Arwen~ A very interesting article, encourage to read it in its entirety. This part on cancel culture is what I wanted to highlight here.
“As we’ve been talking about social media, I ask May what he thinks Mercury would have made of the modern world. Because with the openness and instant gratification of social media also comes cancel culture. The upside and the downside. They are, in a way, two sides of the same coin.
“I don’t find it easy living in this world today. I think Freddie would have been the same,” says May. “Freddie was very outspoken and, in common with [astronomer] Patrick Moore who was a very good friend of mine from a previous generation, the kind of way that people spoke in those days is not allowed these days.” While May sees tremendous good in encouraging people to be respectful, he doesn’t think gagging people is the way forward. “I don’t fit in very well and I don’t think Freddie would have fitted. Patrick Moore wouldn’t have lasted five minutes,” he says.
That May is occasionally ill-at-ease with the modern world became clear earlier this week (after our interview), when he criticised the Brit Awards for making its categories gender neutral in a bid to become more inclusive. May told The Sun he thought the Brits’ decision was “ill-thought-out” and claimed it was a “knee-jerk reaction” to cancel culture. “I feel very uncomfortable about some of the decisions that are being made, often out of fear. Because people are so afraid of being called out. It is a horrible atmosphere,” he is reported to have said. “I worry about cancel culture. I think some of it is good but it also brings bad things and injustices. We think in different ways but they weren’t necessarily worse ways.”
He told The Sun, “For instance, Freddie wasn’t white but nobody cared. He was a musician. He was our friend, our brother. We didn’t have to stop and think, ‘Oh should we work with him? Is he the right colour or the right sex?’ It’s frightening that people have to be so calculated about things. To me it is dangerous.”
In many ways it is a miracle that the human species has survived at all. Never mind the various natural disasters to which we have been prey, we have had to survive that greatest challenge to our species: ourselves. And yet somehow we are still here, thanks to people having children and raising families through the bleakest imaginable periods.
People still had children in the midst of the Black Death and the Great Plague. During centuries of pestilence and famine people still raised families. Even throughout the horrors of the 20th century and in the shadow of nuclear annihilation, humankind continued to express hope in the future through the gift of new life.
So it is not just strange but alarming that our era is seeing an increase in the number of people who believe that it is not just their choice, but their duty, to avoid having children. An analysis carried out earlier this year found that the “movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing and impacting fertility rates quicker than any preceding trend in the field of fertility decline”.
It is an increasingly popular view, parroted by celebrities and politicians alike: “Why have children when we are facing climate change?”
The Left-wing US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that young people are asking a “legitimate question” when they say: “Is it OK to still have children?”
Pop star Miley Cyrus has mulled the same dilemma. “We’re getting handed a piece of s— planet,” she said in one interview, “and I refuse to hand that down to my child. Until I feel like my kid would live on an earth with fish in the water, I’m not bringing in another person to deal with that.”
One wonders what delegation of marine experts and fishermen might satisfy Miley’s concerns and assure her that the conditions for reproduction were indeed in place again.
Yet while it is easy for adults to scoff at such insane scare-mongering, the evidence suggests that many young people do not dismiss such talk, nor laugh at it. They are taking it deadly seriously. And the adults are failing to correct them.
In a speech to headteachers earlier this month, the headmistress of Benenden School, Samantha Price, said that teachers and other adults should take children’s climate worries far more seriously than they currently do. Rather than dismissing them, Mrs Price said that children should be encouraged so that their “passion” for subjects from sustainability through to equality does not “end up just going by the wayside”.
While Price drew the line at pupils following Greta Thunberg’s lead in abandoning lessons to make their point, she did say that their “ideas” on how to improve the climate should be raised within their schools.
And, in its way, Price’s speech was a prime example of the problem that a generation of adults have set up for the next generation. Children do not leap forth into the world with original worldviews, let alone planetary solutions of their own. They first repeat what they have been told and then tend to go from there.
For a generation, politicians and others have told children the most doom-laden stories possible. They have told them that the apocalypse is imminent. They have told them that they may never even get to grow up. They have told them that capitalism is destroying the planet and killing its inhabitants. They have failed to explain that capitalism has raised a billion people out of extreme poverty just in the 21st century so far.
Instead, they have taken the most fanatical rhetoric into the mainstream, claiming that our planet is on the cusp of annihilation and only a return to some sort of pre-industrial society could possibly save us.
They have given a megaphone to the most radical climate alarmists, and almost everybody in positions of authority has joined in parroting the same megaphoned message.
Only a few years ago Boris Johnson could be seen in these very pages telling people that we needed to cool the rhetoric on global warming. Fast-forward to earlier this month in Glasgow and the same Boris Johnson could be found telling Cop26 that we had just one minute left to save the planet.
Of course, young people do not just listen to celebrities and political leaders, they also notice what is permitted in the world around them. And in the UK at present you are allowed to get away with pretty much anything so long as you say that you are doing it in the name of saving the planet. Or “insulating” Britain’s homes, to use the most bathetic recent slogan of this offshoot of the extremists at Extinction Rebellion.
This alarmist movement is much closer to an end-time cult than anything resembling scientific activism. Their claims do not stand up to the most basic scrutiny. But if you are a member of Extinction Rebellion the problem is not what you say, the problem is that there is almost nothing you are not allowed to do.
You are allowed to prevent newspapers from leaving the print factories (as XR did last year) and receive the most minimal slap on the wrist for this assault on the free press. You can plonk yourself in the centre of the nation’s highways, trying to cause maximum disruption to an economy still desperately struggling to get back to normal.
And if you do that then the police will most likely just stand around, observing you with interest. Though woe betide any member of the public who does the job the police should do and haul these protestors out of their paths. We built up to this moment.
Two years ago XR extremists carried out criminal damage on the UK headquarters of the energy giant Shell. Rather surprisingly they were actually arrested and put on trial. The judge in their case declared that the majority of the defendants had absolutely no defence under the law. And yet a jury found all the accused “not guilty”.
One of the defendants crowed afterwards that the fact that no jury would convict them for their crimes was a sign of “truth”.
“A broken window is a just response to a breaking world,” he said, imperiously.
The verdict was less a sign of truth than it was an invitation to anarchy. Because of course if you decide that we are all about to die there is very little you might not permit to be done to stop it.
Instead of countering such extremism, figures in authority everywhere have been giving out the message that it is acceptable to do the most outrageous things, and make the most outrageous claims so long as you are doing so in defence of “the planet”.
At the centre of this is a terrific fallacy. For the younger generation are merely repeating what they have been told. And because they are young they are highly likely to become defeatist or depressed.
Not just because the situation has been presented as so appallingly bad. But because there is no way that they are yet informed enough to come up with the sort of innovative solutions that will be needed to allow our whole planet to some day come off fossil fuels. They inevitably bash against the limits of their own knowledge, because they have been taught what to think, rather than how to think.
And so this feeds this strange contemporary delusion that we must feel that the future is completely certain before we can consider bringing children into the world. Or that the optimal financial or climactic positions must be in place. And that unless this future is assured then reproduction is not just a pain but an outrage. As it happens we have countered this before.
In the autumn of 1939, C S Lewis preached a remarkable sermon at the University Church in Oxford. One part particularly stands out today.
For, as Lewis says, human life “has always been lived on the edge of a precipice”. We have always had to live with terrible shadows before us. But as he puts it: “If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun.”
It is the same when it comes to reproduction. If our species had always waited for the optimal conditions to be in place for reproduction then we would not be here today. The conditions never were optimal. Other species might choose their own paths. But mankind is different from them.
As Lewis concludes: “[We] propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, conduct metaphysical arguments in condemned cells, make jokes on scaffolds, discuss the last new poem while advancing to the walls of Quebec, and comb their hair at Thermopylae. This is not panache; it is our nature.”
That remains quite as true today as it was in 1939. Today’s climate extremists have terrified a generation. In order for there to be a next generation, this one should be not further terrified, but better educated and better consoled.
Clarence Louie has been Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band, in the South Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, for more than 35 years. He is the author of the new book Rez Rules: My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples, from which this essay has been adapted.
I love being on a Rez – any Rez. I have set foot on more than 300 of them in Canada and the United States. I seek out Indian reserves and reservations, rich or poor, on my travels. It’s an ancestral feeling, a heritage and cultural feeling that I seem to need. Seeing Rez people young and old living and playing on their own Rez is very special to me.
But one thing that catches my eye right away, and makes my heart heavy, is broken windows on Native houses. It is really sad to see some houses with multiple broken or boarded-up windows. On one reserve in Northern Alberta I saw so many houses with boarded-up windows that I mistakenly thought the houses were vacant and abandoned. I thought, Why doesn’t the leadership get rid of those eyesores and tear down those condemned houses? The school teacher who was driving me around the Rez that day told me, “Those houses aren’t empty – families live there. The way you tell if a house is empty is if the front door is boarded up.”
How can anyone live in a house where they can’t even look out the living room or bedroom window? I took pictures of houses with every window boarded up and with graﬃti painted on the walls and the plywood window coverings. Families were still living in those houses! It felt like I was driving through the worst part of a rundown major city. Not all of the Rez was in bad condition, but I felt so sorry for the children who were being raised in homes like that. It is not right, anywhere in the world, for children to grow up in a house with broken or boarded-up windows.
To me, broken windows are unacceptable.
Where is the leadership on that Rez? Not just where are the chief and council members, but where are all the leaders – the department heads, social services people, those who hold the senior jobs and those who call themselves Elders? Real leaders (not politicians) stand up to obvious problems. Yet only a few blocks away from this disaster zone was a modern, fancy administration oﬃce. It was a contrast I have never forgotten. It still pisses me oﬀ.
The reason I was there was to give a keynote speech on the accomplishments of the Osoyoos Indian Band. When I travel for reasons like this, and if time permits, I always ask someone to drive me around to see two things: ﬁrst, their band or tribal headquarters and other community buildings; and second, their housing and the playgrounds where children play. I have been on the poorest of the poor reserves, as well as on those that have huge economic development and are making hundreds of millions of dollars, so I want to make it clear that I’m not looking for fanciness and luxury. What I’m looking for is Native pride of ownership. Do the people there look after what they have? Do they respect and keep clean what they have?
Most Rez Natives were raised without much material wealth. Their homes were the classic Indian Aﬀairs matchbox two-bedroom, very modest homes. Most people, especially the old-timers, really looked after what little they had. My mom still lives in a little two-bedroom Rez house that was built back in the 1960s. I have also noticed that the best-looking yards are usually those of the old-timers. The old people suﬀered at the hands of the federal and provincial and state governments and had to work very hard to survive. They had to respect the home that gave them shelter and allowed them to raise their families. As Chief, I rarely get requests from the old people to ﬁx a broken door or window.
Your yard says a lot about you. If I see a yard with garbage all over it or littered with wrecked and abandoned vehicles, I take that as a public statement by those who live there. That’s why, when I’m on a Rez, I want to drive by the community buildings and houses. When I return home, I often get asked by my people, usually the Elders, “How are our people back East?” Or, “How are those Indians up North or down South?” Or, “How do their houses and band oﬃce look?”
I love that deep feeling our old people have about other tribal communities. The old people know those other Native communities suﬀered through the same racist “Indian Problem” policies of the federal government. They know that, sadly, they’re still thought of as the “Indian Problem” by most Canadians and Americans.
While I was taking pictures of those boarded-up windows and graﬃti-splashed houses up North, I noticed a little kid playing in the yard of one of the worst buildings. I shook my head and vowed I would never let that deplorable, sad, heartbreaking image appear on my Rez.
A few hours later, I was in a community hall ﬁlled with local band members – some of them likely living in those boarded-up houses. I shared my experience as a Chief and proudly spoke of the Osoyoos Indian Band’s economic and social accomplishments. But I also let people know Osoyoos is not a perfect community. My Rez has dysfunctions. My Rez has some dirty yards and poorly kept homes. Some of our community buildings could use a little tender loving care. It is a mistake to think that the Osoyoos Rez, which has been called a “Miracle in the Desert,” is somehow without problems. We have our share, and we, too, need a kick in the rear every once in a while to remind us to roll up our sleeves, clean up our backyard, and have “Native pride” in what we have built.
As I ﬁnished my talk, I wondered if I should mention how upset and disappointed I was in what I had seen in that short drive through the community. I know a politician will not tell the truth if the truth will lose him votes or put him in a bad light. But a leader says what has to be said when it has to be said, and will always stand behind their statements. I thought about bringing up the broken windows to a few council members in private afterwards, as that would have been easier and much safer.
I ﬁnished talking about the Osoyoos Indian Band and thanked the organizer for bringing me out to speak to their Rez. Then I told them that as Native people we have to look out for one another and share our stories – the good, but also the bad. And in the Indian way of teaching, some of the best lessons come from bad stories. Our Coyote (Senklip) stories use examples of bad situations to teach people what not to do. I was also taught by a Mohawk leader that “scolding” is part of our culture and that sometimes the old people must scold the younger people to get them back on track. Such scolding is a natural way of teaching.
Remember, those who scold you are the ones who truly care. No one likes to scold, but sometimes it is called for, and one must be emotionally strong to do it and be willing to take it if those being scolded don’t like what you’re saying. It’s easier not to say anything and just let the bad behaviour carry on. Easier, but not right.
Since I do care, I found I could not walk out of that hall without bringing up the very bad example that I had found there. I didn’t hold back. I told them how ashamed I felt to see the physical damage to property and sense the emotional damage to those who lived on the Rez. I told them no child should be growing up in a house with broken windows. A window is the view to the outside world. It is very important for kids to look out of their living room window every day and observe what is outside – to see the sky, to see the rain or snow – so that even when they are indoors they will still have that visual connection with nature.
I told them that we are all parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. When you leave your house, and your kids or grandkids are there, remember to glance backward and look at who is looking out of those windows. You want to see those little faces watching you leave, sometimes waving their little hands. As a grandparent myself, I always look back at my living room window to see if my little granddaughter is there watching me leave. That image always tugs at my heart. And when I pull back into my yard at the end of a work day, I always look up at the living room window. To me, one of the best sights in the world is seeing my “little boss” jumping up and down, waving and smiling to welcome me home!
“Indian up!” I told them sternly.
I spoke angrily about the conditions of some of the homes I’d seen. I told the members to show some leadership and spray-paint over the graﬃti. I had spoken in front of a Rez crowd hundreds of times, but this was the ﬁrst time I’d felt the need to scold. I ﬁnished what I had to say and stood with the microphone in my hand. The room was deadly quiet.
Then an elderly man started to walk up to the stage. I thought he was going to tell me to mind my own business, that I wasn’t from that Rez and had no right to pass judgment on the conditions there. The elderly man asked for the mic, and then spoke to both me and the silent room. I cannot recall the exact words he used, but it was very much along the lines of: “I am so ashamed that a Chief from another community had to come here and see the damage here. It is our responsibility to clean up our mess. It’s about time we take a stand against the Rez punks who are giving us a bad name and hurting the childhood of our kids.”
Someone else spoke up and said, “If we spray-paint over the swear words, the drug dealers will just put them back.”
No one said anything, so I took back the mic and said, “Yes, the punks will probably spray-paint the houses back, but the leadership on this reserve should not give up. The big question is who is going to give up ﬁrst – the good people or the punks?”
It was awesome to stand there and see other law-abiding members who cared about their reserve stand up and say, “I’ll buy a can of paint.”
I repeated, “No more broken windows. Get those windows ﬁxed. And ﬁnd out who is breaking them and give them a good, old-fashioned Rez-kicking.”
I am very proud to say, though, that the vast majority of Rez communities I have been on still have the old Native pride of ownership. Streets and yards are clean. I have been invited to speak in James Bay Cree communities many times, and I see Native pride of ownership there. No broken windows; clean yards and nice homes. Many remote reserves in Northern British Columbia have very nice subdivisions. Yes, there may still be a few starving Rez dogs wandering about, but overall I give most Rez communities a thumbs-up!
The problem of broken windows goes far beyond the visual sight or, for that matter, the cost of a new window. A broken window is a reﬂection of the lifestyle of the family inside that house. A boarded-up window is also an indication of the broken spirit of that Rez. Some things on the Rez don’t take much time or eﬀort to ﬁx, and sometimes the bruises reappear and have to be tended to again and again.
The bottom line is that every home on the Rez must be a safe, loving home, not just a house. Every Rez kid should be able to look out of every window in their house and see the beauty of their community.
A simple Rez rule: Keep your yard and community buildings clean! The youth are watching. So are Indians (your cuzzins) from other communities.
‘I don’t care about the colour of your skin. I’m interested in hiring someone who wants to work on the project and is good at it,’ Prof. Patanjali Kambhampati says
Author of the article:Michael Higgins
Publishing date:Nov 24, 2021 • 1 day ago • 5 minute read • 816 Comments
An award-winning Canadian scientist said he has been refused two federal government grants for his research on the grounds of “lack of diversity” — even though he is originally from India and has repeatedly suffered racism.
Patanjali Kambhampati, a professor in the chemistry department at Montreal’s McGill University, believes the death knell for the latest grant was a line in the application form where he was asked about hiring staff based on diversity and inclusion considerations. He says his mistake was maintaining that he would hire on merit any research assistant who was qualified, regardless of their identity.
I will hire the most qualified people based upon their skills and mutual interests,” Kambhampati wrote on the application.“I’ve had two people say that was the kiss of death,” said Kambhampati. “I thought I was trying to be nice saying that if you were interested and able I’d hire you and that’s all that mattered. I don’t care about the colour of your skin. I’m interested in hiring someone who wants to work on the project and is good at it.”
Kambhampati said he didn’t go public after the first grant was rejected but decided to speak out now because the increasing use by the government of equity, diversity and inclusion, aka “EDI,” provisions, as well as woke culture, are killing innovation, harming science and disrupting society.
“I believe this is an important stand to make. I will not be silenced anymore,” he said.
Kambhampati’s work explores the cutting edge of super-fast laser science, a field that spans everything from telecom to medicine. He believes Canada can become a world leader in the field.
If I want to focus on merit, fairness and equality, then you get called out as a racist or sexist
But his application for a $450,000 grant this month from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) was turned down because, the council said, “the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion considerations in the application were deemed insufficient.”
His grant application a year ago to the federally funded National Frontiers in Research Fund — whose object is “to support world-leading interdisciplinary, international, high-risk/high-reward, transformative and rapid-response Canadian research” — was also turned down on similar grounds.
Because both applications were rejected at the bureaucratic level, it means that neither proceeded to the step where they would be forward to other scientists to review Kambhampati’s proposals.
But Kambhampati said he believes basing his hiring decisions on merit is a valid, moral position to hold.
“I think what’s happened is the woke and the social justice warriors have made a moralistic argument the way the religious right used to make moralistic arguments. And now people are afraid to challenge them. But I think it’s okay to say I believe that equality is a morally valid position. I believe that meritocracy is a morally valid position.”
A request for comment from NSERC was not answered on Tuesday.
Around the same time that Kambhampati’s latest application was turned down, another arm of the government, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, gave Dr. Lana Ray, a professor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., a $1.2-million grant to study cancer prevention using traditional Indigenous healing practices. When the award was announced, Ray said “We need to stop framing prevalent risk factors of cancer as such and start thinking about them as symptoms of colonialism.”
Kambhampati, 50, was born in India and moved to the United States when he was four. He lived and worked in Minnesota, Texas and California, before moving to Montreal in 2003 to take up a professorship at McGill. As an immigrant he said he had experienced numerous incidents of racism.
“In childhood I used to get constant beatings and name calling,” he told National Post, adding that as an adult, he would also get harassed by U.S. border guards, and has been racially profiled in Canada, too.
“Two years ago, I had eight police officers break into my house because I was sitting on my porch while brown. That happened on Canada Day.”
But he says his experiences taught him to treat everyone equally and fairly.
“People do different things. They have different abilities. They have different interests,” he said. “To me, the whole point is to treat people as individuals, so that’s what I do in my life. My way of dealing with racism, or sexism, or any other ‘ism’ is to treat people as individuals.”
As scientists, he said, “we don’t believe in EDI. We believe in merit, fairness and equality. You should be fair in your procedures and treat people as equals.”
However, “if I want to focus on merit, fairness and equality, then you get called out as a racist or sexist and I refuse to let that happen to me,” Kambhampati said.
“I actually get called a racist constantly by white university students who believe that prejudice plus power equals racism. And as a result (they say), I have internalized racism. So, if you are a minority who thinks that the racism of the woke left is overstated they say you have internalized racism.”
Kambhampati believes woke ideology, that is so prevalent on campus and has leached into government, is creating two major problems: self-censorship and a resistance to asking meaningful questions.
“There’s a lot of self-censoring. And certainly you see it among young people in the university. So young people in the university self-censor a lot. Now they are afraid to talk. That’s no way to advance our understanding of the world.
“As a scientist, our job is to think about how nature works, ask questions, and find answers without prejudice. We cannot do that anymore. We cannot ask how humans work, and how science and nature work, because the woke are interfering with us and saying, ‘You can’t ask those questions. You’re a racist. You’re a sexist. You’re a homophobe. You’re a colonialist. You’re a something.’ There’s some way in which the woke are trying to get people (so they’re) no longer asking meaningful questions.
“People are afraid to think. People are afraid to say what they think.”
As a scientist, our job is to think about how nature works, ask questions, and find answers without prejudice. We cannot do that anymore
Kambhampati said woke ideology had accelerated in the last several years. “And now it’s the prevailing culture” but he believes “it’s 90 per cent of the normal people against 10 per cent of the vocal minority that has shamed everyone into self-censorship.”
Kambhampati said that as a child his mentors were “old, white World War Two vets” who taught him how to build radio-controlled airplanes. “And that’s what led me to build lasers 30 years later.”
Now, as a mentor himself, Kambhampati said he has helped men and women of different cultures and religions.
“I’ve actually made a huge effort to provide outreach to different types of people because that seems to be the humane thing to do. Not because I’m being ordered to do it.
“I’ve mentored minorities. I’ve mentored women. I myself am a Third World minority. And I have mentored people who have catastrophic illnesses. And I have mentored people who are LGBTQ, and not for any reason other than to treat people as equal.
“Some of my group are straight, white men. Am I not to mentor them as equally as the others? That’s what’s implied. I can’t do that in good conscience.”
Is silence still violence? If it is, then a whole lot of people, from the Hollywood set to the virtue-signalling left, are guilty of some serious violence right now. Their silence on the Waukesha massacre, on the slaughter of six innocents by a man wielding his SUV as a deadly weapon, is deafening. More than that, it is sinister. Dancing grannies, an eight-year-old boy, people singing and cheering at a Christmas parade, all mown down. Six killed, 62 injured, in what police are treating as a suspected act of intentional homicide. That is, mass murder. And yet there’s been nothing from Hollywood stars who normally love to hold forth on terrible acts of violence. Influencers seem to have been struck dumb. There are no blacked-out squares on Instagram. The big woke corporations aren’t pumping out pained, concerned press releases. It’s just tumbleweed, everywhere.
This is the case of the brutal vehicular attack that took place at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday. The death toll was grim. Three members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies were killed, their ages 79, 71 and 52. An 81-year-old man succumbed to terrible injuries. Two brothers – 12-year-old Tucker Sparks and eight-year-old Jackson Sparks – were struck. Tucker survived, Jackson did not. The driver of the SUV was Darrell Brooks. We still don’t know why he did what he did, though the initial reports that he was simply driving very fast to get away from a knife fight appear, unsurprisingly, to have fallen apart. Who flees a fight by driving at high speed into a tightly packed crowd of people? Brooks has now been charged with five counts of intentional homicide. A sixth may soon be added, following the death of eight-year-old Jackson on Tuesday after undergoing brain surgery for his injuries.
Where is the anger over this? The social-media solidarity? The woke left’s ferociously tweeted concern about a rising tide of extremist violence? Even here in the UK the left and the Twitterati are able to rattle off the names of the three people shot by Kyle Rittenhouse – even while conveniently forgetting that one of them was a convicted paedophile – but I bet they couldn’t name a single victim of the far larger, seemingly more intentional act of violence carried out in Waukesha. The right-on remember and mourn the horrific killing of one woman by a far-right man who used his car as a weapon in Charlottesville in 2017, and yet already they’re staring awkwardly at the ground, virtually shrugging their shoulders, over the killing of six people by a man using his SUV as a weapon in Waukesha. Is this act of violence less important? Less horrific? Why?
Yes, the wretched events in Waukesha are being covered in the media. Of course they are. But there is unquestionably something missing – the something that always, without fail, follows acts of violence carried out by white nationalists or increasingly, if we’re being frank, white people full stop. What’s missing are the angry talking heads on ‘liberal’ news outlets. The ceaseless tweeting about the scourge of violence in modern-day America. The ostentatious IG posts about the relentless rise of hate in our society. The frenzied efforts to pin the blame for this suspected act of mass murder on a politician or a commentator, on anyone who has ever said something too heated, too allegedly prejudiced. We saw that in relation to Rittenhouse. There was an explosion of it after Charlottesville. But now? All those folks are schtum.
Even the media coverage is radically different to the kind of reporting we see in the wake of other forms of violence. It is passive, treating the massacre almost as a natural disaster. Or as the evil handiwork of the SUV itself. ‘Here’s what we know so far on the sequence of events that led to the Waukesha tragedy caused by [an] SUV’, said the Washington Post. Caused by an SUV. The agency of the suspect is diminished. The problem, it seems, is killer SUVs. We seem to be witnessing in the wake of the Waukesha massacre the same kind of attempted manipulation of the emotional response that we see after acts of Islamist terrorism. It’s sad, regrettable, awful even, but don’t look back in anger. Don’t obsess over it. These things happen.
It falls to the police, and then the courts and a jury, to work out why Darrell Brooks did what he did, and whether this was, indeed, intentional homicide. But there are things we already know about Mr Brooks that make the silence of the woke elites even more curious, and shameful. We know he posted invective against white people on social media. He wrote about ‘knokkin white ppl TF out’. He shared commentary on the problem of ‘white privilege’. There seem to have been flashes of anti-Semitism in his thinking, too. He shared an image of Hitler and a meme saying the Jews in Israel are ‘false white Jews’. He appeared to be echoing the eccentric black-nationalist belief that African-Americans are the true descendants of Israelites. Shouldn’t this be more widely discussed – the fact that a man suspected of intentionally slaughtering six white people at a Christmas parade had posted anti-white comments online?
To see how perverse the woke set’s relative silence on Waukesha is, just do this simple thought experiment. Imagine if a white man drove a car into a crowd of mostly black Christmas revellers and killed six of them. Imagine if it was discovered that this white man had posted social-media comments saying we should knock black people the fuck out. Imagine if he had dabbled in white-nationalist thought experiments online. What do you think would be happening right now? It would be the only issue in media and political discussion – and rightly so. The left would galvanise itself. Marches would take place. There would be stern and frequent condemnations from the White House, rather than the quite perfunctory statements it has issued on Waukesha. It would be swiftly institutionalised as a turning-point act in modern America – proof of the existence of white supremacy, proof of the need for all-out change.
But after Waukesha? As I say, tumbleweed. The problem here, the cause of this selective outrage – of this racially selective outrage – is identity politics. The poisonous nature of the identitarian worldview has made itself crystal clear in the wake of Waukesha. Identitarianism is now so entrenched as an elite consensus opinion, everywhere from newsrooms to universities, from the radical left to the White House, that these people now even judge the worthiness of victims by their identity and the identity of the person who attacked or killed them. The killing of six white people by a black man interferes with the identitarian narrative crafted by the woke elites. It muddies what has become the core claim and organising principle of the new establishment – namely, that white supremacy is rife, that white people are a problem, and that black people are victims who require our sympathy, our tears and our knee-taking. Much of the woke modern media is far more concerned with narrative rather than facts, far more interested in propagating the ‘correct’ view of the world than in telling readers and viewers what is happening in the world. Which means even reporters now eschew objectivity, instead focusing on world events that fortify their sacred identitarian narrative while diminishing or treating passively world events that call it into question.
On the day before the Waukesha massacre, CNN published an article headlined ‘There’s nothing more frightening in America today than an angry white man’. It was all about the problem of white privilege, white violence, the ‘white male id’. I put it to you that if a media outlet had published an article on the scourge of ‘angry black men’, on the arrogance and violence of blacks, and if on the same day someone had attacked a happy gathering of black people, we would not hear the end of it. It would become a global flashpoint of political debate. But today’s pathologisation of whiteness gets a free pass, and a man who posted anti-white comments before going on to kill a large number of white people a few years later is not subjected to very much media investigation or condemnation.
Truly, identity politics has rotted the soul of the new elites. It has corroded their humanity. It has caused them to view everything through the racial hierarchies they have constructed, where whites and Jews are privileged, and therefore iffy, while black people and Muslims are oppressed, and thus deserving of softer treatment and concerned infantilisation. Racism upon racism. We will discover, soon enough, why Darrell Brooks carried out this atrocious act. But already, right now, we know from the Waukesha horror that the media elites have abandoned truth and reason for the corrosive certainties of the dogma of identitarianism.
“Some go to the illiberal left side so far that it’s so condescending and patronizing to 50% of the world…” You have to hear what McConaughey had to say about Hollywood’s cancel culture in his interview with Joe Rogan—then watch to the end for Douglas Murray and Dennis Prager’s explanation of why the left so often engages in it!
Arwen~ Public Health Agency authorizes these “vaccines” and has given their approval for the latest push, our young children. PH is mostly funded by Big Pharma..nothing to see here. Do not forget, if there are treatments, they cannot give authorization for clinically untested “vaccines”, and there are treatments, just not allowed to prescribe in Canada. Crimes against humanity anyone? Still think this is about a virus?
The never-ending rage against Rowling speaks to the hysteriaof our times.
Martel observes, “Rowling has spent years running with the progressive dogs and now for having the temerity to express an opinion based on science and that runs contrary to the current nostrums, those dogs are now at her heels and for some reason the progressive classes are content to see that. It is shameful.”
How on Earth did JK Rowling become the most controversial cultural figure of our times? Had you told someone this 10 years ago they’d have wondered what the hell you were going on about. What could this once beloved children’s author – whose Harry Potter books inculcated a generation of young people with a love for reading, well, Harry Potter books – possibly have done to fall so far in the estimations of the great and good? Pulled a Mel Gibson? Killed some kids? Joined the BNP? That the answer would turn out to be expressing her belief that biological sex is real would have struck someone in 2011 as even more implausible than Rowling suddenly going full fash.
The demented rage against Rowling shows no signs of abating. It was reported last week that she has been left out of an upcoming HBO Max retrospective on the Harry Potter films. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint will all be involved, but the woman whose work catapulted these unknown child actors, turned dreadful adult actors, into global mega stardom will not. She’ll be confined to clips from archive footage. Last week, her name was removed from a house of a London primary school, along with that of Winston Churchill – to be replaced by Mary Seacole and Marcus Rashford respectively. And last Friday things took a more pitchfork and torches kind of turn when a group of trans activists staged a protest outside her home, and posted a picture of themselves online which Rowling says purposefully displayed part of her home address.
Rowling has become a veritable folk devil, whose menacing portrayal by influential sections of society bears almost no resemblance to what she actually says or does. Ask any right-thinking person about Rowling and they’ll tell you she is some fire-breathing transphobe. Ask them for one single example of her saying or doing something transphobic and they’ll stare glassy-eyed into the distance. For all the demonisation of Rowling, her actual public statements on the issue of transgenderism are remarkably few and incredibly reasonable. She once tweeted her objection to the replacement of the word woman with dehumanising, ungainly phrases like ‘people who menstruate’. She has publicly supported Maya Forstater, the gender-critical researcher who was sacked over her beliefs. The most Rowling has ever said on the subject of transgenderism is a thoughtful, measured essay she published in June 2020. In it, she says that trans people should be afforded all the dignity and rights possible, but that she feels biological males should not be admitted to women’s spaces simply because they declare themselves to be women. That’s genuinely it. But such is the stranglehold that extreme gender ideology has over public discussion this is enough to mark her out as some moral leper.
For this she is treated to a constant bombardment of social-media abuse that would put Mark Francois into a coma. In that essay, Rowling said she feels ‘nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who’ve been abused by men’. As a ‘survivor’ of domestic abuse and sexual assault, she said, she feels a genuine ‘kinship’ with them. For her trouble Rowling is regularly confronted with the most vile abuse, with a cascade of violent sexual insults. (Here are some screenshots for those with a strong stomach.) Yet the woman on the receiving end of this misogyny – not from trans people, we should be clear, but from the unhinged activists who claim to represent them – is apparently undeserving of any solidarity in return, even as lunatics threaten her with pipe bombs and rape. The left and the cultural elite have completely failed to stand by her.
This isn’t the first time Rowling has been portrayed as essentially evil. In 2001, hardline Christians in New Mexico burned Harry Potter books, denouncing them as Satanic. Fast forward two decades and it is so-called trans allies who can be seen burning their own well-thumbed copies on TikTok. But where that old form of religious intolerance elicited mockery from the liberal elite, the newer form at best elicits stony silence. This is a grim sign of how few defenders of liberal values there are today. Rowling may well be uncancellable, but the millions of people who share her perfectly reasonable concerns about the drift of gender politics are not. While she cannot conceivably be deprived of her livelihood, less successful authors have been, merely for expressing their support for her. The demonisation of Rowling is intended to send a signal to everyone else. To tell them to shut up or else.
JK Rowling is perhaps as unlikely a free-speech cause célèbre as she is a modern-day folk devil. But that’s where we are. And it is the abject cowardice of those who like to call themselves liberal that has got us here.