- Dakota Robinn
Cancel culture destroys the space for learning
Diversity and inclusion have become hot topics in the past years and we can see more and more individuals starting to make a business out of it. Many of us “the new age educators” have minority background which makes us kind of “experts” but we are still representing the whole community which some people sometimes forgets while they mirror/ generalize they own experiences. Also, a good educator needs more than some level of knowledge or own experiences. We need pedagogic tools for how to communicate and make people learn effectively which is why there are programs to study to become human rights educators. Think about the teachers in school, they had to study even they would have knowledge about history.
The few biggest problems that I have noticed with educators who have only activist, social media or minority backgrounds is that they often carry still unhealed pain inside of them which makes them too much emotionally involved. That is not only draining the educator itself but it also easily creates the victim situation where the educator often separates themselves from the audience “I have a hard time because people like you”.
We have to know how to represent the issues in the most effective ways without using disconnecting language. Brené Brown's studies have shown that when people feel judged or shame their defence mode gets active which is not the place for learning or change. Our job is to build bridges, not dividing us and that means you have to give people space to do mistakes, learn new and unlearn the old in a safe unjudgemental environment. If we want people to see, hear and understand us, we have to do the same for them.
We have to believe good in people and remember that most of the discrimination and ignorance comes from the lack of knowledge and fear which you can only change with knowledge and compassion. It’s okay if you are not yet capable to see others from behind your own traumas but in that case, you are not maybe ready.
In my training, I always use techniques to make people relate to me rather than sympathise with me. I don't talk about me, I talk about us. When people see themself in me they feel this is OUR problem and in that case, they feel they can do something about it. Without any kind of judgement or cancelling. In the end, the main goal is to teach and help people to understand something they didn’t before and bring people closer to each other.
Our job is to help each other to understand better each other.