My Potential Dating Pool, the Furry Fandom, and AI Research
I generally run in left-leaning circles, and I can count on one hand the number I'd describe as "woke", and all of these are people I rarely see. If someone said something that was actually racist or objectively offensive that would probably be enough to get you shunned, but simply being a Trump supporter probably wouldn't be enough, let alone being a heterodox liberal like McWhorter.
This might be true for your case, but it's pretty clearly not true for wide majority of cases, and I don't think it's true even for a majority at all.
Quite a lot of my potential dating pool has made it very clear that Trump support is an absolute non-starter for even platonic friendships, and while it's more prominent for my demographics, it's not limited there. A, if not the, major tabletop roleplay community forum banned literally any support of Trump or his administration in its internal politics forum. In the furry fandom, dubcon fetishists write big disclaimers about it, because there's some things they can't let themselves get associated with. CNN
threatened to dox retained the option of publishing personal information of HanAssholeSolo over a GIF.
Which would just be funny were it to end there, since I don't particularly like Trump. But it doesn't.
That same poll question had 41% of Democratic party members say that they wouldn't consider relationships with a Republican, either. The furry fandom also has major fandom news outlets that treat libertarian thought as a "toxic good" in the marketplace of ideas, and almost all of my dating pool has similar feelings on gun owners as Trump supporters. Gwern, who genuinely is one of those heterodox liberals, has had three different AI researchers target him for cancellation. Ken Bone's kinks ended up in the New York Times. A Minneapolis company had its lease terminated for the racist tweets of the owner's daughter, after the owner fired her.
To give two examples...
I think you're missing the objection, here. There's no debate from the Red Tribe that some Blue Tribers are allowed to get away with it. That MeToo fades the second a criticism is pointed at Democratic politician that wouldn't be free to replace (and even the one that was, there's buyer's remorse already), Joy Reid still gets to work for a major news network, that we still don't know whether Ralph Northam was the one wearing blackface or the KKK hood, that's not evidence against the thesis. Pulp Fiction might get cancelled someday, but it's going to be pretty far down the list of excised Unforgivable Words.
((And, as I always think it's important to point out, it's not like Cancel Culture only goes after Red Tribe stuff, either.))
The claim isn't that Cancel Culture is universally enforced or omnipresent. The claim is that it isn't! That arbitrary and inconsistent enforcement is even part of the point! It's just common enough, in a number of pretty significant fields, with such unpredictability and such minimal care for its scope or impact on bystanders or the innocent, that it's harmful to public discourse and puts individuals under tremendous tail-end risk for stupid fucking reasons.
Some HR departments may act cautious, but that's more due to fear of legal liability rather than any specific calls from employees.
Legal liability matters! Demkowich has the 9th Circuit saying that even ministerial employees can demonstrate discrimination through a hostile work environment under Bostock, and the best-case argument here is that SCOTUS rolls it back to only cover literally everyone but churches. Maybe that would be good policy, except the people who enforce that are the same ones who'd say wearing a Gadsden Flag t-shirt wasn't automatically evidence of a hostile work environment, but it needs investigation, while it's standing law in the 11th Circuit that playing the wrong radio station can be a violation of the law.
I'm not sure if it's much better if you speech ends up controlled because someone in an entire different business complained about someone else doing something that looked close enough for HR to panic over.
Wokeness just doesn't have much pull outside of the few places where it does.
And the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club.
I mean, you're not wrong.
If you go into Red Tribe enough jobs, in a Red Tribe enough state, you won't find wokeness except for where it does happen to show up. But ten years ago, the idea of a DNS provider kicking out randos halfway through a registration cycle was unimaginable; now we have ARFCOM. Ten years ago, the idea of the New York Times digging through some rando's garbage to try to humiliate them in national news was unimaginable; now we have Ken Bone and Scott Alexander. Even if you build your entire career path about avoiding this stuff as present now, I don't see how you're that confident.