I know the terrain. Once upon a time, in my youth, I was the only person at a college basketball game who failed to stand for the national anthem. Once upon a time, in my youth, I voted for a communist for president, not as a committed believer, but as a “protest vote” against a two-party political system that seemed to be failing to live up to its supposed commitment to liberty, equality, and justice. Over time, despite its many, many flaws, with world travel and greater experience, I have grown to realize that the American political system is one of the best there is. China is better? Sudan? Saudi Arabia? Guatemala? Russia? How many other sociopolitical systems go so far as to seemingly permit its own destruction by internal political agitators?
We live in troubling times. The rise of what is euphemistically known as “cancel culture” has festered all around us, yet many remain unaware of its existence, let alone its aims and impact. This is really an activist “censorship culture” and its dictatorial political undergirding lays the foundation for a future totalitarian world. The extremes of what’s known as the “progressive” ideology (also labeled Marxism, post-modernism, etc.) have spread to dominate the university system, the mass media, and major touchstones of popular culture. It’s a new movement but its victims, already, are legion. This censorial ideology claims an ethical base, often racialized, yet denies debate, critical inquiry, free thinking, and alternative views that dare to stray from its own sacred – and ardently policed — creed. As an iconic example, a friend of mine recently remarked that a mandatory subscription to the controversial “Black Lives Matter” organization (central to my firing as a librarian) has the same insidious quality as a “Heil Hitler” salute. His point was not (yet?) a “fascist” equation, but that there is no real choice in today’s political world but to raise one’s hand in even fake solidarity, acquiescing to the Accepted political Groupthink, lest one risk the omnipresent accusation by default, in this case, of “racism” and an alleged adherence to “white supremacy.” And then, as inevitable consequence, the dissenter faces default defamation, ostracism, or worse.
Hence, silence in defying the newly rising Regime is not a safe option. You must submit. We are enduring a reverse McCarthyism. In our Orwellian times, with language and its variant meanings being studiously reshaped and reinvented, one not even dare to say the universalist – and Christian – “all lives matter” creed without the threat of reprimand, some form of reeducation camp, firing, or even attack.
In consequence, too many people in modern “free” America are afraid to voice their own opinions (I have heard from some of them as consequence of my own firing), unless their thoughts carefully reflect the enforced beliefs of the New Power Elite. Once upon a time, organizations like the American Civil Liberty Union stood ready to defend even the most unpopular extremes of free speech, in defending the First Amendment. But even the ACLU has caved to the new Party Line, now refusing to aid anyone whose comments can be interpreted as hindering “progress toward equality,” per “marginalized” groups. What does that mean, exactly? In our increasingly authoritarian culture, that can mean just about anything. If you believe in free speech and dare to go against the newly conventional grain even a millimeter, you’re fundamentally on your own. Likewise, the American Library Association’s “Office of Intellectual Freedom” is a farce to anyone who examines what sort of “intellectual freedom” it actually “advocates.”
This web site is against “racism,” bigotry, prejudice, “hate,” and all the other requisite, and absolutist, platitudes of our age. But it is also against these very same attributes that are increasingly heralded – albeit deeply disguised – by the extremist political Left that aims to silence you. Critical thinking is the foundation by which any open society makes genuine progress. In this regard, all and everything must be fairly subject to testing and investigation, in service to a genuine “social justice” for everyone, towards the once collective dream of improving our very flawed world.