By Deacon Mike Manno, JD, at The Wanderer:
“Listen up, peon, by now you must understand that my intelligence, education, and exalted place in society are such that I am to be believed and I will not tolerate any defiance. You conform or you will be canceled.”
So issue the threats from The Woke among us. You see, the modern leftists are so secure in their feeble knowledge of history, science, the arts, politics, and nearly everything else, that to express any type of disagreement should render that societal heretic invisible. In other words, he should be canceled. And it doesn’t matter if the offense is being committed by a thing and not a person — just remove the thing, it is no longer anything nor does it hold any value.
And, of course, if it is represented by a statute or a piece of art, well, just destroy it. After all, Confederate generals no longer exist, they’ve been canceled, and so will anyone from the past who has ever uttered a word, made a statement, or acted in a manner disagreeable to the Woke Intelligentsia. And whatever was said or done in the past must now meet with the new left’s political approval or history itself will be canceled, as the 1619 project, authored by The New York Times’ Nikole Hannah-Jones, wants to do. After all, with Oprah’s blessing that program will soon be coming to a school near you.
You disagree with me? I cancel you! You are no longer relevant. It is as if you don’t exist, because my imperfect knowledge is so superior to yours you are no longer entitled to express a differing opinion. Got that?
If you don’t, they will come after your job. Just ask Gary Garrels, senior curator for paintings and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art — or we should say the former curator.
It seems that Mr. Garrels committed an unpardonable sin by expressing his opinion that the museum should not exclude works from white, male artists. It seems that he made the offensive comment during a staff meeting and was ratted out by one of the employees there. That produced an online petition that demanded his removal.
“Gary‘s removal from [the museum] is non-negotiable,” the petition read. “Considering his lengthy tenure at this institution, we ask just how long have his toxic white supremacist beliefs regarding race and equity directed his position curating the content of the museum?”
See that? The man was a toxic white supremacist! Therefore he must be canceled. Mr. Garrels duly fell on his sword and, after genuflecting to the gods of political correctness, turned in his resignation.
Of course this isn’t new. University professors who do not adhere to the Woke agenda have been getting the boot for years. Even in the ranks of tenured professors wokeness will sometimes prevail, but without tenure they are goners, canceled in the name of leftist ideology. We can’t have dissenting ideas on this campus, no sir. We are Woke, we are the new intelligentsia and our view of history, science, and all else must be held has true, otherwise, you guessed it, you’re canceled.
Remember Mozilla co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich? His sin was to sign a petition in favor of traditional marriage and he donated $1,000 to that cause. He had been head of the firm for less than two weeks. Canceled and forced to resign.
During that campaign, to get Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, the homosexual group Californians Against Hate distributed the names and addresses of citizen-signers of the petition to get Proposition 8 on the ballot. Many faced repercussions against their businesses and their employers and were either fired or forced to quit or close their businesses.
“If our opponents want to take away our rights, then we will fight back. We will let the world know who these donors are, and then our millions of friends and allies can decide if they want to support their businesses or not,” said the aforementioned anti-hate group. The message: You disagree, therefore you must be canceled.
At last this cancel culture is meeting more than token opposition. Recently, New York Times’ opinion columnist Bari Weiss, no flame-throwing conservative, resigned. In her letter of resignation to Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. she wrote:
“I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago. I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives, and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers. . . .
“But the lessons that ought to have followed the election — lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society — have not been learned. Instead, 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….Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions….
“My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist. . . . Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. . . . [S]ome coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly ‘inclusive’ one. . . .
“Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity — let alone risk-taking — is now a liability at The Times.”
Her resignation — self cancellation, if you will — followed by a month the forced resignation of James Bennet, the editorial page editor, after the rebellious reaction of staff to an op-ed he published by Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) urging the president to consider using troops to restore order. You see, dissent from liberal orthodoxy is not tolerated. The man had to be canceled!
Only hours after Weiss’ resignation was announced, a colleague, Andrew Sullivan, resigned from New York Magazine. In a tweet after his own resignation, Sullivan said, “The mob bullied and harassed a young woman for thought crimes, and her editors stood by and watched.”
In the background of all of this was an open letter by J.K. Rowling, Noam Chomsky, and about 150 other activists and writers, which warned that “free exchange of information and ideas the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.” The letter was published on Harper’s Magazine website and will be featured in the magazine’s October issue.
“The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away….As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes. We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us,” the letter concluded.
So the question left is: Does this represent the end — or at least the diminishment — of the Woke culture? Or does it represent only the end of the beginning? Time will tell.
If not, cancel it anyway.
(You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and listen to him every Thursday at 10 a.m. (CDT) on Faith On Trial at IowaCatholicRadio.com.)