Calling-In versus Calling-Out


Call-outs make people fearful of being targeted. People avoid meaningful conversations when hypervigilant perfectionists point out apparent mistakes, feeding the cannibalistic maw of the cancel culture. Shaming people for when they “woke up” presupposes rigid political standards for acceptable discourse and enlists others to pile on. Sometimes it’s just ruthless hazing.

We can change this culture. Calling-in is simply a call-out done with love. Some corrections can be made privately. Others will necessarily be public, but done with respect. It is not tone policing, protecting white fragility or covering up abuse. It helps avoid the weaponization of suffering that prevents constructive healing.

Calling-in engages in debates with words and actions of healing and restoration, and without the self-indulgence of drama. And we can make productive choices about the terms of the debate: Conflicts about coalition-building, supporting candidates or policies are a routine and desirable feature of a pluralistic democracy.


I Think Call-Out Culture Is Toxic, by Loretta Ross

4 Comments leave a comment below

  1. That is powerful and so needed right now. I’m a Christ-follower, and could certainly use this among my peers in that arena as well.
    To use the religious vernacular, now is a time for Christ-love and not tossing over the tables in the temple.

  2. On the topic of callout culture, take some time and listen to this episode of Invisibilia :

  3. Am I the only one that got “called in” to the principal’s office? I get the sentiment, but it’s not quite right. Getting “called in” doesn’t have positive connotations to me.

    You get “called-in” to a private setting by someone who has power.

  4. This is a much-needed perspective! Thank you for posting.