For many years in the United States, then Canada, the United Kingdom and now in the rest of Europe, censorship, ostracism, anathemas, threats, destruction or vandalism of works of art, attempts at linguistic and historical revision, and media lynching campaigns on social networks have been spreading, carried out by activists or associations of gender or racialised minorities.
Based on the awareness of the unresolved, very real, social and racial injustices, discrimination and violence suffered by minorities in the Western world, this new self-righteous culture, referred to as Woke or Cancel Culture, promotes a moral imperative to fight against them, by all means. Diversity is reduced to skin colour, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
For activists, the purpose of literature and art should be to convey positive messages and correct the social imbalances. For example, in a paper published in the January 2021 issue of the School Library Journal, Amanda MacGregor, a Minnesota-based librarian, bookseller and freelance journalist, affirms that “Shakespeare’s works are full of problematic, outdated ideas, with plenty of misogyny, racism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism and misogynoir” and should be banned in schools. As the Journal reports, many other teachers in the US refuse to teach Shakespeare questioning the 'whiteness' of his plays.