Pianist and author Daryl Davis said “[w]e need to cancel cancel culture” online in an interview with Turning Point U.S.A. contributor and host of “The Spillover” Podcast Alex Clark.
“Everybody needs a platform,” Davis told Clark on last week’s episode of “The Spillover.” “In this country, the Supreme court ruled we have a right to hate. We don’t have the right to hurt.” He later added that “[h]ate speech is very unfortunate. It’s very harmful, emotionally harmful ok. But people need a platform to express that. And how you combat it is providing more positive speech.” Davis reportedly inspired over 200 Ku Klux Klan members to leave the organization and is known for his belief that more speech and discussions plant the seeds to change minds–not less. His attitude toward online speech is no different.
Davis explained that when extreme ideas are shut out of the public conversation they don’t simply disappear. In fact, those ideas crop up elsewhere. “If you drive those people off that platform, guess what, they will find another platform maybe in a darker area,” he said later adding that “they are surrounded by echo chambers and it just enables and builds up that platform.”
Leftists often advocate for removing accounts that present so-called extreme views or sometimes even views legitimately identified as hateful but Davis said censorship is unproductive. “[I]f you give that person a platform of course there are going to be people who are opposed to those points of view but we learn how to debate or converse civilly, and that way you may plant a seed in that person’s mind that may give them pause for thought,” he said.
He went on to explain the importance and impact of our constitutional right to free speech in a free society:
“We all live in this country together and we can improve this country together if I get some of your ideas, you get some of my ideas. Together we can iron out the differences. And since we all want the best for this country ultimately, ok it might be a little more of some of me, it might be a little more of some of you.”
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