Cancel Culture Unmasking the Dangers of Instant Judgment and Outrage

In this thought-provoking podcast episode, Simma, the Inclusionist, engages in a candid conversation with Patricia Mushim Ikeda, a Japanese-American Buddhist and mindfulness teacher, and Joel Davis Brown, an African-American man who is an author, an organizational development consultant and spoken word artist. Together, they delve into the controversial topic of cancel culture, exploring its impact on society and the importance of fostering dialogue across racial and ideological divides.

The episode begins by addressing the viral nature of outrage and disgust on social media, which fuels cancel culture. The guests emphasize the need for critical thinking skills and the ability to engage in respectful discourse, rather than resorting to attacking and silencing others. They highlight the importance of recognizing nuance, understanding power dynamics, and promoting empathy in conversations about race and other sensitive topics.

The conversation also touches on the complexities of cancel culture, including the challenges of determining what is offensive and who gets to decide. The Joel and Mushim share personal anecdotes and examples, highlighting the potential for growth and change when people are open to dialogue and willing to learn from one another. They emphasize the value of embracing diversity, practicing grace, and creating spaces for genuine connection.

Overall, this episode encourages listeners to challenge the polarizing nature of cancel culture and instead foster a conversational culture that promotes understanding, empathy, and personal growth. It serves as a reminder that by engaging in meaningful dialogue, we can break down barriers, challenge assumptions, and build bridges across differences.


Key Points:

  • What is cancel culture? Cancel culture is the act of attacking and ostracizing individuals for their beliefs, actions, or statements, often on social media platforms.
  • It is characterized by a lack of dialogue, understanding, and empathy, as people quickly dismiss and “cancel” others without giving them a chance to learn, grow, or change.
  • Cancel culture relies on outrage and disgust, hijacking our brain chemistry and preventing critical thinking and open-mindedness.
  •       Joel Davis Brown and Mushim Ikeda emphasize the need for critical thinking skills, empathy, and open dialogue to combat cancel culture and promote inclusivity.
  • There is a difference between unintentional errors, mistakes and lack of knowledge, and people who consciously espouse hate in their language, actions, and writing.
  • Mushim, Joel, and Simma see and have experienced the potential for growth and change in individuals.
  • Cancel culture can hinder progress toward a more inclusive society by shutting down conversations and alienating individuals who may have the potential to become allies or advocates.
  • There needs to be allowance for grace, resilience, and empowerment in navigating difficult conversations and promoting understanding across different perspectives.
  • Simma Lieberman, Joel Davis Brown, and Mushim Ikeda share their own personal stories of saying the “wrong thing,” because they didn’t have the right information.
  • They caution against the dangers of focusing on mistakes in specific terminology, instead of addressing the broader issues of systemic inequality and discrimination.
  • Canceling someone who has made an unintentional error, rather than engaging with that person, asking what they meant, and sharing the impact is lazy. It’s an indication of a certain kind of privilege.
  • Cancel culture can hinder the development of genuine connections and hinder the opportunity for personal growth and learning.
  • Ultimately we want people to embrace inclusion, compassion, and empathy. That can’t happen in an atmosphere of fear, scorn, and “lifelong punishment.”


Cancel culture poses a threat to inclusive conversations and understanding. Instead of immediately dismissing and canceling individuals, it is crucial to facilitate open dialogue, empathy, and critical thinking.

Episode Resources:

  • – Website to download more episodes of Everyday Conversations on Race and support the show.
  • The Souls of Queer Folk – Book by Joel Davis Brown.
  • Adrienne Marie Brown – Author and thought leader on social justice issues.
  • Chimananda Ngozi Adichie – Nigerian author known for her work on identity and culture.
  • Disability Pride Movement – Movement promoting pride and acceptance for individuals with disabilities.

Support the Show:

If you enjoyed this episode and want to support the show, visit to make a tax-deductible donation. Your support will help continue the important conversations on race and inclusion.

Connect with the Guests:

  •     Patricia Mushim Ikeda – Third-generation Japanese-American Buddhist and mindfulness teacher. Connect with her on LinkedIn.
  • Joel Davis Brown – African-American born and raised in the mid-west of the USA. Organizational development consultant and awareness agent. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Host Bio

Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator. Simma is the creator and host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.”

Contact to get more information, book her for your next DEIB  event, help you become a more inclusive leader, or facilitate dialogues across differences.

Go to and for more information

Simma is a member of and inspired by the global organization IAC (Inclusion Allies Coalition) 



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