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7 Jul, 2020 20:26

Chomsky, Rowling & others sign open letter against cancel culture, get blasted by left & right for lame, limp stance

Chomsky, Rowling & others sign open letter against cancel culture, get blasted by left & right for lame, limp stance

An open letter opposing cancel culture has garnered 150 signatures, including those of Noam Chomsky and JK Rowling, but is being bashed by conservatives as insincere and “too late” and waved off by liberals as missing the point.

The letter, published by Harper’s Magazine, includes signatures from various activists and writers and praises the current movements calling for police reform and racial equality, but warns against a divisive public discourse that is threatening “open debate.”

The letter still makes sure to take a dig at President Donald Trump and the “radical right.”

It claims “illiberalism” is gaining “strength” across the globe and has a “powerful ally” in Donald Trump, a “real threat to democracy.” 

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“While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty,” it reads.

While citing no specific examples, the letter does acknowledge generally that more and more professionals are facing consequences for expressing ideas that do not fully fit within accepted progressive thought.

“We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us,” the letter continues. 

One needs to not look far today to see the consequences of social media outrage resulting in efforts to silence others. 

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James Bennet, the former editorial page editor of the New York Times, resigned from his position following outrage over the decision to run an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) calling for military intervention in protests across the nation descending into violence.

In pop culture, the trend has become particularly favored. A writer for an upcoming ‘Law and Order’ series was swiftly fired after a tweet posing with a firearm promising to defend his home from looters as protests took place in Los Angeles. 

One of the letter’s signatories, JK Rowling, has also found herself targeted by the casts of her own films and even fan sits for her popular ‘Harry Potter’ novels over suggesting on multiple occasions that “trans activists” are creating a “toxic” environment for teenagers by pushing for overmedication and gender reassignment at ages far too young for the consequences to be fully known.

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While there is little doubt surrounding the trend the open letter seeks to address, it has been mostly slammed by both left and right voices on social media, with neither side seeing much value in it.

“Silly self-important letter by liberals who will sit and watch the world burn rather than turn to their conservative counterparts for help on how to fix it. They think rationale and logic can fix this mess. Nope, won’t work,” author and podcaster Dave Rubin tweeted in response. 

Spectator USA columnist Stephen Miller blasted the letter as “a little late” on a subject that has been a heated topic of conversation for months now. 

“Sorry, but these constant ‘open letters’ — even if I roughly agree with the basic message — are still incredibly lame and intended primarily to flatter the egos of the signatories,” journalist Michael Tracey added

Liberals have responded with triggered messages seemingly defending the ideas behind cancel culture, with some even criticizing the inclusion of Rowling in the letter. 

“Really hope 149 people release a separate clarifying statement that it's OK to ratio JK Rowling for being wrong and fucking awful. She's the intolerant one,” liberal activist Brett Banditelli tweeted.

Despite the open letter including digs at both Donald Trump and conservatives, the president made cancel culture a central theme in his recent speech at Mt. Rushmore where he blasted the left for using the trend as a “political weapon” against “dissenters.”

“One of their political weapons is cancel culture, driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism,” he said. 

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