Many Americans are disturbed by the rise of “cancel culture” in America today and the chilling impact it has on our freedom of speech. As media and social media mobs descend on speakers whose messages, perceived or actual, they disagree with, the result is permanent damage to reputations, a chilling of free speech, and a group-think mentality dictated by liberal elites.

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky spoke eloquently this week at the Republican National Convention (RNC) about his experience at the hands of the national media and others who savaged him for what they thought and eagerly reported was the boy’s ill-treatment of a Native American protester at the Lincoln Memorial in January 2019. As the truth later emerged, the media’s take on Sandmann proved to be utterly false, but by that time the boy’s reputation was in tatters.

The Daily Citizen covered that story, as well as the defamation lawsuits that rose out of that experience.

In his RNC speech, Sandmann described his realization of what was happening to him.

“I learned what was happening to me had a name. It was called being canceled, as in annulled, as in revoked, as in made void. Canceled is what’s happening to people around this country who refuse to be silenced by the far left. Many are being fired, humiliated, or even threatened. And often the media is a willing participant. But I would not be canceled. I fought back hard to expose the media for what they did to me and I won a personal victory.”

Congressman Jim Banks, R-Ind., watched Sandmann’s speech and applauded the young man’s determination to defend his reputation and expose the culture of personal destruction that came after him.

“‘Cancel culture’ means they can take away your reputation, your job and even your privacy if you support the wrong candidate or wrong beliefs,” Congressman Banks told The Daily Citizen. “Colonists came to America to avoid that kind of persecution and decided that we could live together peacefully. That’s why they enshrined our freedoms in the First Amendment.”

What happened to Sandmann, Banks said, is an affront to our First Amendment and the vision for our free nation.

“That’s why I was glad to see Nick Sandmann speak at the RNC convention. He called out the politicians and irresponsible journalists in the media who defamed him, attacked his beliefs and made fun of his politics. They accused him of crimes he didn’t commit and advanced a false narrative to hurt the president. Along the way, they ruined his reputation and his future.”

Sandmann has already received some vindication by settling defamation claims against The Washington Post and CNN. The terms of those settlements have been kept confidential. But that legal chastening apparently didn’t deter CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart from calling Sandmann a “snot nose entitled kid from Kentucky” in a tweet following the boy’s RNC speech.

Other lawsuits are still underway.

“Nick is a victim of ‘cancel culture,’ and I’m glad he’s speaking out and winning defamation lawsuits against outlets like CNN,” Banks said.  

Photo from PBS


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