Co-Opted And Weaponized, ‘Cancel Culture’ Is Just Today’s ‘Politically Correct’

‘Cancelling’ is a term that originated in young and progressive circles, where it was used to mean ‘boycott,’ University of Pennsylvania linguist Nicole Holliday tells NPR. Now the term ‘cancel’ has been co-opted and weaponized by some conservative media and politicians.

Something similar happened in the 1990s with the term ‘politically correct.’ John K. Wilson wrote about that time in a book called The Myth Of Political Correctness.

And — just like ‘politically correct’ — ‘cancelling’ and ‘cancel culture’ have been co-opted and weaponized to attack the left today. Social media has made that easier, says Jon Ronson, author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

NPR Traces California Yoga Teacher’s Alleged Path To The Capitol Riot

NPR’s Tom Dreisbach reports on the story of Alan Hostetter, a former police chief and yoga instructor from California who’s now facing conspiracy charges for his alleged role in the U.S. Capitol riot.

Hostetter is one of more than 500 people facing charges related to January 6th. Hear more about how prosecutors are proceeding from NPR’s Ryan Lucas and the NPR Politics Podcast. Listen via Apple, Google, Spotify, or Pocket Casts.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Why Wildfire Is Not Just A Western Problem

All over the east coast and Midwest, forests are getting hotter and drier. Many are also overgrown and overdue for wildfire. And increasingly, Americans are moving to areas where these forests and their homes tangle close together.

The fastest such growth is in the Southeast, where few consider wildfire much of a threat. Molly Samuel with member station WABE reports from Tate City, Georgia.

Additional reporting in this episode from Annie Ropeik of New Hampshire Public Radio and from NPR’s Nathan Rott, who reported on fire risk in Wisconsin, home to the deadliest fire in American history.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

How Critical Race Theory Went From Harvard Law To Fox News

Critical race theory is a legal framework developed decades ago at Harvard Law School. It posits that racism is not just the product of individual bias, but is embedded in legal systems and policies. Today, it’s become the subject of heated debate on Fox News and in local school board meetings across the country.

Adam Harris, staff writer at The Atlantic, explains why. Harris has traced the debate over critical race theory back decades.

Gloria Ladson-Billings spoke to NPR about watching that debate morph in recent years. She’s president of the National Academy of Education and one of the first academics to bring critical race theory to education research.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Questlove Unearths The Long-Forgotten ‘Summer Of Soul’

In 1969, during the same summer as Woodstock, another music festival took place 100 miles away. The Harlem Cultural Festival featured black musicians like Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder — stars who we might not have glimpsed at this point in their careers.

Footage of the festival had been locked in a basement for 50 years, because TV and film companies were not interested in it at the time.

Questlove and his fellow filmmakers speak to Audie Cornish about bringing the concert festival to the big screen in their movie, Summer Of Soul, which is also out on Hulu.

NPR’s Eric Deggans also reviewed the film. Some descriptions of the film from his review are heard in this episode.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

How The Delta Variant Is Changing The Pandemic On A Global Scale

Cases are surging in countries around the world as the more transmissible delta variant spreads rapidly. Also growing: pressure on vaccine-rich countries to help people in countries where vaccines are still scarce.

NPR’s Will Stone reports on the waiting game. And Harvard’s Junaid Habi argues vaccine hesitancy in America is a peculiar privilege.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

A ‘Pandemic Of Unvaccinated People’ As Delta Variant Spreads Rapidly

Los Angeles County — America’s most populous county — recently recommended mask wearing even for vaccinated people, just two weeks after the state relaxed most COVID restrictions. County officials say masks will help protect unvaccinated people from the more transmissible delta variant, which is spreading rapidly across the country.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky tells NPR the federal government may “encourage” states to return to more mitigation measures in places where vaccination is low and the delta variant is driving cases up.

That describes the situation in Missouri. Rebecca Smith with member station KBIA reports from Columbia.

Shalina Chatlani of the Gulf States Newsroom looks at the challenge of getting more people vaccinated in southern states.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

What Donald Rumsfeld Left Behind

The former Secretary of Defense was a chief architect of the conflict that came to be known as America’s ‘forever war.’ After his death this week at age 88, that conflict has now officially outlived him.

NPR’s Steve Inskeep reports on one group of people still living with the consequences: thousands of Afghans who worked with the U.S. military over the past 20 years. More from that story, which aired on Morning Edition, is here.

Additional reporting in this episode from NPR’s Greg Myre.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

What We’ve Learned In The First 100 Hours Since The Surfside Condo Collapse

Susana Alvarez, a survivor of the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, explained to NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Weekend Edition Sunday that residents were told in a late 2018 meeting that the building was safe — despite evidence it wasn’t.

NPR confirmed Alvarez’s account.

An engineering report issued five weeks before that meeting warned of “major structural damage” to the building that would require “extremely expensive” repairs.

Jenny Staletovich with member station WLRN reports on efforts by rescuers, which include Miami’s own world-renowned search and rescue team.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.