THOUGHT POLICE NEWS

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
-George Orwell

“Librarians are supposed to stand for intellectual freedom, diversity of opinion, and providing access to materials that represent all points of view. How can we do that when many of us are intolerant of dissenting views? Allowing our profession to be a bastion of orthodoxy of any kind defeats our purpose.”

The National Security Agency (NSA) is developing a tool that George Orwell’s Thought Police might have found useful: an artificial intelligence system designed to gain insight into what people are thinking. With the entire Internet and thousands of databases for a brain, the device will be able to respond almost instantaneously to complex questions posed by intelligence analysts. As more and more data is collected—through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records—it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think. The system is so potentially intrusive that at least one researcher has quit, citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability.

Student Jonathan Lopez says his professor called him a “fascist bastard” and refused to let him finish his speech against same-sex marriage during a public speaking class last November, weeks after California voters approved the ban on such unions. When Lopez tried to find out his mark for the speech, the professor, John Matteson, allegedly told him to “ask God what your grade is,” the suit says. Lopez also said the teacher threatened to have him expelled when he complained to higher-ups.

“My experience is that the library profession is not just overwhelmingly liberal but vocally so in supporting various political issues. Despite our core value of intellectual freedom, librarians are not very tolerant of listening to points of view that stray from the basic liberal agenda. That is why conservative librarians are afraid to speak out: They fear professional ostracism.”

“Pressure to block access to resources is ever increasing. A survey conducted by Kamhi (1981) indicated that the forces to censor books and other educational materials were real and growing at the time.”

Trigger Warnings. Student demands to remove material that may “trigger” traumatic associations are proliferating on college campuses around the country … What a campus culture of trigger warnings will trigger is self-censorship. College faculty and administrators who fear that they can be accused of insensitivity because the content in some class or exhibition has “triggered” disturbing thoughts will think twice before assigning – anything …  Political Correctness. Freedom of speech means freedom of ALL speech, even content that might be offensive or uncomfortable or hurt the feelings of others. For all its good intentions, political correctness has taken over public consciousness as if it were a magic trick through which controlling how we speak will eliminate social problems. Can we focus on the real problems of discrimination, misogyny, homophobia or ethnic enmity rather than constantly working to edit ourselves to fit the ever-changing definition of what is PC?

Criminology professor Dr. Mike Adams’ seven-year quest to vindicate his First Amendment freedoms concluded with a settlement in his favor Tuesday. In March, a federal jury ruled that the University of North Carolina–Wilmington illegally retaliated against Adams when it denied him a promotion in 2006 because of his conservative views. As part of the settlement in Adams v. The Trustees of the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, the university agreed to drop its appeal of a federal district court’s decision in Adams’ favor. The university also agreed to promote Adams to the position of full professor and pay him $50,000 in back pay as the court ordered, to adopt procedures protecting Adams from renewed retaliation, and to pay $615,000 in attorneys’ fees.

The report, Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers (pdf), found that more than half of the 800 writers surveyed think that mass government surveillance has “significantly damaged U.S. credibility as a global champion of free expression for the long term.” Further, according to the survey, writers living in countries defined as “Free” by U.S.-based NGO watchdog Freedom House expressed an almost equal level of concern about surveillance as those living in countries defined as “Not Free” (75% and 80%, respectively), prompting notable levels of self-censorship. “The levels of self-censorship reported by writers living in liberal democracies are astonishing, and demonstrate that mass surveillance programs conducted by democracies are chilling freedom of expression among writers,” the report notes. According to the survey, 34 percent of writers living in liberal democracies admitted to self-censoring, compared with 61 percent of writers living in authoritarian countries, and 44 percent in semi-democratic countries.

“The ongoing existence of institutional racism and white privilege substantiates the importance of being aware of how neutrality functions in both higher education and in libraries. If we understand that there is a false construct of neutrality in libraries, and that libraries can even reinforce institutional oppression,11 we should ask ourselves how our collections, organizational schemes, interfaces, instructional practices, and learning objects impact our communities.”

The statistics certainly sound alarming. Since Banned Books Week was instituted in 1982, the event’s website informs us, 11,300 books have been challenged. In 2014 alone, 311 books were banned or challenged in schools and libraries in the United States, with many more cases unreported. It would be easy to assume that the literal banning of books is still a routine occurrence in the United States. But take a closer look, and there’s much less for freedom-loving readers to be concerned with. The modifier “banned or challenged” contains a lot of wiggle room, for one. A “challenge,” in the ALA’s definition, is a “formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness” … But even if you’re firmly opposed to “banning books”—and I am!—it’s hard to argue that parents should have no right to weigh in on what their children read at school. There’s an enormous difference between parents saying a book shouldn’t appear on their kid’s required reading list and a citizen demanding that adults should have no access to a book at a public library. 

But despite a body of work as a parliamentarian, a writer and as head of a foundation that is devoted to the protection of women and has earned her recognition by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most important people on the planet, Ms. Hirsi Ali finds herself the object of vitriol by some on the left, who cannot bear her for this reason: She is critical of Islam and what she sees in the Muslim world as not only an indulgence in violence but a practice of justifying it. Ms. Hirsi Ali says unapologetically that in Islam there exists a “culture of misogyny [that] needs to be addressed quickly and frankly, and we must not censor ourselves.” But as Ms. Hirsi Ali works to combat those challenges, she finds herself battling the stubborn, unrelenting forces that would have her censored.

“Google, Inc., isn’t just the world’s biggest purveyor of information; it is also the world’s biggest censor. The company maintains at least nine different blacklists that impact our lives, generally without input or authority from any outside advisory group, industry association or government agency.”

A number of my fellow feminists have pointed out that today, women like me can be subject to silencing simply on the basis that they have supposedly said something that is anti-trans rights, even if they have not. Anyone so labeled also gets labeled a “TERF”: trans-exclusionary radical feminist. I’ve pointed out repeatedly that I’m no such thing. Take this article, for example (from a decade ago!). Take this report I helped author. Take this book I co-edited. But it does no good. Because as soon as you assert anything that someone with the trans identity card claims is anti-trans, you are stripped of your rights to be a sex-positive feminist talking about sex ed at a feminist website. At least in the case of “Everyday Feminism.” This “zero tolerance” approach on the left is like some kind of Monty Python satire of activism. It would be funny if it did not lead to the right pointing out how the left isn’t actually thinking, it’s just playing a game of identity politics go fish. Who has the most oppression cards? They win! I’m still on the left. I’m still pushing for trans rights. Try and stop me.

At a time when the appropriateness of language has become a political issue, most Americans (59%) say “too many people are easily offended these days over the language that others use.” Fewer (39%) think “people need to be more careful about the language they use to avoid offending people with different backgrounds.” A new national survey by Pew Research Center finds substantial partisan, racial and gender differences on this question.

“Many librarians are thinking about how they can fight for social justice in their work, which raises the question of whether that work reflects the neutrality that has long been a value in our profession. One tenet of critical librarianship is that neutrality is not only unachievable, it is harmful to oppressed groups in our society.”

ELIZABETH FLOCK: Is there a reason so few prominent poets are conservative? A.M. JUSTER: I think part of the reason, the explanation for this, is that poetry has become much more of an academic enterprise, and the poets that become prominent and recognized and reinforce each other, are within academics. And the academy is increasingly progressive in its politics, and increasingly exclusionary. There are poets out there, actually quite a few, who are reasonably conservative in their politics, but you’re not likely to know about them … . But they keep a low profile because to be conservative and a poet greatly limits the places you can get published. There is a lot of pressure in academia to tow certain ideological and political lines, and people in academia who are independent thinkers are afraid to express countervailing feelings.

“After the November election, ALA faced a revolt from many of its members, following the release of a statement (later rescinded and referred to as a draft) in which ALA leaders offered to work with the Trump administration on issues of common interest. Librarians penned angry letters, blog posts, and editorials accusing ALA leaders of being “collaborators.”

A Northern Arizona University student had their grade lowered on a paper because they used the word ‘mankind’ instead of the gender-neutral ‘humanity’.  English major Cailin Jeffers was told by her ‘Critical Reading And Writing In The University Community’ professor Anne Scott that she had been docked one point out of 50 on her essay for using the word ‘mankind’. Scott told Jeffers that the word is ‘sexist’ and ‘has a history of holding women down’ … “Apparently she thought I should be punished [for using the word],’ she added. 

With the country more politically polarized than ever, some are wondering whether the business is adequately prepared to hear, and publish, voices on the right … “Politics is a dangerous thing to be candid about,” said one agent, who has worked with conservative authors. “It’s now acceptable to ban speech on college campuses; this is the world we live in.” He cited, as a trend to watch, the appearance of “sensitivity readers,” who are being hired by some publishers and authors (largely in YA and middle grade) to ensure accuracy and sensitivity in portrayals of characters who have marginalized identities or experiences. (In most cases sensitivity readers are hired when authors are depicting characters with backgrounds or identities different from their own.) “It’s a short trip between [sensitivity readers] and trigger warnings.”

 

Mark Holden, a 22-year-old history major, tells me he was ordered to leave a lecture hall after his professor objected to him reading the Bible before the start of the class … When Holden declined to stop reading his Bible, the professor summoned Derek Heng, the chairman of the department.  Heng then proceeded to explain the situation. Holden recorded the conversation and turned it over to congressional candidate Kevin Cavanaugh.

“But a truly scary threat materialized last November when, against all sense of decency, Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election. Donald Trump’s election, and fears of an ascending Alt-Right, coupled with the long, ongoing march of “intersectionality” in academia and attacks on “offensive” conservative speech on campus—all have served to corrode the idea of ideological neutrality, a hallmark of the discipline that is even embedded in the ALA’s code of ethics. The shift is particularly pronounced in academic libraries.”

Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling on Saturday argued he was fired by ESPN “for being a conservative,” whereas host Jemele Hill is being supported for despite sharing controversial “personal opinions.” The fiery exchange with CNN host Michael Smerconish happened amid the controversy over ESPN host Jemele Hill’s comments calling President Trump a “white supremacist.” The White House has called for Hill to be fired over the statement, and some conservatives are asking why she retains her job despite the network firing previous employees, including Schilling, for controversial statements … Schilling was suspended multiple times for sharing controversial political content and eventually fired from ESPN after posting a statement opposing transgender individuals from using bathrooms that do not match their birth gender.

“One of the most famous studies of obedience in psychology was carried out by Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University. He conducted an experiment focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience … Ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being.  Obedience to authority is ingrained in us all from the way we are brought up  People tend to obey orders from other people if they recognize their authority as morally right and/or legally based.”

The book [1984] , with its disorientating first sentence, “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”, defines the peculiar characteristics of modern tyranny. Winston Smith, the protagonist, works as a censor in the Ministry of Truth in a constant updating of history to suit present circumstances and shifting alliances. He and his fellow workers are controlled as a mass collective by the all-seeing and all-knowing presence of Big Brother. In 1984 television screens watch you, and everyone spies on everyone else. Today it is social media that collects every gesture, purchase, comment we make online, and feeds an omniscient presence in our lives that can predict our every preference. Modelled on consumer choices, where the user is the commodity that is being marketed, the harvesting of those preferences for political campaigns is now distorting democracy … Orwell understood that oppressive regimes always need enemies. In 1984 he showed how these can be created arbitrarily by whipping up popular feeling through propaganda. But in his description of the ‘Two Minutes Hate’ he also foresaw the way in which online mobs work. 

The American Civil Liberties Union has explicitly endorsed the view that free speech can harm “marginalized” groups by undermining their civil rights. “Speech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality,” the ACLU declares in new guidelines governing case selection and “Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities.”  This is presented as an explanation rather than a change of policy, and free-speech advocates know the ACLU has already lost its zeal for vigorously defending the speech it hates. ACLU leaders previously avoided acknowledging that retreat, however, in the apparent hope of preserving its reputation as the nation’s premier champion of the First Amendment … In selecting speech cases to defend, the ACLU will now balance the “impact of the proposed speech and the impact of its suppression.” Factors like the potential effect of the speech on “marginalized communities” and even on “the ACLU’s credibility” could militate against taking a case. Fundraising and communications officials helped formulate the new guidelines … The ACLU leadership had apparently hoped to keep its new guidelines secret, even from ACLU members.

Ian Buruma, the writer and academic, has stepped down from the editorship of the New York Review of Books after only 16 months, after he caused outrage by publishing and defending an essay widely deemed to be at odds with the spirit of #MeToo. The departure of Buruma, only the third editor after Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein since the magazine was founded in 1963, comes as a jolt so soon after he took over the helm of America’s most prestigious literary journal. It followed a billowing dispute that gained momentum on social media over his decision to publish a highly contentious essay by the former Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi.

On social media, the country seems to divide into two neat camps: Call them the woke and the resentful. Team Resentment is manned—pun very much intended—by people who are predominantly old and almost exclusively white. Team Woke is young, likely to be female, and predominantly black, brown, or Asian (though white “allies” do their dutiful part). These teams are roughly equal in number, and they disagree most vehemently, as well as most routinely, about the catchall known as political correctness. Reality is nothing like this. As scholars Stephen Hawkins, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon argue in a report published Wednesday, “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,” most Americans don’t fit into either of these camps. They also share more common ground than the daily fights on social media might suggest—including a general aversion to PC culture.

Most ordinary people found it unbearable to live under communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union …Nothing was more psychologically exhausting than the constant pressure to watch every word one said, and to pretend to believe things one did not, for fear of negative repercussions. Dissidents called this “double morality” or “double consciousness.” It drove people crazy. Actually, it drove some to suicide. Only among trusted family and friends was it possible to speak one’s mind, yet even that was not guaranteed. Of all aspects of totalitarian life, citizens of the former Eastern Bloc say, this is the hardest to explain to those who grew up in the democratic West. Until now, perhaps. A new study of political attitudes in the United States offers stunning evidence that most Americans censor themselves, except among people they regard as like-minded, on a bundle of sensitive topics: immigration and immigrants; race and racism; gay, lesbian and gender issues; and Islam and Muslims. The report by More in Common, a new nonprofit dedicated to understanding and healing political polarization in the United States and Europe, is based on a nationwide survey of nearly 8,000 people conducted this past December and January.

 

A prime example of parsing good speech from bad is the notorious notion of “hate speech,” which involves designating certain kinds of remarks, gestures, expressions, and writings as intentionally hateful and thus worthy of regulation and even criminalization … Today a public statement against illegal immigration or same-sex marriage can be labeled hate speech. The Southern Poverty Law Center routinely includes pro-family groups in its list of “hate” groups based solely on their opposition to same-sex marriage … Nevertheless, proponents of hate speech restrictions are not giving up. The movement has grown in recent years, particularly as the values and ideologies of identity politics became acceptable to more Americans … Not since George Orwell’s “thoughtcrimes”—the author’s word for unapproved thoughts in his novel “1984”—has there been so little regard for the dangers of controlling free speech.

The majority of Americans oppose making the country more “politically correct” and are “upset” over things people can’t say anymore according to an NPR/PBS/Marist poll released Wednesday. In the survey, 52 percent of respondents said they were opposed to the country becoming more politically correct and are upset “that there are too many things people cannot say anymore.” The poll did not give a specific definition for being politically correct. The answers had a large split on party lines with 55 percent of those who identified as Democrats said they favored more political correctness, compared to only 13 percent of Republicans who said the same. Thirty-three percent of independents favored more political correctness.

“Why did the participants conform so readily? When they were interviewed after the experiment, most of them said that they did not really believe their conforming answers, but had gone along with the group for fear of being ridiculed or thought “peculiar.” A few of them said that they really did believe the group’s answers were correct. Apparently, people conform for two main reasons: because they want to fit in with the group (normative influence) and because they believe the group is better informed than they are (informational influence).”

This essay analyzes the debate about neutrality in the library literature and identifies a fundamental moral dilemma that generates debate. It then advances an argument in favor of library neutrality based on Wayne Bivens-Tatum’s intellectual history of library values in Libraries and the Enlightenment and the ideal of liberal neutrality developed by such political philosophers as Ronald Dworkin, John Rawls, and Martha Nussbaum. In conclusion, the essay responds to potential objections to its pro-neutrality thesis by liberal and radical authors.

Karen Templer, a knitting designer and owner of the online store Fringe Association, published an innocuous blog post on her website entitled “2019: My Year of Colour,” in which she enthused about her forthcoming trip to India. To most observers, Templer’s post will read like a guileless account of her hopes and aspirations for her upcoming travels … One of the first people to attack Templer was a user named Alex J. Klein who wrote: Karen, I’d ask you to re-read what you wrote and think about how your words feed into a colonial/imperialist mindset toward India and other non-Western countries. Multiple times you compare the idea of going to India to the idea of going to another planet—how do you think a person from India would feel to hear that? … In an age in which freedom of speech seems to be under attack in many different spheres of society, heretics to the progressive creed find themselves persecuted ad nauseam by a choir of the self-righteous.

Conservative activists are calling out America’s largest financial institution, charging they are being targeted. JPMorgan Chase is under fire for closing the bank accounts of several customers in the conservative movement as other right-wingers are threatening to close their accounts unless the bank plays nice … Last week’s shareholders meeting reminded Almasi of George Orwell’s “1984.” Almasi delivered a copy of the dystopian futuristic novel to a JPMorgan Chase employee to present to [JP Morgan CEO] Dimon. That was to underline his view that the current “debanking and deplatforming” of conservatives by American businesses — from JPMorgan to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter — is akin to how political adversaries had their identities crushed in Orwell’s searing book.

I wrote and edited for the Family Research Council, a public advocacy organization that promoted the principles I have cared about since childhood: protecting the family, promoting the dignity of every human life and advocating for religious liberty … The assailant acknowledged later in FBI testimony that he had selected our office precisely because the SPLC had labeled my employer a “hate group” … For years, former employees revealed, local journalists reported and commentators have lamented: The Southern Poverty Law Center is not what it claims to be. Not a pure-hearted, clear-headed legal advocate for the vulnerable, but rather an obscenely wealthy marketing scheme. For years, the left-wing interest group has used its “hate group” list to promote the fiction that violent neo-Nazis and Christian nonprofits peacefully promoting orthodox beliefs about marriage and sex are indistinguishable. Sometimes, it has apologized to public figures it has smeared, and it recently paid out millions to settle a threatened defamation lawsuit.

In the summer of 2018, a student of high school French teacher Peter Vlaming transitioned from female to male. He asked Vlaming to refer to him with masculine pronouns such as he, him and his. Vlaming responded that doing so was contrary to his religious beliefs because he does not believe that the student is actually a male and his religion forbids him from lying. The West Point, Virginia school board, which had previously given Vlaming a warning, fired him. Vlaming is now suing the school district. This situation is another example of the punitive, mutually intolerant culture that is now dominant on both the political right and the political left. Both the teacher and student appeared to be attempting to handle the situation in a respectful, thoughtful manner. Firing the teacher has escalated the situation and will serve as new fodder for America’s culture wars.

[Washington Post  book critic Ron] Charles noted that the American Library Association has a new list of top 10 “most challenged” books in libraries, and “the list is dominated by books that draw censure for their positive portrayal of LGBTQIA+ relationships,” such as David Levithan’s 2013 “young adult” novel, “Two Boys Kissing” … This is where Charles admirably puts his free-speech advocacy to the test: “I can’t help noticing that no liberal tastes were harmed in the making of this list. It costs us nothing to celebrate these banned books. The whole campaign is pungent with self-satisfaction, a chance for us enlightened liberals to remind each other that we are freedom fighters” … Troublemakers with time on their hands could have fun compiling a list of books that libraries choose not to stock. We could host a splashy celebration of Books Librarians Hate Week. 

Free speech is no longer sacred among young journalists who have absorbed the campus lessons about “hate speech”—defined more and more broadly—and they’re breaking long-standing taboos as they bring “cancel culture” into professional newsrooms. They’re not yet in charge, but many of their editors are reacting like beleaguered college presidents, terrified of seeming insufficiently “woke.” Most professional journalists, young and old, still pay lip service to the First Amendment, and they certainly believe that it protects their work, but they’re increasingly eager for others to be “de-platformed” or “no-platformed,” as today’s censors like to put it—effectively silenced … This change can be seen at the once-stalwart ACLU, which has retreated to a new policy of rejecting First Amendment cases when the speech in question “can inflict serious harms” on “marginalized communities” … The result is what Dean Baquet, the New York Times executive editor, recently called a “generational divide” in newsrooms. The progressive activism of younger journalists often leaves their older colleagues exasperated. “The paper is now written by 25-year-old gender studies majors,” said one Washington Post veteran.

Which brings me to what Obama said at an Obama Foundation event Tuesday about young people, social media and the demand for absolute purity of belief in all things. Here’s the key bit: “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly. The world is messy, there are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids. And share certain things with you.” Obama went on to note that he is bothered by a trend he sees “among young people particularly on college campuses” where “there is this sense that ‘the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people and that’s enough.’” Added Obama: “That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. if all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far. That’s easy to do.”

The First Amendment of the US Constitution, fortunately, largely protects Americans from the creepy authoritarian systems found in 1984, East Germany, and China; but the rise of “cancel culture” shows the pressure to conform to all sorts of orthodoxies (smelly or not) remains strong. The new Thought Police may be less sinister than the ThinkPol in 1984, but the next generation will have to decide if seeking conformity of thought or language through public shaming is healthy or suffocating. FEE’s Dan Sanchez recently observed that many people today feel like they’re “walking on eggshells” and live in fear of making a verbal mistake that could draw condemnation. That’s a lot of pressure, especially for people still learning the acceptable boundaries of a new moral code that is constantly evolving. Most people, if the pressure is sufficient, will eventually say “2+2=5” just to escape punishment. That’s exactly what Winston Smith does at the end of 1984, after all. Yet Orwell also leaves readers with a glimmer of hope. “Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad,” Orwell wrote. “There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

Asheen Phansey, an adjunct professor at Babson College in Wellesley, MA., was fired on Thursday, January 9th for a Facebook post he made about President Donald Trump’s threat to bomb 52 sites “important to Iran & Iranian culture.”  In a Facebook post on his personal account, Phansey wrote that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should respond to the President’s threats by tweeting a “list of 52 sites of cultural American heritage that he would bomb.” He even suggested some possible targets, “Um… Mall of America? Kardashian residence?”  Phansey deleted his post, which he told Boston news outlets was an attempt at humor that went awry, and apologized for his language—an apology the college did not accept. On Thursday, January 9th, Babson College announced that the joke had cost Phansey his job … A university that dismisses a professor for offensive speech may find that its actions produce a chilling effect not only on its campus, but in the academic community at large.

There were many words that Demonstrations of cancel culture are pervasive. Like the Internet from which it spawns, cancel culture defies race, class, ethnicity and geographical bounds. A mere hashtag can set the political and social discourse for the world, and while journalists may strive for objectivity in the news cycle, nothing has the power to unify a collective quite like a shared anger. Last year, cancel culture was so widespread that to hear a celebrity name uttered would likely see someone add “canceled” immediately after it.

“Google persuaded a federal appeals court on Wednesday to reject claims that YouTube illegally censors conservative content. In a 3-0 decision that could apply to platforms such as Facebook, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle found that YouTube was not a public forum subject to First Amendment scrutiny by judges.”

Self-censorship is commonplace in the news media today, according to a survey of nearly 300 journalists and news executives by the Pew Research Center and the Columbia Journalism Review. About one-quarter of the local and national journalists say they have purposely avoided newsworthy stories, while nearly as many acknowledge they have softened the tone of stories to benefit the interests of their news organizations. Fully four-in-ten (41%) admit they have engaged in either or both of these practices.

“In February, the controversial Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) booked a room at Seattle Public Library (SPL) for a public event. WoLF denies the existence of transgender individuals and portrays trans women as dangers to cis women … I take issue with the notion that libraries are ensuring all voices are heard when they let hate groups speak. Hate speech considered in a vacuum might look merely offensive, but when viewed in a historical context, that speech is inextricably linked with physical violence.”

Literary Twitter has responded in all manner of ways to the death of George Floyd and to the subsequent nationwide outrage. Anti-racist book lists abound, black-owned bookstores get great press, and people continue to call out the publishing industry for racism. Most recent is Marisa Corvisiero, founder and agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency, an NYC-based boutique agency whose clients include Maze Runner author James Dashner, who publisher Penguin Randomhouse dropped in 2018 over allegations of sexual misconduct. “Make your point, take a stand, and don’t hurt other people or damage property in the process,” said Corvisiero yesterday in a now-deleted tweet. “No violence is acceptable ever. The whole point is to be heard and seen to help make things better.” In response to this statement and to the agency’s representation of Dashner, many members of Corvisiero’s staff resigned this week.

Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, has announced his resignation, days after discontent among the newspaper’s staff erupted over a headline on a column about the impact of the civil unrest following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

There will be no opting out of the Black Lives Matter movement. You’re either for BLM or against it—and if you’re against it, you’re a racist. You will either support BLM publicly and enthusiastically, or you will be harassed, shunned, and shamed out of mainstream America. If you dare to speak a word against BLM, you will be targeted, mobbed and probably fired … The list of people who have lost their jobs or been suspended for criticizing or even questioning the BLM movement is long—and growing daily. 

Yesterday, we discussed the effort to remove one of the country’s most distinguished economists from his position because Harald Uhlig, the senior editor of the Journal of Political Economy,  criticized Black Lives Matter and the Defund The Police movement.  Now, Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson is reportedly facing demands that he be fired because he wrote a blog about the Black Lives Matter movement.  Jacobson is the founder of the conservative website Legal Insurrection.  My concerns were magnified by a letter from his colleagues that would label virtually any criticism of BLM or the protests as presumptively racist. The letter is a chilling reminder of the rapid loss of free speech values on campuses around the United States.

“You can now find Napear’s permanent record on Wikipedia, fired after 32 years of calling an NBA team’s games because someone with little social credibility of his own claimed he’s a racist.”

50% of strong liberals support firing Trump donors, 36% of strong conservatives support firing Biden donors; 32% are worried about missing out on job opportunities because of their political opinions

Bonnie Quirke, a longtime president for the Cook Park Library Board, has resigned. Quirke, 80, of Libertyville, recently drew fire over homophobic statements she made during a speech to a conservative group nearly 10 years ago, which was recently circulated through the Cook Memorial community and over social media, the Daily Herald is reporting. “The library abounds with the homosexual agenda, especially in the children’s department,” Quirke said during the speech. During a library board meeting last week, some library trustees and many library patrons called on Quirke to step down, according to the Daily Herald. The board was supposed to meet Wednesday to discuss what action, if any, to take regarding Quirke’s comments.

What happened to Emmanuel Cafferty is an especially egregious example. At the end of a long shift mapping underground utility lines, he was on his way home, his left hand casually hanging out the window of the white pickup truck issued to him by the San Diego Gas & Electric company. When he came to a halt at a traffic light, another driver flipped him off. Then, Cafferty told me a few days ago, the other driver began to act even more strangely. He flashed what looked to Cafferty like an “okay” hand gesture and started cussing him out. When the light turned green, Cafferty drove off, hoping to put an end to the disconcerting encounter. But when Cafferty reached another red light, the man, now holding a cellphone camera, was there again. “Do it! Do it!” he shouted. Unsure what to do, Cafferty copied the gesture the other driver kept making. The man appeared to take a video, or perhaps a photo. Two hours later, Cafferty got a call from his supervisor, who told him that somebody had seen Cafferty making a white-supremacist hand gesture, and had posted photographic evidence on Twitter. (Likely unbeknownst to most Americans, the alt-right has appropriated a version of the “okay” symbol for their own purposes because it looks like the initials for “white power”; this is the symbol the man accused Cafferty of making when his hand was dangling out of his truck.) Dozens of people were now calling the company to demand Cafferty’s dismissal. By the end of the call, Cafferty had been suspended without pay. By the end of the day, his colleagues had come by his house to pick up the company truck. By the following Monday, he was out of a job … On his father’s side, he has both Irish and Mexican ancestors. His mother is Latina. “If I was a white supremacist,” he told me, “I would literally have to hate 75 percent of myself.”

“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted …  The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.”

“Weiss is the Times opinion editor who went out last week with a bang by firing off a resignation letter in which she stated that “a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”

“Over the last few years, the social-media trend has gained momentum under the trendy new name — placing celebrities, companies and media alike under a microscope of political correctness. Here’s a brief rundown of who, what and why this online mob mentality rules and why bullheadedness can be “problematic” for open discourse …”

“Last week we announced that The Seattle Public Library is the 2020 LJ/Gale Library of the Year in recognition of its work on racial equity. Since then, we have received numerous messages from librarians, library workers, and past award-winners. Many expressed outrage and disappointment in our selection of SPL because it allowed a trans-exclusionary group to rent a library meeting room … LJ will: Launch a column focused on queer issues in libraries that centers the experiences of trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people; publish an issue of LJ focused on queer and trans issues; host a forum for queer and trans people in the field to share their voices and perspectives with us …); examine and refine our judging and selection process for Library of the Year and all our awards to ensure that a broader range of voices and perspectives are represented, including those of frontline workers; train LJ staff on anti-trans discrimination and bias … LJ, together with award sponsor Gale, a Cengage Company, will make a $10,000 donation to Seattle’s Gender Justice League.”

“In a since-deleted tweet, Duhé wrote, “for the family of George Floyd, the good police officers who keep us safe, my students, faculty and staff. Praying for peace on this #BlackOutTuesday.” One of Duhé’s former students, Whitney Woods, responded by calling the professor racist. “There is no way in hell that black lives matter to you,” Woods tweeted. “You are one of, if not, THE most racist human that I have ever encountered in a professional setting.” After the tweet, Woods, a black woman, claimed that the former Loyola University-New Orleans (LOYNO) professor told her that her hair was too messy for television.”

“In the blog post, Rowling states that she has “five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism, and deciding I need to speak up.” Among these reasons, she mentions her charity for women and children, being an ex-teacher, her interest in free speech, a concern about “the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition” and her experience as a victim of sexual and domestic abuse. While mentioning the increase in young people coming out as transgender, Rowling questions whether there’s a “contagion” fueled by social media that’s behind the rise …”

The dean of the University of Massachusetts Lowell nursing college has been fired after saying that “everyone’s life matters” while addressing the concerns of Black Lives Matter supporters … “It seems clear that College Dean McKinney used my email regarding Black Lives Matter (BLM) as rationale to fire me. This is attributable to one phrase in my initial email that otherwise was very clearly a message to NOT discriminate against anyone. … It is clear that Dean McKinney used this as an excuse because my performance as dean has otherwise been without fault and has, in fact, strengthened the SSON. You might be interested to know that I have NEVER (in a 40 year career) been accused of racism,” [Leslie Neal Boylan] wrote. 

Some Cisco employees have been fired after making comments objecting to the company’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement, according to a Bloomberg report … “Black lives don’t matter. All lives matter,” one employee wrote, per screenshots shared with Bloomberg. Another wrote that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” perpetuates racism. And yet another said, “people who complain about racism probably have been a racist somewhere else to people from another race or part of systematic oppression in their own community,” according to the outlet … Per the report, company execs were startled by the comments posted by employees, and Black employees at the company were especially appalled. Some of the commenters later apologized for their publicly-posted statements while others rebuked Cisco for not allowing those who disagreed with the Black Lives Matter movement to have a voice. Cisco said it fired a handful of the employees who posted such comments, according to Bloomberg, stating that the company “will not tolerate” racism.

Steven Pinker, the Harvard psychology professor and bestselling author, who was one of the signatories of the letter to Harper’s protesting against a climate of intolerance, has claimed he is the target of an “Orwellian” attack on his reputation. The professor, whose books, including The Blank Slate and The Better Angels of Our Nature, have made him one of America’s leading public intellectuals, was the focus of a letter this week from more than 500 academics calling for his fellowship to be rescinded at the Linguistics Society of America. Citing half a dozen tweets posted by Pinker in the past few years, the letter accused him of a willingness to “dismiss and downplay racist violence”.

Yet cancel culture is very real, and it’s getting worse with the increased power of the Black Lives Matter movement. There are numerous documented examples of people being investigated or losing their jobs for criticizing Black Lives Matter’s origins or tactic … This cancel culture has nothing to do with criticism or debate, and everything to do with silencing opposition so there is no debate. I know. I’m going through it now over my criticisms of Black Lives Matter … I have received many emails from students telling me that I have a lot of “quiet” support among students, but that they are afraid to speak up for fear of the professional or social consequences. Cancel culture has created this atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

What has become the newest craze in “cancel culture,” Michigan State Vice President of Research and Innovation Stephen Hsu has been forced to resign because he had the audacity to cite research that showed that the police are not more likely to shoot African-Americans. The same thing happened to Syracuse University student Adrianna San Marco last week when she wrote an article citing similar research refuting systemic racism in law enforcement. She was fired from her job at “The Daily Orange.” Two weeks ago, Tulsa Police Major Travis Yates cited three different research projects that refuted systemic racism on a radio show and the mainstream media blasted him, which created a storm in Tulsa with hundreds calling for his resignation.

“A Michigan teacher and sports coach maintains his school district fired him for tweeting about President Donald Trump.Justin Kucera, 28, a former social studies teacher and varsity baseball coach at Walled Lake Western High School in Walled Lake, Michigan, wrote on Twitter: “I’m done being silent. @realDonaldTrump is our president. Don’t @ me.”

Dawn Frederick, owner of St. Paul MN-based agency Red Sofa Literary, is at the center of an ongoing controversy. On May 28, 2020, during protests following the death of George Floyd in the Twin Cities, Frederick tweeted, “The gas station at the END OF MY BLOCK is officially getting looted. Calling the police right now to let them know as someone will need to board up this place.” (Her Twitter account has since been deleted.) Many replied that calling the police on anyone dur­ing protests against police brutality could lead to dangerous consequences. Agents Stacey Graham, Kelly Van Zant, and Amanda Rutter subsequently resigned from the agency. Graham explained, “This was not a decision I made lightly but due to recent events, I felt I could not stay with the agency any longer. Thank you to my authors for their sup­port and I look forward to our next chapter.” Van Zant called it “a painful decision, but a simple one. My commitment to justice for all Black people does not stop when it becomes personally painful or professionally difficult.” Rutter said, “I could not, in all good conscience, call myself an ally and not react in this way to what I perceive as racism. I want to thank my authors for being incredibly un­derstanding.” Many authors went with their agents.

Those who rely on social media for news are less likely to get the facts right about the coronavirus and politics and more likely to hear some unproven claims. The rise of social media has changed the information landscape in myriad ways, including the manner in which many Americans keep up with current events. In fact, social media is now among the most common pathways where people – particularly young adults – get their political new … Demographically, U.S. adults who rely most on social media for news tend to be younger, are less likely to be white and have lower levels of education than those who mainly use several other platforms.

The controversy engulfing me and professor Philip Ewell of Hunter College is widely misunderstood as a debate over “racism.” This controversy is actually about whether or not the Twitter mob may silence open discourse and scholarly debate at the University of North Texas. Professor Ewell certainly has a right to express his ideas. He labels as a “virulent racist” the great music theorist Heinrich Schenker. By extension, he argues, modern music theory is institutionalized “racism,” and those who teach and defend Schenker are “whitewashing” music theory. We who have dedicated our life and scholarship to Schenker’s ideas are, by extension, inescapably racists … I also stand by my lifelong support for providing resources to people of color in the United States to nurture the appreciation of classical music from an early age. Perversely, this too is now condemned by the mob as “racism.”

More notable, roughly 350 faculty members and staff signed an open letter, published on July 4, that set forth nearly 50 demands … One demand in particular generated a great deal of attention in the media: “Constitute a committee composed entirely of faculty that would oversee the investigation and discipline of racist behaviors, incidents, research, and publication on the part of faculty.” The letter added that “what counts as racist” should be determined by the yet-to-be-formed faculty committee. The prospect of a racism tribunal seems, to some outside observers, inherently incompatible with academic freedom … The traditional purpose, end goal, or “telos” of a university is truth, the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argued in a 2016 lecture. “But increasingly, many of America’s top universities are embracing social justice as their telos, or as a second and equal telos.” What happens, he asked, if and when truth-seeking and social justice (as members of an academic institution understand it) come into conflict?

A new report says that Hollywood companies have been censoring films to avoid losing access to China’s lucrative box office market, adding that China was effectively influencing movies released in cinemas around the world. The 94-page report, published Wednesday, was compiled by the New York-based free speech organization Pen America, and said key players in Hollywood are increasingly making decisions about their films “based on an effort to avoid antagonizing Chinese officials who control whether their films gain access to the booming Chinese market.” It said that in some instances, filmmakers or directors have directly invited Chinese government censors onto their film sets to advise them on “how to avoid tripping the censors’ wires.”

People are calling for the resignation of a Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees member after he made controversial comments about the books highlighted on the library’s website. The comments were made by Philip Rosenthal, the president of National Credit Corporation, during a public meeting. “Black lives documentary. Why don’t we have some white lives documentaries?” Rosenthal asked. Rosenthal also took aim at books celebrating the LGBTQ community. “We have ‘Rainbow Reads for Teens,’ why don’t we have the flip side of the rainbow reads for teens?” he asked. The Northern Virginia Equity Coalition sent a letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the board of trustees of Fairfax County’s libraries asking for Rosenthal’s resignation or removal. “We do believe that the words and values he’s expressed are racist and they are homophobic,” Kofia Annan from the Northern Virginia Equity Coalition said. “If he doesn’t understand what systemic racism is, then [he] does not need to be in a position of leadership in our county,” Annan said.

Some fear for their career because they don’t believe progressive orthodoxies … Being nonwhite leaves one protected in this environment only to the extent that one toes the ideological line. An assistant professor of color who cannot quite get with the program writes, “At the moment, I’m more anxious about this problem than anything else in my career,” noting that “the truth is that over the last few years, this new norm of intolerance and cult of social justice has marginalized me more than all racism I have ever faced in my life.”

An award-winning communications professor has been placed on leave after students accused him of harming their mental health — for using a Chinese expression that sounds similar to the N-word, according to reports. Professor Greg Patton was giving a virtual Zoom class to his students at the University of Southern California discussing how different cultures use filler words instead of “ums and errs” to take pauses while talking. He noted how in China people tend to say “nèi ge,” the word for “that,” which he pronounced as “Neh-ga,” video of the class shows. “In China, the common word is ‘that” — that, that, that,” he said. “So in China it might be ‘nèi ge’ — ‘nèi ge, nèi ge, nèi ge,” he said. The lecture sparked a huge backlash from students, some of whom accused him of deliberately pronouncing it to sound like the N-word — and leading to an apology from the university as it announced Patton had been suspended from the class, the university’s student paper said.

There is no single accepted definition of cancel culture, but at its worst, it is about unaccountable groups successfully applying pressure to punish someone for perceived wrong opinions. The victim ends up losing their job or is significantly harmed in some way well beyond the discomfort of merely being disagreed with …  The victims of cancel culture are generally not powerful people. They are often vulnerable people who suffer devastating harm. A previous post discussed an African American school security guard who was fired for using the N-word in the course of telling a student not to direct that word at him. (Thankfully, he was eventually re-hired after a national furor erupted.) The same post discussed a teacher who was fired for inadvertently failing to address a student by his self-identified gender pronoun. The security guard and the teacher each have four children to support and lost their health insurance as well as their income when they were fired. 

The taxpayer-funded institution apparently fired the chair of its journalism department, Tim Boudreau, for telling his Media Law students the particulars of a court case that CMU lost in 1995  … UCLA Law Prof. Eugene Volokh, who was denounced by his dean for accurately quoting the n-word during a class discussion on similar caselaw, noted in a blog post that the Dambrot ruling “is one of the leading cases on the First Amendment and campus speech codes.”

 

In 1949, the British novelist George Orwell wrote 1984, a mythical vision of totalitarianism based upon the Soviet Union and employing the continuous use of “thought police.” It has turned into reality. The recent American college campus has been overcome by a sociological “attack” that threatens to reverse the traditional character of a “school,” from an “academy” of learning and scholarship to an “institution” of cultural rules and regulations. This has been a recent, completely unprecedented, phenomenon that attempts to remake in its entirety the American social character in revolutionary and transformative ways. Indeed, the movement has taken on the aspects of a cultural civil war that may well remake the very core and political/social fabric of what the term “American” has come to mean.

“A new report finds a majority of students feel they can’t express their opinions on campus, especially when they are in the ideological minority and even if they believe their college fosters a climate that supports free speech.”

Noam Chomsky has been quoted to have said: “If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.” … Many are now calling for the linguist to be ‘cancelled’ for signing the letter, some of whom were not aware of Chomsky before. This point has not been lost on many of Chomsky’s remaining supporters. One fan tweeted: “Apparently he is cancelled now for signing a letter pro open dialogue which is forbidden on the internet apparently and oh, 17 year olds now think they’re better Chomskys than Chomsky. It’s a rabbit hole, enter at your own risk.”

A white Vermont school principal was fired for a post on social media in June that was critical of the Black Lives Matter movement … Riley’s post said she firmly believes that “Black Lives Matter, but I DO NOT agree with the coercive measures taken to get this point across; some of which are falsified in an attempt to prove a point.” She went on to write that while she wants to get behind Black Lives Matter, “I do not think people should be made to feel they have to choose black race over human race. While I understand the urgency to feel compelled to advocate for black lives, what about our fellow law enforcement? What about all others who advocate for and demand equity for all?

Women are being silenced for speaking out against gender-identity ideology. On Sunday night, 23 August, I was at home with my family when I got an email from my boss on the East Coast. It had a link to a tweet. All he added were the words ‘what’s going on here???’. And thus I was swiftly and dramatically cancelled. The tweet, written by an anonymous user, called me ‘transphobic’, and warned authors to ‘STAY AWAY’ from me and the ‘FILTH’ I write on Twitter. I pulled up Twitter on my phone to see a stream of angry comments directed at me and the US literary agency at which I had been employed for a little over a month. My agent page was scrubbed from the company’s website and my boss put out a statement on Twitter denouncing me that same night. A former co-worker also issued an apology for my tweets. I received an email telling me that I would be fired 27 minutes after the first. My termination was finalised less than two hours after the first anonymous tweet was posted.

Duquesne University on Wednesday fired an education professor whose use of a racial slur in class Sept. 9 reached social media, triggering a debate about academic freedom, race and lines between free expression and a hostile learning environment. An educational rights group immediately decried the move and is asking the U.S. Department of Education to review the matter and consider sanctioning the university … Mr. Shank’s use of the “N word,” which he said was for pedagogical reasons, nevertheless was deemed inappropriate under any circumstances by the dean. However, groups including the American Association of University Professors and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education have intervened on his behalf.

“Co-founder [Glenn Greenwald] of news site [Intercept] accuses editors of seeking to censor article critical of Joe Biden.”

When social-media companies sanction political speech they don’t like, they always point to one policy or another that was supposedly violated. The truth is they are often making up the rules as they go. Twitter admitted as much Friday when it finally agreed to unlock the New York Post’s account after freezing it on Oct. 14 as punishment for reporting on Hunter Biden’s business dealings that were exposed on his abandoned laptop computer.

Recent reports indicated that Target had decided to pull from sale (henceforth ban, recognizing that this move only applies to Target sales), Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. This raises now all-too-familiar questions of whether retailers have an obligation to shield audiences from controversial material and how retailers decide to do so. Is any controversy enough? To what extent does Twitter outrage dictate censorship? Does the Left now have the social-pressure advantage over the Right? … It does not appear that Shrier is arguing that transgenderism isn’t real — which would be absurd — but rather that complex social processes might push some girls to identify as trans boys, when in fact they are not.

The largest collection of public internet censorship data ever compiled shows that even citizens of the world’s freest countries are not safe from internet censorship … Ensafi’s team found that censorship is increasing in 103 of the countries studied, including unexpected places like Norway, Japan, Italy, India, Israel and Poland—countries which the paper notes are rated as some of the freest in the world by advocacy group Freedom House. They were among nine countries where Censored Planet found significant, previously undetected censorship events between August of 2018 and April of 2020. Previously undetected events were also identified in Cameroon, Ecuador and Sudan. While the study observed an increase in blocking activity in these countries, most were driven by organizations or internet service providers filtering content. The study did not observe any nationwide censorship policies such as those in China. While the United States saw a smaller uptick in blocking activity, Ensafi points out that the groundwork for such blocking has been put in place in the United States. “When the United States repealed net neutrality, they created an environment in which it would be easy, from a technical standpoint, for internet service providers to interfere with or block internet traffic,” Ensafi said. “The architecture for greater censorship is already in place and we should all be concerned about heading down a slippery slope.”

Several staff at Penguin Randomhouse Canada and many people online are protesting the forthcoming book from Jordan Peterson, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. A Canadian clinical psychologist and professor, Peterson is best known as an “Intellectual Dark Web” icon, famous for his 2016 Youtube series, “Professor Against Political Correctness,” decrying gender-neutral pronouns and bathrooms. For that reason, Vice reported today that several “sobbing” publishing staff confronted higher-ups about the decision to publish Peterson’s next book … “All those people at Penguin blubbering about Jordan Peterson’s new book–how on earth did they get jobs?” tweeted user Helen Dale, who later suggested this could be a marketing ploy. “People who turn into a puddle at first sight of disagreeable views are unsuited to work in publishing. Realistically, they’re probably unsuited to work.”

Once it was liberals who yelled the loudest about President Nixon’s enemies list in the early 1970s, or Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) and his blacklist in the 1950s. Now it’s progressives like AOC who want to punish political adversaries for harboring the “wrong” ideas. Then there’s something that for a brief, dark moment was ominously called the Trump Accountability Project, whose website says: “The Trump Accountability Project was started because we believe restoring democratic norms are vital to protecting America’s future.” And how exactly did it plan to do that? “A critical part of making sure the nation never finds itself in this position again is to make sure those members of the Trump administration responsible for loosening the guardrails of our democracy are not rewarded with book deals, TV contracts, or six-figure salaries in the private sector based on that experience.”  In other words, the Trump Accountability Project wanted to restore democratic norms by cancelling anyone who worked for Donald Trump. 

Most public school libraries feature an array of books that address the subject of homosexuality, including some with sexually explicit content and graphic images. But books about “reversing” homosexuality are generally barred by schools. Here are a few of the more controversial tomes that have trouble finding homes.

It’s been more than five months since former University of North Carolina Wilmington professor Mike Adams killed himself after being pushed into early retirement for offensive tweets … Indeed, professors across the country owe Mike a debt of gratitude. For most public employees, the general rule (which comes from the Supreme Court case Garcetti v. Ceballos) is that the First Amendment does not protect public employees from discipline based on speech related to their official duties. Adams v. University of North Carolina-Wilmington was the first federal appellate case to actually hold that the First Amendment interest in academic freedom overrides that general rule … Mike’s forced early retirement in June came at the beginning of a huge explosion of FIRE cases on a scale never before seen in FIRE’s history. Since much less controversial figures than Mike were finding themselves “canceled,” there was little doubt people would use this opportunity to come for him.

Two former administrators at Montgomery County public schools are suing their school districts, alleging that they were illegally forced out of their jobs over Facebook posts criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement and Democratic politicians … In Bennett’s case, she said she was forced to resign after a June 24 post that criticized Black Lives Matter, in the wake of national protests over the police killing of George Floyd. “I’m just trying to figure out WHICH black lives matter,” said the post, which someone else wrote but Bennett shared. “It can’t be the unborn black babies — they are destroyed without a second thought.” The post accused the movement of harming Black police officers, and media outlets of ignoring “black on black violence.”

At a time when digital media is deepening social divides in western democracies, China is manipulating online discourse to enforce the Communist Party’s consensus … The orders were among thousands of secret government directives and other documents that were reviewed by The New York Times and ProPublica. They lay bare in extraordinary detail the systems that helped the Chinese authorities shape online opinion during the pandemic.

Censorship is common in China, where the right to speech extends to as far as the government allows it … To preserve the government’s narrative, China maintains that business entities, foreign governments, and any individuals who wish to interact with the government or economy must also submit themselves to censorship. This means abiding by all Chinese speech laws and respecting the international relations positions of the Communist Party. Google—in an attempt to appease the Chinese government and expand its reach—secretly blueprinted a censored search engine called Dragonfly, which was terminated after the project was leaked to the public. If completed, Dragonfly would have contradicted Google’s typical opposition towards censorship. Google is not the only major technology company to adjust their software to Chinese standards. Because of a longstanding conflict between China and Taiwan, Apple removed the Taiwanese flag emoji from iPhones in China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Major airlines changed their booking systems to list Taiwan as part of China. After Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, quoted the Dalai Lama in promotional material, Daimler was forced to apologize to China, because China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist for protesting the annexation of his former home, Tibet … As China globalizes, the issues regarding the censorship of foreign private entities over domestic political matters will only increase. How China and the NBA handle each other will be a roadmap for future business interactions and market expansion. More and more, businesses will have to determine the moral cost of doing business in China. If the NBA is any indication, to a great extent, profits will come first.

As I’ve chronicled the minutiae of the literary world online this year, I’ve seen a lot of cancellations. I’ve collected the biggest hits below, and updated some stories to see how the authors fared after facing the Internet’s fury.

Last month, the Burbank Unified School Board “firmly requested” that teachers stop teaching four books: Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Theodore Taylor’s The Cay, and Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, following complaints from a small number of parents. PEN America’s Children’s and Young Adult Books Committee co-signed a letter from the National Coalition Against Censorship urging the district to reinstate the books. The district responded by affirming the ban. As an organization devoted to the freedom to read, we’re shocked by the school board’s decision. We’re urging the Board to allow these books to be taught, and to reject calls to ban them from their schools’ curriculum … This decision appears to be driven by complaints from a small group of parents who object to these books. Yet, Burbank parents already have the option to request their child be excused from reading the concerning material.

Nigerian immigrant Chike Uzuegbunam was prevented from speaking about his Christian faith in the Gwinnett College (Georgia) public commons area.

Far-left activists surrounded Powell’s Books in Portland on Monday and demanded the store stop selling Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, a book about antifa written by Andy Ngo. The protests forced the store to close early … Antifa takes the view that no one should be allowed to report critically on its activities. Despite their benign-sounding moniker (which is short for “antifascism”), people associated with antifa deliberately practice illiberalism: They wish to deny free speech protections to the far-right and its enablers, a group of enemies that antifa defines very broadly. Indeed, in this case, the enablers of fascism evidently include a book store that isn’t even carrying the objectionable tome on its shelves. Few acts of censorship are as overt as a mob deciding which books other people should be allowed to read.

“Our job as librarians is to provide access to information from all points of view, and let people make up their own minds,” he said. Critical librarianship is “rejecting neutrality in the library. This goes against what the premise of a free society and what a library should be.”

“Kelley’s call to neutrality and what ensued deserves to be heard as a shrieking alarm signaling the loss of free speech in American libraries. It’s over, and the good guys lost.”

“The Parler situation, however, opens a new front in the online speech wars, as the debate over moderation migrates from an oligopoly of social media platforms to the oligopoly of companies that make those platforms available to the public. (In the case of Google, those oligopolies overlap.) Never before have three of the most dominant Silicon Valley corporations—all of them subjects of Congress’s massive antitrust investigation—simultaneously banned a social media platform because they don’t approve of its policies around user speech. They have, in effect, decided that they get to moderate the moderators. And that raises a number of difficult questions.”

Singer John Rich said Thursday he’s heard from other country stars who have told him that conservative voices are being “muzzled” by the industry. “The list of country artists calling me is growing by the day who are saying they’re being ‘muzzled’ by the industry when it comes to them expressing their frustration and anger about the targeting of conservatives, and suppression of free speech by the powers that be. #BlackBall,” the Big & Rich singer tweeted.

“Author Barry Lyga has posted an open letter signed by more than 250 authors, agents, booksellers, and publishers supporting their opposition to any publisher signing up President Donald Trump or members of his administration for any further book deals.”

As [Black] members of Veterans for Trump, the former Air Force cryptologic language analyst and the former Marine combat correspondent, respectively, were buzzing with positive energy until a White House staffer informed them what was happening at the Capitol. Within hours of leaving the stage and heading back to their Airbnb, the artists learned Spotify had pulled “The Patriot” from its popular streaming platform. After Townsend posted a clip of his performance at the rally, Instagram removed it and banned him from going live, citing a violation of its community guidelines … A week later, Townsend and TMR received an email from DistroKid, the popular distribution service that puts music into online stores and streaming services, notifying them that DistroKid had been “notified by stores and streaming services that they have received a take down” for “The Patriot” … Townsend and TMR said they reached out to Spotify and other platforms but have been given no explanation or justification for the takedown. “The Patriot” contains no profanity, and the artists insist the song’s message is positive and patriotic. TMR said he believes he and Topher were targeted for championing conservative values and supporting Trump.

Dr. Christina Crenshaw, a recurring lecturer for the English department, tweeted controversial content on Jan. 21 in response to Daniel Darling’s tweet referring to President Joe Biden’s new policies involving transgender rights as “anti-science.” The original quote retweet written by Crenshaw caused Baylor students to report her message to Title IX, BU Equity, Baylor NAACP and It’s On Us BU. It has since been deleted. “But what if I don’t want my biological sons in the bathroom with my biological daughters? Do the 99% of us who do not wrestle with gender dysphoria have a voice? No? What if I told you Title IX was never meant to apply to >1% of the students over the 99%? Doesn’t matter? OK. Cool,” Crenshaw quote retweeted.

The University of Central Florida is trying to fire tenured professor Charles Negy for his speech, and if they succeed, it will undermine the concept of academic freedom. No UCF professor — and, if a court permits this termination, no professor in that jurisdiction — will be able to rely on it.  To be clear, UCF does not want you to think Negy is being punished for his speech. They’ve written a 244-page report, which involved interviewing over 300 people over seven months about incidents covering more than 15 years, to convince you otherwise. But this is all either theater or self-delusion by UCF administrators who want to think they aren’t motivated by a desire to censor a controversial professor… Negy is an associate professor of psychology at UCF, where he has taught since 1998 and had tenure since 2001. His focus areas are cross-cultural psychology and sexuality. He is a frequent critic of critical race theory and religion, and he discusses those topics with relative freedom on Twitter … On June 3, 2020, he tweeted: “Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege.” He continued: “Sincere question: If Afr. Americans as a group, had the same behavioral profile as Asian Americans (on average, performing the best academically, having the highest income, committing the lowest crime, etc.), would we still be proclaiming ‘systematic racism’ exists?” The day before Negy’s tweets, UCF President Alexander Cartwright sent an email calling on the university “to be actively anti-racist.” Offended students called on the institution to take action with the hashtag #UCFfirehim

“In the Land of Lincoln, a set of rigorous new rules has been proposed for K-12 public-school teachers that will give government total control of what students learn and how they learn it, effectively turning students into at-will activists for far-left, progressive issues.”

The National Association of Scholars counts 122 academic cancellations in the United States and Canada. If you know of additional professors, administrators, or students who have been canceled, please let us know at [email protected] … This new form of mob rule has dominated virtually every sector of American life for the last several years: politics, journalism, music & entertainment, sports, business, and of particular interest to the National Association of Scholars, higher education.

“Experts are calling for President Joe Biden and his administration to appoint a task force led by a “reality czar” focused on dictating and mitigating the dissemination of certain types of information, and the New York Times is eating it up.”

“The push to purge is what it always is. They’re trying to politicize whatever they can to hurt the Right,” Rob O’Neill, retired Navy Seal Team 6 – “When the Left looks at the government, and levers of the government, and even nonpartisan institutions like the military, they see them as tools — political props — to enact their vision,” Jeremy Hunt, West Point grad and army vet

Top editors at Hachette have told employees that they’ve learned the lessons of the Capitol siege of Jan. 6: no hate speech, no incitement to violence, no false narratives … The last book [Kate Hartson] bought was the forthcoming “Wokenomics: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.” And so last month, even as Ms. Hartson was riding high with the best-selling political book on Amazon, “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy,” Hachette fired her.

The actress shared a TikTok post comparing the current divided political climate in the U.S. to Nazi Germany. ‘Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,’ she wrote.”

Twitter restricted journalist James O’Keefe’s Twitter account, as well as that of his founding organization Project Veritas on Thursday morning, citing violation of “rules against posting private information.” This decision by Twitter comes after Project Veritas’s reporting on Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen saying the Big Tech platform intentionally “freezes,” via algorithms, comments where hate speech “may be.” Project Veritas captured Rosen saying the following during a leaked internal Facebook call meeting. The clips were released Wednesday.”

Instagram on Wednesday took down the account of controversial anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement. Kennedy, the son of late former US Attorney General, US Senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, has repeatedly spoken out against vaccines. He has lobbied Congress to give parents exemptions from state requirements that mandate they vaccinate their children. The lifelong Democrat downplays his anti-vaccine views, though, by saying that he is actually in favor of safe vaccines and noting that all of his children have been vaccinated.

The survey found that nearly three in 10 Americans, including 39% of Republicans, agreed that “if elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves, even if it requires violent actions.” That result was “a really dramatic finding,” says Daniel Cox, director of the AEI Survey Center on American Life. “I think any time you have a significant number of the public saying use of force can be justified in our political system, that’s pretty scary” … The level of distrust among Republicans evident in the survey was such that about 8 in 10 said the current political system is “stacked against conservatives and people with traditional values.” A majority agreed with the statement: “The traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it” … About 6 in 10 said they are proud to be an American, but the finding varied along generational and race lines, with significantly lower levels of national pride among younger and nonwhite people.

“Blacklisting has gone from being the publishing industry’s dirty little secret to being its biggest boast,” [Tom] Spence [president and publisher of Regnery Publishing] said …  There is an ongoing intergenerational struggle within the publishing industry, according to [Adam] Bellow, between “woke,” “leftist” younger employees and older, more classically “liberal” executives. The younger staffers are products of a modern liberal arts education, “which is to say, a certain kind of social justice curriculum,” Bellow said, and “they come into these companies, and they treat them like an extension of their campus activism.”… Lynn Chu, principal of Writers’ Reps literary agency, told Just the News this week she’s seen a steady decline in openness to conservative ideas among leaders at large publishing houses in recent years.

Companies used to be in business to make money, sell stuff and employ people. They were run by executives who were proudly capitalist and believed in the country’s founding principles.  No longer, it seems. Big businesses’ support of green-energy legislation, various social-justice edicts and the silencing of right-wingers on Twitter have become so routine it’s almost not news anymore.  The question is, why? People who work at these companies regularly complain to me that most employees view their employers’ new corporate leftism with disdain … Remember, 74.2 million consumers voted for Donald Trump in part because they can’t tolerate virtue signaling being thrown in their faces every minute of their lives. 

A growing number of ‘woke’ academics are refusing to teach Shakespeare in U.S. schools, arguing that the Bard promotes racism, white supremacy and intolerance, and instead are pushing for the teaching of ‘modern’ alternatives. Writing in the January issue of School Library Journal, Amanda MacGregor, a Minnesota-based librarian, bookseller and freelance journalist, asked why teachers were continuing to include Shakespeare in their classrooms. ‘Shakespeare’s works are full of problematic, outdated ideas, with plenty of misogyny, racism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism and misogynoir,’ she wrote, with the last word referring to a hatred of black women.

[Tim] Hunt, a Nobel Prize winning scientist and Royal Society fellow, told a joke in 2015 that would end his career: ‘Let me tell you about my trouble with girls… three things happen when they are in the lab. You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.’ He was forced to resign from UCL – who Hunt insists never even asked for his side of the story – and the European Research Council.

“Mr. Bean” actor Rowan Atkinson compared cancel culture to a “medieval mob looking for someone to burn.” Indeed. No one is immune to woke politics. It doesn’t matter how long ago a person made their irredeemably “offensive” comments, or how passionate their apologies are — the social media mob takes no prisoners. We’re in a sad place as a society when somebody’s firing and/or cancellation is celebrated more than their life’s work. And yet, here we are. Below is a list of the top 10 cancellations, all that have occurred within the last year. Many on this list are notable names, people who will find other work and/or have the position and power to stand up to the woke crowd. It’s the names not represented who are the true victims — like those who have had their college acceptances rejected because of a social media post they made in high school — who were canceled before they ever could get started. They are not famous, and their names are not known. Not surprisingly, cancel culture cuts one way. If you say something too conservative and mildly offensive, the woke hall monitors on social media will find you. And if you’re famous, all the better, as Hollywood and corporate America seems to have embraced this new form of blacklisting.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, reported that during the pandemic it has been asked to help more students and faculty members who believe their free speech rights have been violated “than ever before,” according to a report published by the civil liberties watchdog organization Tuesday. There were 1,001 total case submissions to FIRE during 2020, compared to 731 in 2019 and 652 in 2018, Daniel Burnett, director of communications, wrote in an email.

Political satirist Tim Young said Harrison’s temporary removal is “ridiculous” given that Harrison’s verbiage “wasn’t even offensive.” “He made the point that what this contestant did attending that party in 2018 was still OK, and now in 2021 it’s not because everybody is being offended by cancel culture,” Young analyzed in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday. “Essentially, Harrison is being canceled for noting the nuance of cancel culture, not for his support of going to some party,” Young continued. “This is a meta-cancellation. He’s being canceled for pointing out that cancel culture has shifted in three years.”

A Livingston County real estate agent who was fired over an “all lives matter” social media post last year has filed a lawsuit against his former employer and an unidentified Black Lives Matter supporter …  On June 11, Beaudin saw a post on a Pinckney Facebook group announcing a BLM protest was planned, according to the suit.  According to the suit, a post on Beaudin’s personal Facebook page responded: “Can’t we all just promote in Pinckney That All Lives Matter? We don’t need outsiders coming in and causing our businesses to suffer any more than they already have from COVID.”

A Tennessee librarian has lost his job after allegedly burning copies of books by Donald Trump and rightwing commentator Ann Coulter. The Chattanooga public library dismissed Cameron Dequintez Williams after he allegedly posted videos of himself in his backyard in December pouring lighter fluid over Coulter’s How to Talk to Liberals (If You Must) and Trump’s Crippled America. Documents from a local council meeting suggest Williams live-streamed himself in the act, while local reports suggest the sound of the popular anti-Trump anthem FDT played in the background. Williams, a Black Lives Matter protester, said he has been unfairly treated, and that he was simply following a library instruction to remove any “old, damaged or untruthful books” … Williams was arrested last summer during the protests following George Floyd’s death for allegedly blocking an emergency vehicle during the demonstrations. He said the library was targeting because of his race. “I was treated as a token Black man,” he told the Washington Post. “But as soon as I speak forcefully for Black people, they essentially tried to assassinate my character.”

We all know that something morally grotesque is swallowing liberal America. Almost no one wants to risk talking about it out loud. Every day I get phone calls from anxious Americans complaining about an ideology that wants to pull all of us into the past. I get calls from parents telling me about the damaging things being taught in schools: so-called antiracist programs that urge children to obsess on the color of their skin … Almost no one who calls me is willing to go public. And I understand why. To go public with what’s happening is to risk their jobs and their reputations. But the hour is very late. It calls for courage. And courage has come in the form of a woman named Jodi Shaw.

Yet, over half (53.5%) of those reporting “very liberal” political views estimated that 1,000 or more unarmed Black men were killed, a likely error of at least an order of magnitude. The available data suggest that 24.9% of people killed by police in 2019 were Black. However, across the political spectrum, survey participants overestimated this number. •Those who reported being “liberal” or “very liberal” were particularly inaccurate, estimating the proportion to be 56% and 60%, respectively … Our overall findings indicate that people are uninformed regarding the available data on fatal police shootings in the US. Specifically, we found that the more people reported being “liberal” or “very liberal” on social and fiscal matters, the greater the discrepancy between the available data and their estimations. What might explain peoples’ misestimations of these statistics?

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Even the Muppets are ‘offensive’ these days. Anyone who streams ‘The Muppets Show’ on Disney+ will see a declaimer first – warning of “offensive content.” Disney released five seasons of the iconic show streaming on Friday … The disclaimer shown prior to each episode warns viewers that the show features “stereotypes” and “mistreatment of people or cultures.” “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”

A MassHealth employee who said she was fired after she compared calling the police on neighbors for not wearing masks to Nazi Germany tells the Herald that her First Amendment rights have been “trampled on” and she’s considering legal action. Denise Foley, 60, is no longer MassHeath’s director of internal and external training and communication following the firestorm in a private Milton Facebook group that has 12,000 members. It all started on Dec. 3 when someone in the Milton Neighbors Facebook group posted they had received a mailer about turning in neighbors who aren’t wearing masks. Foley responded to the post, “Sounds like what the Nazis did in Germany” … She later wrote in the comments, “How dare anyone try to take away my rights! I have the right NOT to wear a mask if I don’t want to. I have the right to gather with friends and family if I want to. If that’s a problem for you or anyone else, report me!” Her comments were anonymously sent to MassHealth. She was then placed on paid administrative leave and later terminated.

Now that voters have turned the authoritarian GOP out of the executive branch and Congress, Americans should expect the open exchange of ideas to flourish again. Right? Consider two events Monday. First, the conservative scholar Ryan Anderson announced that Amazon had purged his 2018 book, “When Harry Became Sally,” from its web store. The book criticizes recent progressive ideas about gender and especially the wisdom of sex-change procedures in children. Amazon declined comment on the reasons for the ban, but comment is hardly needed. The tech companies have grown increasingly open about their ideological censorship. Also on Monday, two Congressional Democrats wrote a stern letter to CEO Jeff Bezos about Amazon’s role in politics. If you took seriously the party’s promises to defend “democratic norms,” you might expect Democratic politicians would express concern about the world’s third-largest company by market capitalization trying to suppress a book on a contested political issue. But the letter is a demand for more ideological censorship. “

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Braun (R-IN) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos after the company removed the book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by conservative scholar, Ryan Anderson, from the Amazon website, Kindle, and Audible platforms. “Over the past 72 hours, Amazon has been unable to provide a sufficient explanation as to how Anderson’s book, which reached the top of two of Amazon’s best-seller lists before it was even released in 2018, supposedly violated a vague, undefined ‘offensive content’ standard,” the senators wrote.When Harry Became Sally prompted important discussions in the national media and among policymakers in 2018, and remains one of the most rigorously researched and compassionately argued books on this subject. By removing this book from its marketplaces and services, Amazon has unabashedly wielded its outsized market share to silence an important voice merely for the crime of violating woke groupthink.”

 A former Massachusetts high school head football coach has filed a federal lawsuit against three school administrators claiming that his termination was a violation of his First Amendment rights after he expressed concerns about the suitability of “coursework on politics, race, gender equality, and diversity” for seventh graders … The lawsuit claims that Flynn was exercising his First Amendment right to raise concerns over the curriculum for his seventh-grade daughter. One of Flynn’s concerns was that a teacher used a digital cartoon of herself wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt. He said the material was not being taught objectively. Flynn and his wife met with Dedham Public School Superintendent Michael Welch before ultimately removing their children from the school district in October. 

An Arizona State University student who sued the school over free speech concerns stemming from a Twitter post about a police shooting settled with the university on Thursday. Rae’Lee Klein filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Arizona Board of Regents, ASU, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Kristin Gilger, Cronkite’s interim dean, in October, claiming her First Amendment rights to free expression were impinged.

Bill Maher took aim at cancel culture, saying it’s become McCarthyism in reverse.

Representatives from the American Conservative Union had scathing words for Hyatt Hotels’ leadership on Monday, after the company that hosted the 2021 CPAC event issued statements that the ACU claimed “disparaged and defamed” it. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, told Fox News that the political group intends to stand up for itself as he says Hyatt Hotels “buckled to the lies of the cancel culturists on the Left” amid a controversy over the design of the stage … “We are going to stand up for our honor and our character and it’s just absurd to accuse this conference and our organization of being anti-Semitic when we had the [U.S. ambassador] to Israel speak from that stage,” Schlapp said, adding that there were also standing-room-only Jewish religious services that the hotel helped facilitate.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called on Monday for the House Judiciary Committee to hold a public hearing on “cancel culture,” arguing that the committee should investigate what he claimed was a wave of “censorship” occurring in private companies, on college campuses, and other facets of American life. Jordan, the committee’s ranking member, did not give a reason in his letter why the Judiciary Committee, which is tasked with overseeing the federal court system and law enforcement, would have purview over this issue.The Ohio Republican argued instead in his letter that “cancel culture’s long-term consequences to our democracy and our constitutional framework are serious and substantial.” 

Seth Jahn, a 7-a-side Paralympian soccer player who was booted from the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Athlete Council for his speech railing against the repeal of the anthem-kneeling, doubled down on his stance and revealed he was receiving death threats … “I will never apologize for the statements I made, and will never bow down to the mob mentality of intimidation, bullying or the social media warrior’s gestapo tactics. I’m embarrassed to represent a hypocritical federation that conducts a complete assault on diversity of thought without even seeking clarifying statements from me in their smear campaign. I’m embarrassed at the cowardice of so-called friends who bent over to the mob, knowing very well the quality of my character, in order to preserve their own image,” Jahn wrote.

A January 2021 survey found that 52% of economically liberal students support restricting speech that makes others uncomfortable. Now, three UW professors are trying to explain away those results.

I never dreamed that one of the two Peru trips I took — which to me were just blips in my life, something I’d done largely as a favor to a friend who needed experts to make the trips sell — would sink my Times career … It’s been quite baffling and painful for me to have people assume I’m a racist and believe that I said the ridiculous things I’m accused of saying — that “racism is over,” that “white supremacy doesn’t exist,” or “white privilege doesn’t exist,” or that I defended the use of blackface or said horrible things about black teenagers in general. I’m surprised by how quick some colleagues who barely know me were prepared to accept those accusations and even add more on a Times alumni Facebook page. Someone to whom I don’t think I’ve spoken since 1994 said “calling him only a racist is being nice.” An editor I happily worked side by side with in 1989 and have had brief but cordial chats with maybe once every ten years when we bump into each other on the street said I seemed “dismissive of people of color and their views” back then. Someone I thought I’d been very nice to when she left the paper attacked me for using the expression “third world” in a story that was, as always, approved by several Times editors.

A Michigan professor has sparked a firestorm after demanding an apology for his university senate’s new anti-racism resolution — insisting that he has been “systematically discriminated against for 40 years” as a white man. Jeffrey Burl used Michigan Technological University notepaper for his two-page diatribe in January against a series of strict resolutions that damned college- and society-wide “anti-Blackness and systemic racism.” He requested “an apology for the racist sentiments expressed” in the resolutions that “contribute to a hostile work environment,” saying they implied that “white people and local people are racist.” “I find this resolution particularly offensive because I, as a white male, have been systematically discriminated against for 40 years,” Burl wrote in the letter widely shared among students that sparked a petition demanding he be fired for his “ignorance and hate” … A second Michigan Tech professor, Jaroslaw Drelich, also complained, submitting a letter suggesting the resolution was pushing a leftist narrative, Michigan Live said.

Without explanation, the company took down a popular documentary during Black History Month … Early last month Amazon deleted a documentary film about Justice Clarence Thomas from its popular streaming service … The documentary began airing on PBS in May 2020 and streaming on Amazon in October. But it was taken down by Amazon on Feb. 8, according to the director, Michael Pack, and he has never been told why … If this episode sounds familiar, it’s because Amazon pulled a similar stunt last fall. Eli Steele’s “What Killed Michael Brown?”—a critique of liberal social policies that was written and narrated by his father, the race scholar Shelby Steele—was slated to stream on Amazon in October, then held up for reasons the company never fully explained.

Nine of Amazon‘s top 10 bestselling books as of Wednesday were from Dr. Seuss, just one day after the publisher announced it was pulling the books … Amazon’s news about the top 10 bestsellers comes just a day after Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced it was pulling six of the author’s books … “Today, on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises wrote in a statement. “We are committed to action. To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer. These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” the statement said.

A popular Arizona television news anchor at Fox10 in Phoenix, Kari Lake, has become so fed up with annoying cancel culture that she has left her job. She made the dramatic announcement in a video she released on Monday in which Lake decried the lack of balance in news … “Sadly, journalism has changed a lot since I first stepped into a newsroom and I’ll be honest, I don’t like the direction it’s going. The media needs more balance in coverage and a wider range of viewpoints represented in every newsroom at every level and in each position.”

The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN picked up the story of a young female student harassed by white workers. The American Civil Liberties Union, which took the student’s case, said she was profiled for “eating while Black.” Less attention was paid three months later when a law firm hired by Smith College to investigate the episode found no persuasive evidence of bias. Ms. Kanoute was determined to have eaten in a deserted dorm that had been closed for the summer; the janitor had been encouraged to notify security if he saw unauthorized people there. The officer, like all campus police, was unarmed. Smith College officials emphasized “reconciliation and healing” after the incident. In the months to come they announced a raft of anti-bias training for all staff, a revamped and more sensitive campus police force and the creation of dormitories — as demanded by Ms. Kanoute and her A.C.L.U. lawyer — set aside for Black students and other students of color. But they did not offer any public apology or amends to the workers whose lives were gravely disrupted by the student’s accusation.

The New York Times has been criticised on Twitter over a job advert seeking an opinion editor with a ‘spine of steel’, months after three editors were forced out of the newspaper for promoting unpopular debate.  Posted on Wednesday, the job advert for a Deputy Opinion Editor said the ideal candidate would be someone with a ‘sense of humor and a spine of steel, a confident point of view and an open mind, an appetite for risk and exacting standards for excellence in writing and visual presentation.’ The posting comes months after the liberal publication saw three editors leave the company – op-ed staff editor Bari Weiss, page editor James Bennet and editorial assistant Adam Rubenstein. Newsweek deputy opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon was among those to point out the irony of the job posting, calling it ‘totally shameless’ and noting that the three people who left their posts at the newspaper were guilty of ‘doing this exact thing.’ ‘In 6 months, @nytimes lost 3 opinion editors w/ spines of steel, open minds, an appetite for risk, and exacting standards – @bariweiss, @RubensteinAdam, and @JBennet – because their colleagues couldn’t handle a single one of these attributes and their bosses were amoral cowards,’ she wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

 

Archaeologists recently unearthed the skeletons of three Catholic nuns who were murdered by Soviet soldiers at the end of World War II. Their discovery concludes a months-long search for the bones of seven nuns who were killed during the former Soviet Union’s brutal occupation of the war-torn country. Russia’s Red Army invaded Poland in 1944, as Nazi Germany withdrew their soldiers. During that time, Soviet forces sought to seize control by suppressing Polish militia and religious figures, imprisoning, deporting and killing Polish soldiers, clergy and civilians. Records from 1945 documented Soviet soldiers slaughtering seven nuns in the order of St. Catherine of Alexandria … As the Red Army advanced into cities and territories, soldiers looted and burned churches and religious buildings, and nuns were treated “with particular cruelty,” IPN representatives said. 

An Arizona State University Associate Dean penned a 358-page book detailing how grading student’s writing is a form of racism and white supremacy. In a book titled “Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom,” professor Asao Inoue encourages teachers to ditch grading for a “labor-based” grading system wherein students earn grades based on their effort. The quality of a student’s writing would not help or hinder their course grade. 

New York City’s public school system is serious about equity. So serious that they are removing good educators for refusing to make the new symbol of racial equity: the Wakanda salute from the ‘Black Panther’ movie. This is the latest example of woke virtue-signaling gone wrong and a sinister outcome of the push for equity over equality. The New York Post has reported two separate accounts of women who were let go from their teaching jobs in the New York City public school system for—what they believe was—their unwillingness to participate in woke virtue signaling. Both veteran educators were asked to cross their arms in front of them mimicking a greeting or salute popularized by the blockbuster Marvel comic-book movie, ‘Black Panther.’ Apparently, the Wakanda salute now represents racial equity for New York City education … Espinal, who has filed a lawsuit, also claims she was targeted for not being black enough and following the diversity agenda. Karen Ames, a Jewish 30-year veteran educator, says she was fired when she refused to make the Wakanda salute and for sharing her family’s Holocaust story …

The raging of the cancel culture is becoming a caricature of itself. Ironically, the progressive impulses of the whole woke movement makes almost no distinction between Democrats and Republicans. The Klan is as noxious to the cancellation crowd as is any centrist. Even their natural allies—the moderate members of their own party!— are too sullied for inclusion. To be woke is to be at war with anyone who doesn’t fanatically toe your line … Assigning blame is the first order of business in this new national ethic of purging without absolution. Unlike the 1950s, the catchphrase for this era is not “naming names” but deleting them … Critical Race Theory, set loose from the college campus, has become so widespread and weaponized, armed with its patented moral absolutes, it can probably seek nonprofit status as an organized religion. 

Cancel culture reached new levels of absurdity in the past couple weeks when Dr. Seuss became the newest piece of beloved culture deemed racist. Responding to a growing controversy, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the organization that owns the right to the Seuss empire, decided it would remove six of Seuss’ titles from publication … The cancel culture mob’s intolerance is not only diminishing our ability to appreciate large swaths of great art, literature, and movies, it’s ruining our sense of humor. In a New York Times column defending the canceling of Dr. Seuss, Charles M. Blow called out the Warner Bros. cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew as furthering “rape culture.” For those of us who grew up laughing with these cartoons, we know Pepe Le Pew as the guy you don’t want to be …The pervasiveness of this censorious mob is what makes it such a toxic threat. It can easily turn so many against the wonderful works Americans have produced throughout our history, leaving us with a pool of ever-shrinking content deemed acceptable.

Classics professor Joshua Katz has filed a lawsuit alleging that the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), a federation of 75 scholarly organizations, retracted his invitation to serve as one of the society’s delegates to a prominent international conference after he wrote a controversial op-ed last July. In the complaint, Katz claims that the ACLS invited him to serve as a volunteer delegate to the Union Académique Internationale (UAI), an academic conference based in Paris, and then revoked that invitation “solely because he expressed views that, although fully reasonable and protected by ordinary principles of academic freedom, offend the ideological sensibilities of some in academia.” … Last July, Katz drew controversy when he published an op-ed in Quillette denouncing a letter signed by more than 350 Princeton faculty members calling on President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 and senior administrators to enact 48 anti-racist demands.  In the op-ed, Katz called a disbanded student activist group, the Black Justice League (BJL), a “local terrorist organization,” and claimed that some of the changes proposed by his colleagues — such as compensation for the “invisible work done by faculty of color” and a guarantee of an additional sabbatical semester to faculty of color hired at the junior level — would lead to “civil war on campus.”

The terror of ‘woke’ culture knows no bounds. No one understood the dynamics of ideological persecution and the failure of society better than German pastor Martin Niemoller.  In his famous post-World War II confessional speech, he said (in paraphrase): “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists, then the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist nor a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”Jump 80 years forward, and ask yourself this: After “canceling” one literary, musical, artistic, and theatrical classic after another, will be anybody left to speak for the Bible when the “woke” movement inevitably goes after the canonic text of Jewish (and Christian) civilization? … Defining everyone by their skin color and robotically deeming whites as evil and guilty of “systemic racism” – a dangerous new term that purposefully inflates personal bias into built-in inequity that must be demolished with totalitarian force – the woke have forced everybody but them onto the defensive.

A professor at Georgetown University Law Center has been fired over comments she made about Black students during a Zoom call with a colleague. Sandra Sellers, who was an adjunct professor in mediation at the esteemed law school in Washington, D.C. for nearly 20 years, was criticized after a clip of her decrying the level of performance she gets “every semester” from Black students was posted on Twitter. “I hate to say this. I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks, happens almost every semester,” Sellers said. “And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You get some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy,” she continued. Sellers had the conversation with colleague David Batson, who appeared to nod and agree with the sentiments. “I am appalled that two members of our faculty engaged in a conversation that included reprehensible statements concerning the evaluation of Black students,” Georgetown Law Dean Bill Treanor said in a statement.

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A former teacher at Palatine High School has asked a court to order a local Black Lives Matter protest organizer to pay up for allegedly smearing her reputation, leading to her termination last year amid anti-racism protests in the suburban community last summer.Plaintiff Jeanne Hedgepeth filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against named defendant Tim McGowan … In the summer of 2020, McGowan helped to organize antiracism protests in Palatine, under the banner of Black Lives Matter. According to published reports, at the time of the protests, Hedgepeth allegedly posted a message to her personal Facebook page, responding to the protests by saying, in part: “I find the term ‘white privilege’ as racist as the ‘N’ word. You have not walked in my shoes either so do not make assumptions about me and my so called privilege. You think America is racist? Then you have been hoodwinked by the white liberal establishment and race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton” … In her complaint, Hedgepeth asserts McGowan launched a campaign to get her fired, beginning in June 2020 … Hedgepeth was ultimately fired in July, with school officials allegedly citing her Facebook post as justification for her termination, according to published reports.

Roughly 50 groups, angered by Big Tech’s censoring and de-platforming of conservative voices nationwide, want the states to step up and fight the social media giants. In a letter, these activist groups ask the attorney general in each state to go after Big Tech for basically lying … This is why the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell said at a recent webinar the states must step up … And states are stepping up, with Bozell mentioning, “There are now 19 states that are taking actions to rein in Big Tech at the state level, which is very encouraging.” At the same webinar, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton commented, “Some of these tech companies are so large and so monopolistic and so abusive in their actions that we have to take action.”

The deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) was asked to resign in the wake of criticism over comments he made on a podcast about structural racism. In the February podcast, titled “Structural Racism for Doctors: What Is It?” Edward H. Livingston, MD, interviewed Dr. Mitch Katz, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, about the concept…  The podcast has now been taken down and replaced with an audio clip in which JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Bauchner, MD, calls the comments “inaccurate, offensive, hurtful and inconsistent with the standards of JAMA.” Bauchner adds that  “racism and structural racism exist in the United States and in health care.” Livingston describes his upbringing as “antiracist” and never questions the existence of structural racism in the episode. However, the episode received backlash over an out-of-context line in which Livingston questions the efficacy of using emotionally charged language: “Personally, I think taking racism out of the conversation will help. Many of us are offended by the concept that we are racist.”

More than a thousand geographic features in the United States have racial slurs in their name. The slurs include derogatory terms for people who are Black, Indigenous, and of Asian descent and are used in names for small features across the landscape, like valleys, creeks, and lakes. “These place-names serve a silent, yet visibly obtrusive and constant reminder of the deeply rooted white supremacist ideologies that continue to haunt many of these landscapes.”Now an open letter from four graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is calling on geoscientists to support a recent bill in Congress to help remove the names. The Reconciliation in Place Names Act would give a federal board more power to change offensive place-names. The letter authors say that geoscientists must make the outdoors safe for people of color by removing harmful language that makes the profession less welcoming … Vocativ found at least 558 places across the United States that have offensive words for Black people, including the words “Negro,” “Uncle Tom,” and “Jim Crow.” They also found derogatory names for Asian Americans. By far the most common term was the slur “Squaw,” considered an offensive term for Indigenous women, which appears on the map 828 times.

A federal appeals court judge in his dissenting opinion in a defamation case on Friday accused The New York Times and The Washington Post of being “Democratic Party broadsheets.” … “The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe),” he continued. “Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.” … “It should be borne in mind that the first step taken by any potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to gain control of communications, particularly the delivery of news,” Silberman continued.  He went on to say, “It is fair to conclude, therefore, that one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy. It may even give rise to countervailing extremism.”

“Real Time” host Bill Maher went on a tirade against the growing “tsunami” of cancel culture. “I swear to God, I don’t want to talk about cancel culture and this nonsense every week, but I just think people understand how this is a tsunami and how fast the goalposts change almost on a weekly basis,” Maher began the discussion on Friday night. “Literally, on the top of my head … I wrote down three things that I could think of — not just what you do now… it’s anything you’ve ever done… Not just what you say, it’s now what you listen to, they can catch you for that. What you order, who you say you like, anything sort of association, if you retweet something.” … The subject later turned to the ousting of Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Alexi McCammond, who was forced to resign even before she started the job after the magazine’s staff expressed outrage over allegedly racist and homophobic tweets she made a decade ago when she was a 17-year-old high schooler.

We are watching in real time America’s institutions being gutted on behalf of left-wing politics. Formerly apolitical institutions are being remolded top down to reflect the values of our New Ruling Class: those who speak the wokeabulary, who believe in the tyrannical and polarizing theories of Ibram X. Kendi and Kimberle Crenshaw, who see their roles as the social engineers of their fellow Americans. This is true in our universities; it’s true in our colleges; it’s true at our corporations; and now it’s true in the American military. No wonder we’re told that our military will somehow be stronger for tossing out gender-neutral physical fitness tests, or paying for transgender surgeries, or forcing soldiers to read the asinine musings of critical race theorists

Lionel Shriver has described her capitulation to cancel culture, admitting that for a forthcoming book she agreed to remove dialogue she was told was “othering”. The US author who has described herself as a believer in the “right to publish what we want” said she had resisted pressure from “nervous” publishers to remove aspects of her previous books. However, for a new book, she told the FT Weekend Festival she had “capitulated on a couple of small points”. She said: “For example, in my upcoming book I had a little bit of an African accent in a very small dialogue. Touches of it. I was discouraged from using it because it was othering.

Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is picking a fight with those he claims are radical leftists seeking to silent opposition through so-called “cancel culture,” and he’ll use the power of TV, radio and the courts to do so. “You’re seeing your country slip away. Free speech is under attack from Big Tech censorship, leftist radicalism and a culture of fear and intimidation,” Walker says in a video about a new initiative from his perch as president of Young America’s Foundation (YAF), one of the nation’s largest organizations for college conservatives.

Facebook and other social media are censoring not only politically controversial speech; they are also censoring cartoons, jokes, irony and other forms of humor. This is not because the people who run the social media necessarily lack a sense of humor or irony, but because they have delegated the role of sensor to robots: algorithms, computer software, and other forms of non-human decision-making. It turns out, however, that these robot’s, brilliant as they are at playing chess and identifying potential terrorists, can’t tell the difference between advocacy of violence and mocking such advocacy.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is defending his comments that “woke supremacy” is as bad as white supremacy, saying it was a response to being called a token for Republicans … he said he is “gravely concerned for our future if we ignore either type of supremacy — both of which are rooted in racism or discrimination.” Scott listed the racist comments he has received for being a Black Republican and said woke supremacists are his critics who believe diversity doesn’t matter if it isn’t coupled with progressive thinking. “It is the ‘tolerant’ left’s intolerance for dissent. It is a progressive conception of diversity that does not include diversity of thought. It is discrimination falsely marketed as inclusion,” Scott wrote … Scott said he believes that “woke culture” will continue to divide the U.S. “or we can choose to create equality of opportunity and access to the American Dream for everyone.”

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The word spread fast at Middleton High School: Officer White had been fired for using the n-word … White’s supporters agree he should have been sanctioned for the behavior caught on his body camera. But ending the career of an effective, beloved Black officer at a school where nearly half the students are Black? They see that as unfair and counterproductive. The firing March 2 made national headlines and raised an unresolved question: Should there be different penalties depending on the race of the employee using the n-word and the context in which they use it? … White told his supervisor that he did not mean for the word to be derogatory. Instead, he said he was using the word as it is “commonly used in today’s society as a means of shared culture and experiences among the African American community,” disciplinary records show.

Why hasn’t the “woke police” canceled Hollywood and the entertainment industry which is filled with pornography, foul language and violence, or canceled the killing of babies, (abortions) yet cartoon characters and children’s books are being canceled. What’s next, your bible? Cancel culture, the ‘woke police’, and now Kaua‘i’s own Chief of police for telling an ethnic joke … People on Kaua‘i tell ethnic jokes, it’s part of the culture, comedian Frank Delima makes a living out of ethnic jokes. The Podagee (sic) joke is part of Hawaii culture, even told by many Portuguese people themselves in a self-deprecating manner. How many times do white people hear the haole derogative/ explicative as a joke here in Hawaii? There was a time we could laugh at the stereotypes of others as well as laugh at ourselves.

“Look, you have a former president in Trump, who was a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe, a pathological liar, an authoritarian, somebody who doesn’t believe in the rule of law. This is a bad-news guy,” Sanders said on the New York Times podcast “The Ezra Klein Show” when asked if there’s “truth to the critique that liberals have become too censorious and too willing to use their cultural and corporate and political power to censor or suppress ideas and products that offend them.” “But if you’re asking me, do I feel particularly comfortable that the then-president of the United States could not express his views on Twitter?,” Sanders, an independent, continued. “I don’t feel comfortable about that.” Further, he said. “I don’t like giving that much power to a handful of high tech people.” 

A local Minnesota theater has cancelled a production of Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella because its cast was ‘too white’. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres was scheduled to stage the show later this year before its artistic director stepped in to slam its lack of diversity.  ‘It was 98 percent white, ‘ the artistic director, Michael Brindisi, told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday after looking at who had been cast. However, Chanhassen – located southwest of Minneapolis – has a population that is overwhelming white, and the racial demographics of the cast were not strikingly different from the city as a whole. According to the most recent census, 92.5 percent of people in Chanhassen are white.  Chanhassen – located southwest of Minneapolis – has a population that is overwhelming white, and the racial demographics of the cast were not strikingly different from the city as a whole

The University of Rhode Island is distancing itself from an endowed professor of gender and women’s studies who recently wrote about what she calls the “trans-sex fantasy.” “The ‘gender identity’ movement is canceling people’s free speech and academic freedom for anyone who doesn’t fall in line, speaks out in opposition, or even calls for the right to debate,” the professor, Donna Hughes, wrote in a recent essay for 4W, a “fourth-wave” feminist website. “People are losing social media accounts or being fired for ‘misgendering’ someone or not ‘affirming’ a person’s’ claimed ‘gender identity.’”… Samantha Harris, Hughes’s lawyer, said that “like faculty around the country who express views that are out of step with the prevailing orthodoxy on campus, Professor Hughes has become the target of an online pressure campaign.” This involves an effort to get students to file complaints about her with the university and “take her down,” Harris explained, quoting one Twitter user.

Last week, Robert Hoogland was arrested at the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver for speaking against court-ordered testosterone injections for his teenage daughter. Hoogland was denied bail, and Justice Michael Tammen issued an oral decision last Friday confining Hoogland to prison until his case is tried on April 12, 2021. Hoogland’s arrest has garnered significant attention, nationally and internationally, and prompted an online petition for his release. Noted psychologist and author Jordan Peterson tweeted about the case repeatedly last Thursday, pointing out that he had predicted such imprisonment was “inevitable” back when he took his stand against the “pronoun laws” in Canada’s Bill C16. As previously reported, the BC Supreme Court ordered that Hoogland’s daughter should begin receiving testosterone injections when she was 14 years old, regardless of parental consent. The court further declared that if either of the girl’s parents referred to her “as a girl or with female pronouns,” that parent would be considered guilty of family violence … “What kind of father would I be if, let’s say in 5, 10 years my daughter is detransitioning, and she turns to me and says… ‘Why did none of you do anything to stop this? I was a child. None of you stuck your neck out for me back then. You just let me do it because I was a… immature kid, thinking this was something great,’” he said in an interview. “When my daughter asks me that question, I’ll say… ‘I did everything that I possibly could.’”

An appeals panel reinstated First Amendment claims brought by a philosophy professor who was threatened with suspension or termination after he refused to call a transgender student by her preferred pronouns because of his religious beliefs … Nicholas Meriwether, an evangelical Christian who has taught at Shawnee State University since 1996, was disciplined in 2018 when he refused to call a transgender student by her preferred pronouns … Following the incident, the student confronted Meriwether and demanded she be called by her preferred pronouns, at which point the professor informed her that his religious beliefs would not allow it. The student promised to get Meriwether fired, and after an investigation, the professor was given a written warning based on the school’s finding that he had created a hostile environment for the student.

Four UChicago professors are founding members of the Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending academic freedom in higher education … In interviews with The Maroon, the four UChicago faculty members said the AFA is a necessary bulwark against increasing impingement on academic freedom, especially in allowing college and university faculty to express unorthodox views.

Sharon Osbourne, a longtime fixture on The Talk, has now been fired from the program by CBS for allegedly racist opinions expressed on the show. Earlier this month, Osbourne rankled her fellow co-hosts on the show by defending Piers Morgan, who earlier slammed Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, before himself being fired from Good Morning Britain. Piers Morgan specifically questioned Markle’s negative account of life within the British royal family and the resulting mental distress she reported. Morgan, a former CNN host, subsequently refused to apologize, citing his right to free speech and criticism of public figures. That high-profile incident quickly spilled into The Talk, given Sharon Osbourne’s friendship with Morgan and decision to publicly defend his positions on Twitter.

A majority of Americans say they view “cancel culture” as a threat to their freedom, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.  Sixty-four percent of respondents said that there is “a growing cancel culture” that is a threat to their freedom, while 36 percent said they did not view it as a threat to their freed… The poll found that 54 percent of respondents said they were “concerned” that if they expressed their opinions online that they would be banned or fired …

Let me tell you about an American hero whom the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education might find, um, troublesome. He opposed undocumented immigrants to the point of urging his followers to report them to la migra. He accepted an all-expenses-paid trip from a repressive government and gladly received an award from its ruthless dictator despite pleas from activists not to do so. He paid his staff next to nothing. Undercut his organization with an authoritarian style that pushed away dozens of talented staffers and contrasted sharply with the people-power principles he publicly espoused. And left behind a conflicted legacy nowhere near pure enough for today’s woke warriors. A long-dead white man? A titan of the business world? Perhaps a local politician? Try Cesar Chavez. The United Farm Workers founder is the first person I always think about whenever there’s talk about canceling people from the past. He’s on my mind again, and not just because this Wednesday is his birthday, an official California holiday … That’s why there was never any call by the San Francisco school board to remove Chavez’s name from an elementary school in the Mission District. Or for the same fate to befall city schools named after Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, even though the former once advised a teenage boy in Ebony magazine that his homosexuality was a “problem,” while the latter called white people “devils” and spoke at a rally along with the head of the American Nazi Party.

The Pentagon‘s new diversity chief has been “reassigned” amid an investigation of past social media posts including comparing former President Trump to Adolph Hitler, a U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday. The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been investigating the social media activity of Richard Torres-Estrada, days after he was announced as their new head of diversity and inclusion. A spokesman said Torres-Estrada has not been fired but rather “assigned to other duties pending the results of the investigation.”

A children’s graphic novel is being taken off of shelves for what its publisher Scholastic calls “passive racism.” The 2010 book “Adventures of Ook and Gluk” by Dav Pilkey features two time-traveling cavemen who want to save the world and train at Master Wong’s School of Kung Fu. Scholastic said in a statement that it has removed the book from its websites, stopped fulfillment of any orders, and asked for a return of all inventory. It will also “inform schools and libraries who may still have this title in circulation of our decision to withdraw it from publication.” The decision came after Billy Kim, a Korean American father, noticed problematic imagery in his sons’ copy of the Pilkey book. 

Students at Clemson University in South Carolina are calling on the school to ban Fox News conservative personality Tomi Lahren from a Turning Point USA conference set to take place on the campus on April 8. Students say that Lahren’s past criticism of the Black Lives Matter organization disqualifies her from speaking at the university.

The majority of faculty at Gunnison’s Western Colorado University have turned against the public college’s president, Greg Salsbury, after he equated the Jan. 6 insurrectionists with Black Lives Matters protesters. “Over the last year, rioting, burning, looting, and violence have emerged from protests across our country – resulting in seemingly endless confrontations, destruction of entire cities, properties, serious injuries, the public’s overall sense of security, and deaths,” Salsbury wrote. “Most of us have watched these events unfold with a mixture of confusion, fear, disgust, anger, or sorrow. Many have openly questioned whether this is America any longer. The violence yesterday that interrupted the traditional, peaceful transfer of power punctuated these feelings.” Chris Rourke, spokesman for Western Colorado University, said “a number of faculty did not like the President’s email, and organized opposition to his statement.” Western’s faculty senate sent a statement to faculty to gauge whether they supported the idea of new leadership at the university.

A group of Trump officials were sent an email from a Facebook employee, warning that any content posted on Facebook and Instagram “in the voice of President Trump is not currently allowed on our platforms (including new posts with President Trump speaking)” and warned that it “will be removed if posted, resulting in additional limitations on accounts that posted it” … Facebook moved to block Trump “indefinitely” after the Jan. 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that they “believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.”

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How utterly ridiculous is our country getting thanks to an increasingly woke media that is replacing the isms in going from journalism to activism? Consider Exhibit A: The Washington Post publishes a guide called “Social Justice for Toddlers.” … “Leigh Wilton and Jessica Sullivan, Skidmore College psychology professors who study race and social interaction, say that children develop implicit bias as early as 3 months old, and at 4 years old are categorizing and developing stereotypes,” the Post reports.  Yep, you read that correctly: Children begin to become racists at three months old, before they speak or even crawl. At four years old, before even beginning kindergarten, kids are developing stereotypes … “Criticism is great. What cancel culture is about is not criticism,” former New York Times writer Bari Weiss correctly told Maher on his HBO show not long ago. “It is about punishment. It is about making a person radioactive. It is about taking away their job.” So, if and when the mob comes for you, here’s some free advice: Don’t apologize. Don’t back down. Tell your employer or boss to do the same. There is no appeasement in this culture war. May common sense eventually prevail. 

 

The National Association of Scholars counts 162 academic cancellations in the United States and Canada … After punishment, victims of cancel culture rarely have the opportunity to fight back. Many are at-will employees and therefore lack the ability to pursue legal recourse. Even if they could, colleges and universities can almost always out-lawyer any individual with their internal or external legal teams paid out of hefty hedge funds sometimes called “endowments.” Sadly, the fate of most “cancelees” is banishment from their academic communities, leaving them either to disappear or to join fellow dissidents in the heterodox corners of the academic and professional world. Consider the recent experience of Professor Gordon Klein, a lecturer in accounting at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He declined to accommodate demands to award lenient grades to his African-American students in the wake of George Floyd’s death … Abrupt? Perhaps. Racist? Of course not. And yet, Professor Klein has been “canceled” for his “woefully racist response”: he has been suspended, his classes have been assigned to other professors, and he is in police protection after receiving multiple death threats. Klein later stated that he was used as the “sacrificial lamb” to placate “those who threaten to riot.” And so, the cycle continues.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel shared Saturday that she wouldn’t be watching baseball after Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to Georgia’s controversial new voting law that critics say will disproportionately affect people of color … Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also criticized MLB’s decision, tweeting that it had “caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.” Kemp also called the move an example of “cancel culture” … “Georgians – and all Americans – should fully understand what the MLB’s knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included. If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter,” the Republican governor said in a statement about MLB’s decision.

What gave Black Lives Matter their tremendous power was that they used Floyd’s death to seize the mantle of moral authority in America. They knew every American’s greatest fear is the label of racist and they used the death of a man to divide America into two camps: racist and antiracists. The only way to become an antiracist was to subscribe to the Black Lives Matter ideology, which included critical race theory. But like those activists outside of the courthouse, the goal here for Black Lives Matter was not true justice but conformity to an ideology that reduces us all to skin tone.

Portland Public Schools Board of Education delayed adopting a high school’s new mascot of an evergreen tree after concerns arose from board members that the tree might have a negative connotation because of its alleged ties to “lynching” … One of the committee members, Martin Osborne, who is also black, defended the evergreen tree as the high school’s new mascot and said it represents a “tree of life,” not a “tree of death” … However, Osborne’s statements failed to sit well with [Director Michelle] DePass and the renaming and mascot committee decided to delay the vote until the next board meeting. “Lynching is a really difficult topic to talk about and as a sole Black board member, I invite you, beg you, implore you to join me in disrupting the situations, practices, that are racist. I can’t do this by myself,” said DePass.

Homeland Security has removed the press release announcing the arrest of two Yemeni men on the terrorist watch list. The release was posted Monday, but by Tuesday morning it was no longer available. An archived version is still available at the Internet Archive. The deletion sparked questions on Capitol Hill.

The mayor of Nevada’s third-largest city said he left the Democratic Party and joined the Republicans this week, claiming “card-carrying socialists” won local seats and now there’s “no place left for a pro-life, pro-gun, Christian” like himself. North Las Vegas John Lee penned a Fox News op-ed Thursday that accused newly elected Democrats of having one clear goal: “ending the America we know and love.” He repeatedly stated in separate interviews during the past week that “cancel culture” has become his biggest problem with politics. “I will not let the America I love be hijacked by an extremist left-wing mob that blacklists, bans, shouts down and cancels anyone who disagrees with them,” the Democratic Party defector wrote. “That is why I am switching to register as a member of the Republican Party. Though I’ve been a registered Democrat on paper, I made the switch in my heart a long time ago, because on some things, there’s simply no compromise.”

According to reporting from the Daily Wire, a conservative media company, the college suspended junior history education major Owen Stevens … after it became aware of videos posted to Instagram in which, among other things, Stevens praised Christopher Columbus, stated his belief that there are only two genders and mocked different gender identitites … “If we’re not allowed to speak our minds in the world and especially in America, I think we’re falling very short of what this country is founded on, Stevens said …”

Public safety officials have identified the person responsible for racist graffiti in a Michigan college dorm room, saying it was a 21-year old Black student … Video evidence from the school’s campus safety department confirmed the admission.

Twitter will not allow the National Archives and Records Administration to house archived versions of former President Donald Trump’s tweets on its social media platform, the company said.  Twitter said Thursday that the company has been working with the National Archives on the preservation of tweets from Trump’s personal account, @realDonaldTrump, “as is standard with any administration transition and as we’ve done previously” … In its own statement, the National Archives said it intends to provide public access to all of Trump’s social media, including “any blocked or deleted tweets that have been transferred to us.”

The Anti-Defamation League called on Fox News to fire Tucker Carlson on Friday, after the host said Democrats are deliberately using immigrants to dilute the power of U.S. voters, a statement the ADL said was a nod to the white supremacist “replacement” theory … In an open letter, ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt told Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott “it is time for Carlson to go.” Carlson insisted on-air Thursday he isn’t backing the white replacement theory, instead claiming his fears are rooted in a concern for voting rights … 3.2 million. That was Tucker Carlson Tonight’s average audience in March, making it the most popular show on cable news, according to ratings released by Fox.

Holly Lawford-Smith is one of Australia’s top political philosophers and she is being targeted in an open letter by about 150 of her University of Melbourne colleagues for pushing “harmful ideology”. Lawford-Smith’s “harmful ideology” is her contention that the transgender rights movement is resulting in setbacks to biological women’s rights and safety.  Lawford-Smith recently launched a website — noconflicttheysaid.org — encouraging women to report personal stories showing the adverse effects of new rules and legislation driven by transgender activism on women’s sports, quotas, dating apps, and rape and domestic violence refuges … Lawford-Smith’s case is not unique, globally or within Australia. It is part of the phenomenon called “cancel culture” that sees people being demonised and their careers ruined or threatened simply for stating views at odds with postmodern and critical theory dogmas on sexuality, gender, and race relations …Also central to cancel culture is an emerging therapeutic totalitarianism that seeks to outlaw speech and practices deemed “unsafe” or “harmful”. “Safe”/“unsafe” are used four times in the open letter against Lawford-Smith, “harmful” is used three times to describe her views particularly in regards to people’s “mental health” … The vices that sustain cancel culture are a lack of intellectual humility among academics who cannot see alternative views as reasonable, ideological fanaticism driving the cancel mobs, cowardice overwhelming upper managers and bureaucrats who capitulate to their demands, and apathy among many of the rest.

Patrisse Cullors, 37, has bought an expansive property in Topanga Canyon. The district in which the [Black Lives Matter] founder will now live is 88% white and 1.8% black. Critics accused her of abandoning her social justice and activist roots. Cullors has written a best-selling memoir and has a follow-up in October. In October she signed a ‘multi-platform, multiyear’ deal with Warner Bros. BLM brought in $90 million in donations last year … One LGBTQ activist described BLM as ‘a racket’.  Jason Whitlock, a sports journalist, tweeted that: ‘She had a lot of options on where to live. She chose one of the whitest places in California. She’ll have her pick of white cops and white people to complain about. That’s a choice, bro.’  Author and activist Andy Ngo tweeted: ‘Cullors identifies as a communist & advocates for the abolishment of capitalism.’ 

Significant Real Estate Transactions Exposed by Ethics Group. National Legal and Policy Center today released to the media information on significant real estate transactions involving Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors. These properties span the country, three being in California, and one in Conyers, Georgia. Cullers has also been looking at real estate in an exclusive enclave in the Bahamas … NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty stated, “The voice of the underprivileged seems to be doing pretty well.”

Spotify signed a massive contract to become the exclusive home of Joe Rogan‘s podcast, but now the streaming service is quietly removing some of his controversial episodes. According to a report by The Wrap, 42 episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience have now been deleted from Spotify‘s archive without comment. The most recent purge came on Tuesday when episodes No. 411 and No. 149 were removed … Other guests from deleted episodes included Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, comedian Eddie Bravo, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.

Jeremy Clarkson has claimed that a section from one of his latest columns was removed, with a new paragraph written by somebody else put in its place. Writing in his Sunday Times column this weekend, the Grand Tour host said that he had intended to include a section in his column last week about how ‘some people in this country can’t speak English’. However, he appears to allege that his work was censored and that a ghost writer was used to produce a paragraph to replace his own.

We have been discussing the expanding censorship on Twitter and social media. The latest example involves the story of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, 37, and her purchase of a $1.4 million home in a secluded area of Los Angeles whose population is reputedly less than 2% black. The professed Marxist received considerable criticism for the purchase, including from Jason Whitlock, an African-America sports critic who has also been a critic of BLM.  When Whitlock called out Khan-Cullors, Twitter promptly censored the tweet — leaving a notice that it was “no longer available.” … Even the head of New York City’s Black Lives Matter chapter is calling for an independent investigation into the organization’s finances in the wake of the controversy … The issue for me is not the house or claimed hypocrisy. It is the censorship of Twitter of such criticism … Whitlock apparently is a vocal critic of BLM which he has denounced as a scam and even compared to the KKK. One does not have to agree with such statements to support his right to speak freely without corporate censorship.

SCRABBLE has banned the use of hundreds of racial and offensive slurs, including a number of anti-Irish words. Mattel and Hasbro, who co-own the beloved board game, have been accused of indulging political correctness at the expense of the historic game by removing as many as 400 words from use. On the banned list are words considered to be racial or ethnic slurs, including ‘n*****’, ‘Paki’ and ‘Fenian’. Hasbro, who own rights to the game in North America, were first to bulk, removing words they believe have no place in a family game, with Mattel, who own rights to the game in Europe and Australia, following suit soon after. The decision has sparked furious public debate, with many celebrating the progressivism of the move, and others branding the ban unnecessary pandering to the woke brigade. Competitive Scrabble players and members of the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) were particularly outraged by the decision. So much so that three prominent members of WESPA reportedly quit the association following the controversial ruling.

Following a recent public health discussion in March that was removed last week from YouTube, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the same panel of doctors and epidemiologists on Monday slammed the video-sharing platform for its decision to censor information challenging safety measures to combat COVID-19. “Science in particular needs to have dissenting views. I am glad we are back; we are not going to be silenced,” DeSantis said in Monday’s panel discussion in Tallahassee featuring Dr. Scott Atlas, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Martin Kulldorff. The information from the panel’s previous public health roundtable violated YouTube policy, therefore, the video was removed Friday from the social media platform because the participants were spreading “COVID-19 medical misinformation,” the Tampa Bay Times reported … Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor of medicine at Stanford University, said, “censorship is not consistent with American norms.”

In the age of non-discrimination, escort Samantha X says the use of the word ‘prostitute’ is offensive, derogatory and outdated. She says it has to end. There’s been a lot of talk recently about the shady sexual goings on in Parliament House. A staff member committed a lewd act on a desk and there are reports of sex workers being booked for God knows what with God knows who..Except the media didn’t call them sex workers; they were labelled prostitutes. Reports were the sex workers were male, but that doesn’t matter. What I cringed at, as did most men and women in the adult industry, was the word ‘prostitute.’ The official meaning of the P word is women who commit sexual acts for payment. So, we can’t complain about that if you are going on purely facts. But it’s also offensive, derogatory and outdated.

A teacher at Stratford High School in the Spring Branch Independent School District has been placed on administrative leave after students raised concerns about a controversial lesson Monday in her classroom. “It was just really shocking at first because it was there on the board,” Karina Rodgerson said. She took a picture of her teacher’s warm-up activity during her English class. “It was, ‘How is the N-word complicated and how has it changed?’ in 75 words. We had to write about it,” she said. One of the problems was that the teacher spelled out the offensive word as it was projected onto the wall. “She didn’t say ‘N-word’ in the assignment, she wrote out the word on the board,” Karina’s mother Anita Rodgerson said. The student said the writing assignment was related to a new book unit the class has coming up. “Then had a Tupac quote next to it that also had the N-word written onto it,” Karina said. “This all started because we were about to start our book unit of ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God,’ which was written by a Black woman.”

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro described the changes, and how the drive to be more inclusive, prompted the changes on Disney Parks Blog: … “We want our guests to see their own backgrounds and traditions reflected in the stories, experiences and products they encounter in their interactions with Disney. And we want our cast members – and future cast members – to feel a sense of belonging at work. That means cultivating an environment where all people feel welcomed and appreciated for their unique life experiences, perspectives and culture. Where we celebrate allyship and support for each other. And where diverse views and ideas are sought after as critical contributions towards our collective success.”

Anyone who joined a video call during the pandemic probably has a global volunteer organization called the Internet Engineering Task Force to thank for making the technology work. The group, which helped create the technical foundations of the internet, designed the language that allows most video to run smoothly online … Now the organization is tackling an even thornier issue: getting rid of computer engineering terms that evoke racist history, such as “master,” “slave,” “whitelist” and “blacklist.” … On an email list, responses trickled in. Some were supportive. Others proposed revisions. And some were vehemently opposed. One respondent wrote that Knodel’s draft tried to construct a new “Ministry of Truth.” Amid insults and accusations, many members announced that the battle had become too toxic and that they would abandon the discussion.

In order to participate in the 2020–2021 school year, Owen was required to complete three interactive video-based training programs depicting scenarios that a community member might encounter on campus. Participants were presented with several choices of how to respond, and their selections drove the video’s storyline. While many schools require diversity training, OU’s rendition clearly violates First Amendment rights. The problem is that each module restarted until participants selected the “right” answer, forcing an expression of agreement with university-approved viewpoints in order to complete the mandatory training … In an interview, FIRE attorney Adam Steinbaugh told me: “The First Amendment deals not just with the right to speak. It also prevents the government from compelling you to voice opinions that you don’t agree with.”

The Associated Press Stylebook, which has traditionally set standards for language usage within the media landscape, mystified Twitter users Tuesday when it tweeted a reality-bending, wrist-slapping admonishment. “Don’t use the term mistress for a woman who is in a long-term sexual relationship with, and is financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else. Instead, use an alternative like companion, friend or lover on first reference and provide additional details later,” the tweet read. Of course, goomah is a much better term. The announcement led many to wonder which mistress had taken control of the account, and what is truly wrong with the word mistress. It also spurred a joke-fest with people tweeting alternatives to mistress, like “side piece” or “homewrecker” … Obviously someone at AP is banging a married dude.

After the ACLU of Washington convinced a federal judge to halt the release of data on the number of transgender inmates in the state’s prisons, a feminist activist group is lashing out, accusing the venerable civil liberties group of covering up the danger to female inmates posed by housing violent male-to-female transgender prisoners in women’s facilities. The ACLU suit is an attempt to “prevent the public from knowing this data, so that the harm posed to women by forcing them to be housed with violent male prisoners will continue to go under the public’s radar,” said Lauren Adams, legal director of the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), in an interview … WoLF, a self-described radical feminist group that opposes transgender policies such as the Equality Act, blasted the ACLU Wednesday for “blatantly disregarding their own values and past work in an attempt to suppress information related to how gender identity is impacting women’s prisons.”

After a scathing series of exposés dropped by Project Veritas about CNN’s anti-conservative bias this week, Twitter has suspended the outlet’s founder, James O’Keefe. After a scathing series of exposés dropped by Project Veritas about CNN’s anti-conservative bias this week, Twitter has permanently suspended the outlet’s founder, James O’Keefe … O’Keefe, the publisher and founder of Project Veritas, has consistently been releasing exclusive video footage that exposes the political bias of CNN, Facebook, and Google, among others, in a series of bombshells reports … The Post Millennial‘s Andy Ngo suggests that Twitter suspended O’Keefe not for a rules violation, but for the hidden camera videos showing a CNN director proudly and purposefully revealing that the news network engaged in propagandist reporting to further the aims of the Democratic party. This suspension could be perceived as another instance of big tech taking ownership over American free speech rights and crushing them.

On Thursday, Facebook decided its users should not be able to share a New York Post article about the property buying habits of one of the founders of Black Lives Matter. This is the third time we’ve tangled with social media giants in the past year. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we published a column that suggested the virus could have leaked from a Chinese virology lab. Facebook’s “fact checkers” decided this was an opinion you weren’t allowed to have, and blocked the article. Today, it’s a commonly discussed theory, with officials from former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to CNN’s Sanjay Gupta saying it can’t be discounted. Even the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said it can’t be ruled out.

Black Guns Matter founder Maj Toure told “Fox News Primetime” host Lawrence Jones Thursday that he’s “not surprised at all” a CNN staffer was caught admitting the network is trying to help the Black Lives Matter movement. TOURE: It is par for the course … These are our communities that are being manipulated by extreme left media telling a story that is not accurate, and people that have conservative and libertarian-minded values in urban centers outnumber the small amount of people that have been manipulating and doing things. We have been seeing it for a long time, but now there is more and more people that look like me, that wear hoodies, that wear jeans, that don’t always have on a suit and tie, they are being much more vocal about it, and I love it.

An Advanced Placement Government teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia is speaking out about what she calls “Marxist” ideas that have prompted intense infighting among county residents. “We’re told that we’re living in a county that’s suffering from systemic racism and I think that that whole notion has done nothing but damage our community and our school since they began pushing equity,” teacher Monica Gill told Fox News this week. She added that teachers were told to “disrupt and dismantle this systemic racism. And I can tell you, one thing that’s for sure, it has been disruptive because there are parents who disagree with this ideology, there are teachers who disagree with it, there are students who disagree with it — and it is harmful.” Her comments came amid a raging debate over the county’s controversial equity and diversity trainings, forms of which have surfaced in schools across the country.