Cancel culture is very real and dangerous
Dara Quast’s letter of July 2, 2020 criticizing my view of cancel culture represents an astonishingly mistaken view of the problem and me. On behalf of all those concerned with the loss of personal rights and freedoms, I would like to address her inaccuracies.
First, the terms “cancel culture” and “woke culture” are now well established. The idea that they are “not real” is inaccurate and mistaken. They are very much real. Prominent figures such as Ben Shapiro, Heather MacDonald, Charles Murray, Charles Scruton, Toby Young and thousands of others have been shut down, had venues cancelled, been threatened with violence, and even lost their jobs. This is well documented. To say that “cancel culture” does not exist in the face of this is irresponsible. They have been “cancelled” hence the term “cancel culture.” I could fill multiple volumes with examples. Respectfully, where on earth has Ms. Quast been?
Second, regarding her claims about freedom of speech, the Citizen has indeed printed my letters (my thanks), but my personal example does not mean freedom of speech is not being suppressed. In fact, it is being limited and crushed on a massive scale. The big four high tech companies and the mainstream media regularly change algorithms, shadow ban, remove and silence people every day for having a point of view they do not agree with. Conservative sites are silenced at the rate of 20 to one over liberal sites. This is well documented. Again, volumes.
The claim that I am confused is condescending and wrong. Ms. Quast knows nothing about me. What behaviour of mine, am I “legitimizing”other than simply having another point of view? I do not find other views objectionable, and I have stated nothing I need to be held accountable for. My strongly held opinions are not a crime in Canada. I have never “dehumanized” or silenced anyone. As for special privilege, (cue the false argument about my melanin level granting me some) I don’t have any, never have had, and, considering my personal profile in these days of political correctness, am not liable to get any. Ms. Quast has bought into a false narrative about rights and privileges that promotes only her worldview of events and ideas.
Third, should the powerful be held accountable? Of course, (perhaps we should start with our current prime minister) but only by punishing verifiable crimes, not because people do not like a political figure or feel the need to destroy statues, burn buildings, torch businesses and cancel events in the pursuit of some form of warped restorative justice. The “woke” have not been appointed ultimate arbiters of justice. Their recent behavior indicates they should never be. Are we moving toward tyranny? In a word, yes. When you can’t speak as you wish, get pronouns and vocabulary chosen for you, and live in fear of saying the wrong thing, that is tyranny. Canada has arrived. More volumes to be written.
You cannot be “overly concerned” about someone being removed from a university, books disappearing or losing a job just for disagreeing. We are dealing with the fundamental human right of dissent being removed. Is it wrong? Just ask Lindsay Shepherd.
As for me being “archaic” that is perhaps the most amusing statement of all. Fighting for the right to dissent and speak freely is never “archaic” and neither is truth. As G.K. Chesterton once said, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” We might amend this to read “woke fallacies” or politically correct ones. Ms. Quast ought to meditate on that for a while.