“Outrage” mobs inflame every possible division while weakening any sense of a national identity
The recent resignation of Jonathan Kay as Editor of the Walrus over a “cultural appropriation” controversy is the latest defeat for freedom of speech at the hands of those who push identity politics.
Many people thought the idea of judging people on the basis of their background was being left in the past, but the politically correct elite and their agenda of identity politics has brought that idea back with a vengeance.
And “vengeanance” is the right word for it.
Jonathan Kay’s “crime” was that he had stood up for Hal Niedzviecki, who was fired by the Writers Union of Canada Writes magazine after an essay he wrote saying he doesn’t believe in “cultural appropriation.”
Niedviecki had said, “There is no formula to appropriately appropriating. Instead it’s up to each of us to find the right measures of respect, learning and truth telling.”
That’s a completely reasonable statement. And yet, rather than just accept that Niedzniekci was free to share his opinion, the pathetic Writers Union folded like a cheap suit. Their “Equity Task Force” made a statement which opened by saying “We are angry and appalled by the publication of “Winning the Appropriation Prize” by Hal Niedzviecki in the editorial column.”
They added, “Hal Niedzviecki’s resignation was the right decision under these appalling circumstances. Frankly, what shocks us most, however, is that this piece was passed by a TWUC editorial committee. This indicates now, in no uncertain terms, the depth of the structural racism, not to mention the lack of historical memory, at TWUC. Either that, or it indicates brazen malice, or extreme negligence. We very much hope this is not the case.”
You can see that the Writers Union of Canada doesn’t believe in freedom of speech – which is incredibly disturbing.
The “Equity Task Force” also made the following list of absurd demands. I’ve included the text of those demands in full so you can see the extent of the insanity identity politics creates:
1. Retraction of editorial essay, “Winning the Appropriation Prize” by Hal Niedzviecki.
2. Official apology from TWUC to be posted on the official TWUC site and published in the next issue of WRITE.
3. Anti-racist education for all staff, National Council, editorial committee members.
4. Protocols for editing all issues of Write that build in accountability to issues of race and colonialism.
Turn over WRITE to Indigenous and other racialized editors and writers for the next 3 issues in consultation with the Equity Task Force.
5. Broadcast/publish this statement to all TWUC members, the public, on the TWUC website and in the next issue of WRITE.
6. Affirmative action hiring for the next editor of WRITE. Job description must specify not only “Indigenous writer or writer of colour” but also, “active and respected in Indigenous sovereignty or anti-racist cultural movements for at least three years”.
7. Affirmative action hiring for future TWUC office staff. Job posting to specify in the criteria that eligible candidates should be able to demonstrate: “active and respected in anti-oppression cultural movements for at least three years”. Priority must be given to the following equity-seeking groups: Indigenous writers, racialized writers, writers with disabilities and trans writers.
8. Dedicate a future issue of WRITE to bringing historical context to cultural appropriation, Indigenous writers and writers of colour within TWUC.
9. Paid equity officer position housed in the main TWUC offices. Again, hiring criteria must consider only candidates with “active and respected in anti-oppression cultural movements for at least three years”. Priority must be given to the following equity-seeking groups: Indigenous writers, racialized writers, writers with disabilities and trans writers.
Those demands are crazy, and they demonstrate how much identity politics destroys any sense of proportion, reason, justice, or realism.
After Niedzviecki’s firing, Jonathan Kay wrote the following on Twitter:
The mobbing of Hal Niedzviecki is what we get when we let Identity-politics fundamentalists run riot
Sad & shamefulhttps://t.co/Sb7TFQvREW
— Jonathan Kay (@jonkay) May 10, 2017
Kay’s comment was 100% correct and is entirely reasonable. But in today’s world, being reasonable and correct isn’t enough. After a backlash, and after witnessing the politically correct outrage mob go nuts, Kay decided he had enough of censoring himself and left the Walrus.
Open debate is an essential component of any free and successful society. Opinions and facts get thrown around in order to compete in the marketplace of ideas, and people freely decide which concepts they buy into.
But that’s not how identity politics works.
Identity politics functions on outrage and offense. If someone is offended by something, and that someone is part of a “victim-group,” the supposedly offensive idea must be shut down.
Even if that idea is true and backed up by all the facts, “outrage” is seen as enough to silence it.
This has two very dangerous consequences for our society:
First, it destroys our ability to arrive at the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts and people don’t want to hear it. However, without the truth, we can’t correct mistakes or avert disaster. Those who push identity politics don’t realize that being “outraged” is just the price of living in a society where people can speak their minds, and that the consequences of silencing debate will be worse than any outrage someone experiences when hearing another opinion.
The second dangerous consequence of identity politics is that it divides our society up into smaller and smaller pieces. Everyone is expected to fit into a box based on their background, which leaves no room for free thinking or individuality. This division destroys the idea of a shared national identity, and it causes anger and hatred to spread.
A danger to the nation
No country can succeed in the long-run if it loses a unified identity and succumbs to constant infighting, and that’s exactly what identity politics is all about.
We can already see our society being torn apart by those intent on destroying the sense of a Canadian identity and replacing patriotism with an obsession with the grievances of the past.
We are heading down a dangerous path.
To ensure a strong future for our country, we must re-embrace patriotism and speak in defense of our common Canadian values and principles, including individual liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.
If we let those core values be silenced and replaced with identity politics, we will wake up one day to find that our country and society has been lost.
We must not let that happen.
The elites want to hide their many failures behind political correctness, deception, and manipulation. We need to push back and spread the truth. That’s why I write.
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