordan, 57, was a ranking member of the House Oversight Committee before leaving that post to become a ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee. He has not responded to the criticism, but noted in his letter he believes cancel culture is a bipartisan issue.
“We must fight this trend before it is too late,” Jordan wrote. “There is no better issue on which Republicans and Democrats can work together to address in our first full committee hearing than to address the scourge of cancel culture in the United States.”