Dr. Dawg

That letter

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We’ve all seen it; we’ve all read it; some have nodded; some have shaken their heads. Never mind that it was dishonestly constructed. Never mind that some of the signatories have tried their hand at cancelling views they didn’t like. That letter is a thing, even if “cancel culture” isn’t, and let the debate continue here.

This could be either a very long piece or a short one. I have chosen the latter, because some pretty wise heads have already explored this issue in some depth.

Propositions and questions:

  • If “cancel culture” can be said to exist, it is far more prevalent on the Right than on the Left. (Here I am not referring to the countless on-the-ground “cancellations” of free assembly and of the actual lives of individuals by militarized and racist police forces.)

  • The evidence that free speech is being squelched at universities is wildly overblown.

  • The signatories of this letter, overwhelmingly privileged and white, with more cultural and social capital than most of us could dream of, aim it solely at the Left. Why is that?

  • What does this letter add to the current agonizing struggles against racism, sexism and heterosexism? Or does it undermine those struggles? Is it helpful to wag fingers at those actually fighting for their lives, admonishing them to use their indoor voices?

  • The letter is virtue-signalling at its most irritating, demonstrating the very thing it criticizes: “the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”

  • The best that the letter signatories can do is muster up a few anecdotes, but anyone can do that to advance any position. Meanwhile, the Right wants to kill us, and by “us” I include a lot of the aforementioned signatories.

Comments encouraged.

UPDATE: Irony is dead.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on July 10, 2020 9:33 AM.

The social consequences of science was the previous entry in this blog.

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