Black Small Business Owners Challenge Stacey Abrams’ Misleading Comments On Election Integrity

ATLANTA, Georgia /PRNewswire/ — A coalition of Black business owners is holding a press conference on Tuesday, May 11 at 10:00 a.m. in the Georgia State Capitol Rotunda. The group will call out corporate leaders for treating far-left activist Stacey Abrams as the de facto spokesperson for all Black people, and demand that corporate executives meet with them to hear their perspective before taking sides in political debates.

WHO:                  

Raynard Jackson, Chairman of the Black Americans for a Better Future Education Fund

Mike Murphy, President and CEO of M3 Enterprises

Dr. Lisa Babbage, Georgia Black Republican Council

Black business owners from the metro Atlanta region

WHAT:               

Press conference to correct the record about the views of Black Americans about Stacey Abrams and the Georgia Election Integrity Act and demand that corporate leaders recognize and respect diversity of opinion within the Black community.

WHERE:             

Georgia State Capitol Rotunda

206 Washington St. SW

Atlanta, GA 30334

WHEN:                

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

10:00 a.m. EDT

DETAILS:             

Based solely on the misleading rhetoric of failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate and far-left activist Stacey Abrams, prominent Atlanta-based corporations such as Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola came out squarely in opposition to the recently passed Georgia Election Integrity Act, which strikes a careful balance between maximizing voter access and minimizing the risk of fraud. Their opposition, along with Abrams’ false statements about the law, caused the loss of over $100 million in potential revenues for business owners in a majority-minority city following the decision of Major League Baseball to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Now black leaders are calling on these companies to correct the record and acknowledge that there is a diversity of opinion within the Black community.

SOURCE Black Americans for a Better Future Education Fund.

©All rights reserved.

Denialism, Tolerism and Cancel Culture

Any strong ideological belief carries with it a risk of denying those facts that do not support the ideology.


The denial of certain facts approaches an ideology of Denialism when the facts denied seem incontrovertible. So if there is doubt, for example by Islamist radicals concerning the fact of the Holocaust, that denial of fact must arise from a strong ideology, in this case a hatred of the Jewish people and the wish to excise the Jewish presence in the Middle East.

And if we deny the fact of Muslim tolerance of Islamist radicals and use of cancel culture, then we are denialist, since Muslim intolerance of Jews and Christians and non-Muslim Africans is quite clear.

I am concerned not just about Iranian and other threats against Israel but also about the increasing genocide against Christians in Arab countries and the persecution of other minorities in Asia and Africa. Denialism and excessive tolerance can lead to submission?

American psychologist Kendra Cherry has summarized psychological denial as follows:

Denial is probably one of the best known defense mechanisms, used often to describe situations in which people seem unable to face reality or admit an obvious truth (i.e. “He’s in denial.”). Denial is an outright refusal to admit or recognize that something has occurred or is currently occurring. Drug addicts or alcoholics often deny that they have a problem, while victims of traumatic events may deny that the event ever occurred.

“Denial functions to protect the ego from things that the individual cannot cope with. While this may save us from anxiety or pain, denial also requires a substantial investment of energy. Because of this, other defenses are also used to keep these unacceptable feelings from consciousness.”

Donald Trump, who actually was unafraid to discuss the vetting of Islamist immigrants to the U.S.was the subject of “cancel culture” even to the point where Twitter cancelled his social media account. Concerns about Joe Biden’s business dealing with China, his protection of his corrupt son Hunter, his apparent inappropriate behavior with young women, his past associations with Klansmen, his desire for “open borders” and his mental fitness for office were all swept under the rug by mainstream media.

One would think that no educated politician in this era would ever mimic Neville Chamberlain’s infamous phrase justifying his sell-out of Czechoslovakia for the denialism of “peace for our time”, spoken the day before the Germans occupied Sudetenland and less than a year before the Germans occupied Poland.

Barack Obama actually said to Muslim countries that peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes.” Did he really believe that the world of Islamist dictatorships and theocracies share a “common creed” with an America immersed in liberal democracy and constitutional government. Tolerance? Denial?

Tolerism and Denialism and Cancel Culture have strong links: to tolerate evil or to tolerate facts that might cause a great evil is to show a denial of the danger of the evil or the facts that might create the evil. Through the process of “virtue signalling”, toleration or denial of inconvenient facts, conduce to a cancel culture to cancel those facts.

An example of Denialism was the reaction of President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the American embassy in Benghazi Libya and the murder of ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans – and the acceptance by American media (with certain exceptions such as Fox News) of what was surely a misleading, if not untruthful, explanation by the Obama administration.

Was Hillary also in denial that her assistant Huma Abedin was connected to the terrorist-supporting Muslim Brotherhood?

Despite its knowledge to the contrary, Obama and Clinton denied that Benghazi was in fact an organized terrorist attack and attempted to frame it as a spontaneous uprising against an obscure anti-Islam video by an American Coptic Christian.

I would argue that getting away with this denial and cancel culture paved the way for more of the same by media and universities, now made clear by intolerant, authoritarian actions by the “elites” in academia and politics, and even corporations in high tech. Even Major League Baseball cancelled its All-Star game scheduled to be held in Atlanta, Georgia because MLB opposed the terms of new election laws, in Georgia which were intended to be fair and democratic, but which were interpreted by corporate elites as not radical enough.

Moreover, when finally Clinton had to appear in front of a Congressional investigation, she had the nerve to state, “What difference does it make?” to the important question of whether this was an organized terrorist attack. Only members of an Administration in absolute Denial over the extent of the Islamist terrorist threat and the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood and its associated organizations, could suggest that the facts about the Benghazi attack do not make a “difference”.

In fact, hours before US Ambassador Christopher Stevens died in a terrorist attack in Libya, he sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a cable warning that local militias were threatening to take away security officers guarding the US diplomats.

Such denial of the facts of Benghazi, tolerance of Islamist threats, and willingness to cancel the truth by Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration, were a turning point in Denialist ideology.

Denial of facts that make us uncomfortable or anxious is a common psychological behaviour. When a denial of a whole set of facts, for example, in the political domain, becomes an ideology or belief system, it passes into the ideology of denialism.

Anthropologist Didier Fassin distinguishes between denial, defined as “the empirical observation that reality and truth are being denied”, and denialism, which he defines as “an ideological position whereby one systematically reacts by refusing reality and truth.”

Given Iran’s nuclear weapons program and it missile program, and given Iran’s extensive arming of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria for the purpose of war against Israel, and the Houthis in Yemen, it has become ideological denialism to accept the extent of Iranian threats to Israel and to America.

Mark Hoofnagle, writing in the Guardian in March 2009 has described denialism as “the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none.”

Denialism, as it is based on the psychological tactic of denial, contains within it the seeds of other ideologies, and this is perhaps the scariest part. Dr. Carl Alasko, writing in Psychology Today in April, 2012, claims:

“There is an immutable fact about denial: it does not work—long term. Reality always wins. And when it does, the next step in the process is blame, which shifts responsibility onto someone or something else. ‘I only did it because of you! If you hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have done this.’ So where there’s denial, blame is always available to ease the pain when reality bites.”

So when denial runs up against the realty of certain facts, says Alasko, blame is sure to follow. And that is where denialism and tolerism morph into the oldest blame of all – the blame for everything wrong in the world on the Jews, and now on the Jewish State. The new antisemitism transforms the historical hatred of Jews in the diaspora into hatred and an obsession with the supposed sins of the Jewish state.

The media often participates in denialism and tolerism by not adequately reporting on the facts pertaining to terrorists. We saw this clearly in recent terrorist attacks in Boulder Colorado and North Vancouver Canada, where the media distorted the facts by inferring the perpetrators might be “mentally ill” or “loan wolves” overlooking that they were Muslims who have been radicalized online or in Islamist mosques. Typically, the police spokesman appears on the day of the attack to state that no motive is yet known; but then by the next day, the media is no longer interested and no police statement on motivation is ever done.

Some excellent work has been done in this area by American writer and head of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, and by American writer Bill Siegel in his 2012 book, The Control Factor: Our Struggle to See the True Threat.

Pipes, in his still-relevant essay, “Denying Islam’s Role in Terror” in the spring 2013 Middle East Quarterly, argued: “The establishment – law enforcement, officials, the media, and academics – has shied away from seeing this (terrorist) violence as jihadi. Why? First, officialdom wants to assure Muslims that it is not biased against them. They worry that being perceived as anti-Islam will inspire even more alienation and violence. Second, officials want to avoid the many implications of focusing specifically on violence by Muslims, which upsets the modern liberal ethos.”

Siegel’s book actually emphasizes not so much denial but self-deception in failing to recognize and deal with the threat of Islamism. Hence he sees a psychological process that endangers us all since radical Islamism dominates Islam. This psychological process he labels the “Control Factor”:

“It is,” argues Siegel, “that creative part of our minds that actively and continuously seeks to assure us that the threat we feel, see, hear, and think about is largely under our control, when in reality it is not.” He contends that we have no control over a three-pronged Islamic threat: blatant terrorism, infiltration into and manipulation of Western society from within, and the pressure exerted upon us by international organizations.

“In truth, we are in a war – a Holy War, as defined by the enemy itself. We are unsure how to defend ourselves in such a war much less how to fight it aggressively. This uncertainty, complicated by our asymmetrical adherence to rules and moral codes which our Constitution and national identity impress upon us but which our enemy does not share, has led many to a deep anxiety – a sense of too little control over our present circumstances and exponentially less over future ones. To ease this anxiety, the Control Factor’s organizing principle is to recast our perceptions, thoughts and beliefs to restore the sense of control; that is what it is created to do. The self-deception that results is at least as dangerous to us as any enemy weapon.”

Pipes pointed out that after Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s massacre at Ft. Hood, Texas, in November 2009, the classification of his crime in an official report by the Department of Defense was that of “workplace violence,” even though he was an Islamist who killed thirteen and wounded forty-three. Pipes alleges: “The military leadership willfully ignores what stares them in the face, namely Hasan’s clear and evident Islamist inspiration”. Denial?

Even the death of 3000 civilians on 9/11 was inadequate for the American establishment to name the Islamists as the enemy: One day after 9/11, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell set the tone by asserting that the just-committed atrocities “should not be seen as something done by Arabs or Islamics; it is something that was done by terrorists.”

The establishment avoids a clear discussion of what is Islam and what is Islamism. We know that Islamism can point to Islamic sources in support of its form of Islam that seeks to make Muslims dominant through an extreme, totalistic, and rigid application of Islamic law, the Sharia. We know that Islamism represents the leading global cause of terrorism and aspires to create a caliphate that rules humanity. Certainly Islamism appears to elevate Muslims over non-Muslims, and males over females; and Islamic sources endorse the use of force or trickery (taqiyah) to spread Muslim rule.

Accordingly, fear of offending Muslims has been so pervasive and thorough that it must surely give succor to the Islamists who feel that they will not be challenged as they use “Islamophobia” as a sword, or seek special privileges, or push for western opposition to the Jewish state, Israel.

Has the fact of American inaction in the face of terrorism now spread to the current inaction in the face of violent rioting by followers of Black Lives Matter? Do Americans deny the threat of BLM by again portraying them as “victims” of a supposed systemic racism – when most Americans know that since the Civil Rights demonstrations and legislation of the ‘60s, Blacks have made tremendous advances in mainstream American culture and politics and there is little systemic discrimination anymore.

Query whether appeasing Islamist or BLM foes wins friends or demonstrates weakness and appeasement? If the latter, then that encourages Islamists and the rest of Islam to think that the Islamic world Caliphate is on its way to success, thereby creating more support for hardline Islamists among more moderate and less political Muslims. And we now see BLM thinking that its violence is in some way helping poorer blacks where it just increases the power and income of its leaders.

We have to support Trump-like checks of visitors and immigrants and perhaps have periodic suspensions of immigration from certain countries. Just look at how such a policy, although it is well supported by the majority of Americans, arouses vehement allegations of racism from the Left, the media and the university communities.

Currently, the Biden administration, in its “open border” policy is allowing into the country not just Latin Americans but also some Islamists (including two from Yemen in April, 2021). Denialism? Tolerism?

Applying police surveillance and security checks on one community that is defined by its religion, Pipes notes, “flies in the face of liberal, multicultural, and politically correct values; it also will be portrayed as illegal and perhaps unconstitutional … as ‘racist’ and ‘Islamophobic,’ accusations that can ruin careers in today’s public environment.”

Critical Race Theory denies all of the fairness towards Blacks demonstrated by Americans individually and through their institutions. Americans voted in a Black President for two terms. In my mind, the fear of offending radical Blacks who espouse violence is as inappropriate as the appeasement of radical Islamists.

Bill Siegel posits the dirty little secret that underlies much of the examples of tolerance  – those in which we accept that somehow we are the cause of the enemy’s behavior and thus move our focus away from the enemy and onto endless consideration about what else we can do.This is part of his idea of a self-deceptive “Control Factor” maneuver; we can easily believe that if we change our behavior theirs will change as well.

Hence the Mid-East peace process, which Siegel calls “the extortion process” where there is an endless recycling of Palestinian “demands” and Israeli “concessions” implying that Israel causes Palestinian terrorism not the Palestinian leadership that incites their people. What is too frightening is the realization that there is nothing Israel or its Western counterparts can do to please the Islamists except national suicide, when it comes to stopping terrorism. We do not control or cause the Islamist beast, and we have to stop pretending that it is possible.

Denialism obscures the need in the West to both vet and re-educate Muslim immigrants so that they understand the primacy of liberal values here and also the separation of Church and State.

Again, we in the West can learn from Israel. See how conservative Muslims in the Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, are overcoming years of supposed solidarity with terrorist Palestinians to put their people first in the establishment of business and cultural relations with the Jewish State. Once we overcome denialism, tolerism and cancel culture, and stop pouring money down the terrorist drain, we can finally promote healthy ideologies as we confront what I call the Leftist-Islamist-Globalist agenda.

Biden/Harris is certainly a set-back, but let us be clear on what we need to do. Denying facts and appeasing or tolerating both international terrorists and domestic Black terrorists, and using cancel culture to censor liberal speech must give way to a renewed liberal democracy based on Constitutional principles, strength of purpose and not on a worship of Power.

©Howard Rotberg. All rights reserved.

Baseball Rewrites Its Own History to Make It Woke

My latest at PJ Media:

Not content with adding a section of race-baiting, victimhood propaganda, and Communist agitprop to its website last year, Major League Baseball this year moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta for the crime of asking for ID’s to vote. And so it comes as no real surprise that Baseball Reference, the principal online repository for nearly 150 years of baseball statistics, has now begun rewriting its own history to remove player nicknames that don’t suit woke sensibilities. What’s next? Adjusting each year’s World Series winners based on the political preferences of each team’s players? In this age of absurdity, anything is possible.

Baseball Reference has the lifetime year-by-year statistics for every man who has ever played Major League Baseball, including, up until recently, Chief Bender, Chief Meyers, Dummy Hoy, and Nig Cuppy. You won’t find those players in their database anymore, however; you won’t find them at all unless you know their given names, as now they’re listed as Charles Bender, Jack Meyers, Billy Hoy, and George Cuppy.

That’s progress, right? Why should these men continue to be referred to by these demeaning nicknames, right? Well, the main reason is because that is really how they were known when they played, and that matters. History is not what we wish it to be; it is what it was. It might be nice and woke to claim that the South was shamed out of slavery by critical race theory education in public schools, and so no Civil War was necessary, but that’s not what happened, and to change the record of history to suit modern sensibilities is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes.

Controlling the past means revising it. In 1984, Winston Smith’s job is to change the content of old newspapers so that history always reflects and confirms the current situation: “For example, it appeared from The Times of the seventeenth of March that Big Brother, in his speech of the previous day, had predicted that the South Indian front would remain quiet but that a Eurasian offensive would shortly be launched in North Africa. As it happened, the Eurasian Higher Command had launched its offensive in South India and left North Africa alone. It was therefore necessary to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother’s speech, in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened.”

In baseball, what actually happened is that a hundred years ago and more, some players were known by nicknames that many people would find offensive today. And this was not simply a matter of minority players having to endure the unkindness of their peers and the fans, as the Baseball Reference wonks might have us believe. The totalitarian revision of Baseball Reference is not yet perfected, and so still bear uncomfortable traces of the sensibilities of earlier ages. As of this writing, the statistics of Dummy Hoy, who was called that because he could not hear or speak, still link to the Society for American Baseball Research’s biography of the man, which notes that Hoy “referred to himself as ‘Dummy’ and politely corrected those who, for whatever reason, called him ‘William.’”

There is more. Read the rest here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Internet Inventor Al Gore Bans Trump From Internet

MONTECITO, CA—From his cool, air-conditioned mansion, famed genius and internet inventor Al Gore held a press conference today where he officially banned Donald Trump from the internet.

“As the inventor of the internet, I hereby declare Trump banned for life,” Gore said solemnly. “He’s not allowed on Twitter, Facebook, Angelfire, MySpace, Geocities, AOL, Google, Tinder, TikTok, anything. If it’s on the internet, it’s under my domain.”

Many people aren’t aware that Gore invented the internet, but the claim is true, having been fact-checked as “double-plus true” by Snopes. One urban legend claimed that Bob Internet invented the internet in 1995, but he turned out to be a fraud. The true story is that Gore was sitting around at a White House mixer in late 1996 and was “pretty plastered.” “You know what would be totally rad?” he said, according to several witnesses. “A global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite to communicate between networks and devices.”

The DJ suddenly stopped playing “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls and the room fell silent. “That’s… that’s genius!” shouted Bill Clinton, his arms around two interns. “Let’s make it happen!” Everyone cheered and the Spice Girls song resumed. And so the internet was invented.

With Gore’s latest declaration, Trump will no longer be allowed to be within 1,000 feet of any device that has the internet, which includes smartphones, computers, and now most toasters and refrigerators.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a private flight to catch,” he concluded as he walked out the backdoor to his private hangar and airstrip to board a flight to his next speech on climate change.

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EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

CIA Replaces Waterboarding With 12-Hour Lectures On Intersectional Feminism

WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to anonymous sources, the CIA has replaced enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding with something even more torturous and effective: 12-hour academic lectures on intersectional feminism.

“Waterboarding has been shown to be very effective,” said the anonymous source. “But that’s been replaced now. Now we just pop in a tape of Robin DiAngelo, Stacey Abrams, or Joy Behar. Sometimes we’ll really ramp things up and make them watch Coca-Cola’s diversity training on a 12-hour loop.”

Terror suspects will be subjected to lengthy lectures about cis-male privilege, heteronormative patriarchy, and microaggressive mansplaining. Sources say these lectures are 1,282% more effective than regular old waterboarding.

Critics have criticized the new interrogation method, saying that such cruel torture should be limited only to American universities.

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EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Pillars of Transgender Medicine are Shaking

Recent studies have exposed the flimsiness of much of the evidence. 


Can you really be transgender at four years old? Matthew Stubbings, and wife Klara Jeynes, both 44, from the English city of Doncaster, believe so. Their “son” Stormy was born as a girl named Emerald. However, from 18 months Emerald identified as a boy like her twin brother Arlo, so they are raising him as a boy.

“His gender identity, what’s in his head, doesn’t match his physical sex,” Stormy’s dad wrote on LinkedIn. “I am so proud that he knows who he is and isn’t constrained by societal norms and prejudices.”

Fortunately for these children and their parents and unfortunately for the experts at gender clinics, the latest news on this front leaves a cloud of doubt hovering over transgender medicine. It is increasingly looking like a kind of 21st century voodoo.  In a series of publications doctors have expressed their dismay at the ready availability of gender transitioning and its rapid spread amongst young people.

The Karolinska slams on the brakes

At the moment, the accepted wisdom amongst transgender doctors is the so-called Dutch Protocol. This permits puberty blockers at 12 (and even at 8-9, in some cases). Cross-sex hormones (testosterone for girls and estrogen for boys) begin at 16.

However, this week the world-renowned Karolinska Hospital in Sweden put the brakes on — “a watershed moment”, according to the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine. It is the first time that a major hospital has officially deviated from the guidelines issued by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

The Karolinska declared in a press release that Swedish government investigations had:

showed a lack of evidence for both the long-term consequences of the treatments, and the reasons for the large influx of patients in recent years. These treatments are potentially fraught with extensive and irreversible adverse consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis.

In its understated prose, the press release declares that it is “challenging” for doctors to assess the pros and cons of treatment and “even more challenging” for the patients and their parents to give truly informed consent.

Therefore, the Karolinska will no longer prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors under age 16. Hormonal treatment for adolescents between 16 and 18 will be allowed, but only as research to be approved by an ethics review board. Basically, the Swedish authorities have decided that conventional gender medication is a potentially dangerous experimental procedure.

The Westmead study

Last month, several doctors at the Westmead Children’s Hospital, a large public hospital in Sydney, published a powerful statement of their misgivings about the standard gender dysphoria treatment in the journal Human Systems. It must have taken courage, as the between-the-lines message is that the staff of the hospital’s gender is deeply divided on the issue. In fact, as clinicians, they identify “polarized sociopolitical discourses” as one of the biggest challenges they face.

Here are some of the issues that they raise.

First, that modern medicine still does not understand the phenomenon of gender dysphoria very well. “Despite the existence of guidelines,” they write “the evidence base for all aspects of treatment was and remains sparse.”

But neither the patients nor their families grasped this. “Families tended to medicalize the child’s distress, attributing it solely to gender dysphoria as an isolated phenomenon, with the consequence that the family identified the medical pathway as providing the only potential way forward.”

Second, many of the youths who requested treatment believed that “gender affirmation” means immediate medical intervention – drugs and possibly surgery. The authors tried to get their patients to accept a holistic approach to their dysphoria that took into account their family, psychological and biological issues but their words “fell on deaf ears”.

Why? Partly because the philosophy of “gender affirmation” means unquestioning acceptance of whatever the patient says. But also because of information they had gleaned from friends, the internet, social media, and health care workers.  “Many children did not have the cognitive, psychological, or emotional capacity to understand the decisions they were making.”

Third, their patients often had many other social and psychological problems, or “co-morbidities”, in the medical terminology. They felt bullied by their peers and were in conflict with their parents or carers. Many were autistic, suffered from depression or psychosis or had experienced sexual abuse.

Fourth, there was pressure on doctors to become rubber-stamps for their patients’ self-diagnosis. This was personally distressing and ethically challenging:

From the clinician perspective, we recognized the emergence of this “conveyor belt,” or “tick the box,” mentality—the medical model for treating gender dysphoria stripped bare of holistic (biopsychosocial) care—as being driven by the misguided belief that affirmation of gender dysphoria equates to a medical intervention pathway. Enacted in this way, we felt that this particular sociopolitical discourse put significant pressure on us as clinicians within the Gender Service to abandon ethical, reflective practice in mental health. 

The UK’s NICE review of the evidence

In March the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published two systematic evidence reviews of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones as part of a review of gender dysphoria healthcare. It found that many frequently cited studies are very low quality.

For instance, The Trevor Project, a well-known group which claims to be “the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25”, cites several studies to support its claims gender-affirmative medicine. Nearly all of them were described as deficient by the NICE study. It used damning phrases like: “at high risk of bias”, “poor quality overall”, “No critical outcomes reported”, or “poorly reported”.

There are a many journals and squillions of studies which support medical treatment of teenagers’ gender dysphoria. There is never any lack of highly-paid PhDs with active Twitter accounts to sprinkle the fairy dust of statistical jargon over “evidence”. The question is whether their evidence is robust and trustworthy. From this point of view, the NICE study was devastating.

The Keira Bell judgement

In December last year a brave young British woman named Keira Bell won her lawsuit against a gender centre which had helped her to “transition” from a male to a female. Within a few years she regretted her decision. In a long and thoughtful judgement, the High Court found that people under 16 could not give informed consent to the life-changing decisions that gender medicine often involves. It also found that the evidence for clinical treatment was thin and unconvincing. It even described it as “experimental treatment”.


The notion that transgender rights is the human rights issue of our time is an illusion. The idea that gender affirmative drugs and surgery are essential to cure dysphoria is an illusion. The fear that the transgender movement is an unstoppable juggernaut is an illusion. These are not partisan conclusions; they are the facts.

These recent developments show that the truth is going triumph eventually. What is uncertain is how many young persons’ lives will be destroyed before we come to our senses.

COLUMN BY

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet .

RELATED ARTICLE: The transgender debate has become a propaganda war

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

New Trump Social Media Platform To Include Verification Badges For People Who Aren’t Losers And Total Disasters

U.S.—A Trump spokesman has recently announced that Trump will soon be returning to social media with his own platform. This new “trumped-up” social media site is expected to completely change the game and will feature an all-new look and experience for users.

“We are removing the lame verification badges and replacing them with ‘People Who Aren’t Losers And Total Disasters’ badges,” Trump announced during a recent press release. “Before, anybody could get one, total losers got verified on Twitter, but not anymore. Now only the very best people will receive badges on my platform.”

“Frankly, this site is tremendous, maybe best website ever made, we’ll see. Now Americans can delete their Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media account, because this is the only one you will ever need,” Trump continued. “Now all of the smart, beautiful users can post and see only the very best information and not worry about big tech censorship.”

Trump has made it clear that news sites such as CNN and the failing New York Times will receive ‘Totally Dishonest’ badges should they decide to make an account. He explained that they would still be fact-checked even though there’s no need to bother because “we all know they will be rated completely fake and untrue no matter what they say.”

“It’s going to be an unbelievable experience for all of the supporters of everybody’s favorite president,” said Trump. “Never again will you be without my every thought.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Hamas-linked CAIR and other US Islamic Groups have a #MeToo Problem

First, Ahmad Saleem, a community organizer for CAIR in Florida, was busted after showing up to molest what he thought was a 12-year-old girl he had met over the internet. When Ahmad showed up in a car with a plate, “Invest in Children”, the cops were waiting for him instead.

The son of Pakistani immigrants had headed up the local Muslim Students Association at the University of Central Florida before moving up the ranks at CAIR. Then it was off to prison.

Now it’s Hassan Shibly’s turn. The Syrian immigrant who headed up CAIR Florida was accused of assaulting his wife, threatening to kill her, and sexually harassing CAIR employees. Shibly was also accused of threatening some of his accusers, and trying to pay them off.

An NPR article noted that CAIR leaders had been aware of the accusations as far back as 2016 and that no action was taken. “CAIR National has a history of turning a blind eye to many incidents over the years, and the information is coming out. No NDA will save them from what’s to come,” a former CAIR employee tweeted.

forum for CAIR victims on Instagram quickly filled up with stories of a CAIR chapter head who “was found to be sexually harassing a member of staff and other women also complained about his behavior” only to be protected by the local CAIR governing board, a CAIR leader grooming an employee into a sexual relationship, a CAIR leader using “his religious belief that men can have 4 wives to manipulate women into having affairs with him behind his legal wife’s back”, and a “lawsuit with an imam and a little girl.”

This kind of thing happens a lot.

When the various Islamist groups set up by the Muslim Brotherhood and similar networks operate in this country, they use the laws of Sharia that they intend to impose on Americans.

Two years ago, Zia ul-Haque Sheikh, a former ISNA board member, and the Imam at the Islamic Center of Irving, was accused of sexually exploiting a 13-year-old girl. He allegedly tried to marry the girl, when she came of age, even though he already had two wives at the time.

Also at the Islamic Center of Irving, a security guard was accused of molesting a third-grader, and there was an incident of a foreign man kissing minors at the mosque.

Sheikh’s accuser claimed that she had reported this to the president of the Islamic Center of Irving board, Nouman Ali Khan, who “discouraged her from sharing what she experienced because it would harm Sheikh’s reputation.”

Khan, an Islamic preacher and a Pakistani immigrant, had headed up the Bayyinah Academy before being accused of latching on to troubled women at Islamic events and then exploiting them. The Islamist cleric had frequently appeared at ISNA and other Islamist events, and had previously defended the Sharia practice of lashing those accused of immoral behavior.

Sheikh Usama Canon, the Islamic cleric who founded the Ta’leef Collective, had been a frequent speaker at CAIR and ISNA events, an instructor at the Islamist Zaytuna Institute, and an advisor to the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN).

Canon, a black convert to Islam turned preacher, was ousted after allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior that included grooming women. He still remains involved in various Islamic institutions and organizations including the Downtown Islamic Center of Chicago.

Muslim feminist activists insist that the answer is more female leadership, but Linda Sarsour, probably the most prominent female Muslim activist in America, was herself accused of enabling sexual harassment back when she was working at the Arab American Association.

“She oversaw an environment unsafe and abusive to women,” a former employee, who claimed to have been repeatedly groped, alleged.

The Islamist apples rarely fall far from the tree.

Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and probably the leading Islamist figure in the West, has been accused of raping a series of women.

Ramadan’s alleged assaults took place in Washington D.C., in Paris, London, and major cities around the world. The victims who have come forward included a disabled convert to Islam and former teenage students: including one as young as 14 years old.

The disabled woman described meeting Ramadan after a conference on Islamophobia and Palestine before he beat her, raped her, and then urinated on her.

Abuses happen in all religions and among secular intellectuals, but Islam is unique in that its theology provides a license for sexual abuse. A number of the Muslim leaders caught in the #MeToo moment employed the toolbox of Sharia law to perpetrate their abuses. They used the legal fiction of “temporary marriages” to force women into illicit affairs and the codes of a religion whose founder married a 7-year-old girl and where children are married off well before they hit puberty to justify abusing underage girls. And the Islamist infrastructure around them, tapping into the Sharia demand for multiple witnesses to a rape charge, ignored their accusers.

Rape and sexual abuses can happen in a variety of settings, but Islam is uniquely built to justify and protect behaviors that are crimes in the United States, but normative in the Muslim world.

The #MeToo scandals of Islamism are just symptoms of the fundamental divide between two civilizations and their accompanying value systems. The Islamists had always intended to build a state within a state. And within their organizations and communities, the state within a state operates under Sharia law, with legal, but no moral accountability, to the United States.

After 9/11, America’s Islamists increasingly came to align with the Left. The unspoken conflict between Sharia and feminism has yet to explode out into the open because there is too much at stake for both sides. But the #MeToo scandals at CAIR and other Islamist groups are a fracture point between two ideologies that are hostile to America, but also to each other’s values.

The miniature clash of civilizations within the political infrastructure of multiculturalism is coming.

Islamists have injected their policy priorities, support for the Muslim Brotherhood, hostility to Israel, hijabization, and opposition to fighting terrorism, into the Left. But the Left has also injected its own values, including feminism, into the Islamist political infrastructure.

Leftists and Islamists allied in Egypt, Algeria and Iran, among many other places, to overthrow establishment governments, only to have those alliances come apart in blood and tyranny.

The American alliance between Islam and the Left may meet the same end.

COLUMN BY

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Conditioned to Comply

Lokesh Gupta, from Jaipur, India, wrote that if a baby elephant is tethered to a rope, it will never attempt to free itself from that bondage despite its growing strength to do so.  This is conditioning, no different than what we see in our fellow humans.


I admit to my disappointment when I discovered a two-star review among the fives for my book, “Confronting the Deception,” with the only comment from Paul Wilson being that he considered it “hate speech.”  Hate speech is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence toward a person or group based on something, such as race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.”  Had Wilson been more astute, he’d have understood that in my extensively referenced book, I am actually combating hate speech, namely, the animosity that is expressed toward our conservative values. It is obvious that the accuser defines hate speech as any ideas or news he opposes, with the hope of encouraging others to act in collaborative censorship.  Elon Musk said, “They don’t ban hate speech; they ban speech they hate.”

I suspect Paul Wilson has been trained over the years to accept only what he learned from his respected sources (school, media), which, sadly, are reflective of Communism, Fascism, and Islam.  He will not read with an open mind or regard and discuss anything antithetical to his rooted comfort level, and he uses his freedom of speech to alert others to avoid and ban the speech they disapprove.

What might he have found so offensive?  My disclosure of the Islamic ideology and historic imperialism by any means, including lies, forced conversions, invasion and conquest by bloodshed; the massacre of 890 million people over 14 centuries; the way it continues to this day through Islamic relocation; and overcoming the native population with migration and their harsh Islamic law.  These are not opinions but facts that I thoroughly document and reference, and Wilson should be offended at the facts, not my readiness to expose them.

The label of hate speech is used to stifle unpleasant facts and, intentionally or otherwise, aid the enemies of America, just as, similarly, mainstream media secreted recent news of jihadi slaughter of 236 villagers in Niger; the beheading of 55 Christians and foreigners in Mozambique, their bodies left scattered in the streets; the shooting and killing of customers in a grocery store that sells Jewish food products; the vandalism of four synagogues in The Bronx.  Wilson is the emotionally tethered elephant who sees only what his societal group stipulates he see, unable or unwilling to analyze anything on his own.

He would also be offended by my exposé of how the power-seekers have changed our schools’ curricula, manipulating our children at all levels; influencing the adults in local church and synagogue outreach programs, including the peaceful literati who attend pseudo-intellectual, indoctrination vacation spots, such as Chautauqua Institution; and mass communication that continues to produce fake news reports to sway their audience to the left.

Wilson has joined the Cancel Culture, a benign term for those who seek to annihilate all that America represents, and replace it with a form of totalitarianism that, in reality, is domination by an elite group of the astonishingly wealthy and powerful.  He has absorbed the delusion that we, the masses, must all be regulated to sameness, regardless of growth and achievement, just as the elephant remains shackled despite his increased size and strength.  Only the free-roaming elephant is unstoppable.  Why is the human so easily hitched?

Today’s Wilsons have been conditioned by all that academia, the media, and so many clergy have promoted – restricting our freedoms even to the extent of damaging our environment and our people.  Known as repressive tolerance, they are as eager to blindly accept new rules, restrictions, and a new narrative as they are to obliterate the memory of their own history, through all its representations – writings, buildings, monuments – as well as those who stand in their way. We see it  in the 1.8 billion adherents (24.1 percent of the world population) who have long forgotten their cultures and language from before the advent of Islam, and in Communism’s firm control over 1.6  billion people in five remaining communist countries.   And we watch as Palestinians continue to alter the narrative against Jerusalem and Israel to influence world prejudice for similar gain – obliteration and replacement.

Islamism and Marxism in America may not even have to formally brandish their swords.  The end game is being carried out, beginning with the creation of a toxic environment, where the youth (soon to be adults) are divided into sensitive, vulnerable classes of mutual disrespect and contempt.  Also known as identity politics, the singling out of meaningless differences is a divide-and-conquer strategy by the power-hungry elites to control and prevent the groups from (re)uniting under common purpose.

Five Big Tech Companies

The left is using our own Constitution to eliminate our heritage and our freedoms by renaming sports teams, buildings, schools, and reducing our police forces, as the anarchists destroy memorial monuments and private property.  The left uses the coronavirus, suspected of being biowarfare, to force lockdowns and curtail our freedoms of speech, assembly, and privacy.  Their mask mandates, already acknowledged as ineffectual to harmful, have our population adjusting to Islamic face coverings.  Big Tech cancelled customers, including President Trump,  from using their communication systems (Facebook, Google, YouTube, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon), upon which the world has come to depend. The Patriot Act, an invasion of privacy, was used to spy on Americans, including our President.  The government is now working toward forced vaccinations for the masses, contrary to the Nuremberg Laws.  Are these not bold tyranny?  We may well wonder when they will decide to change our country’s name.  If the elephants remain psychologically hitched, they will be unable to join together as a significant force to save themselves from total socialism.

Who are the powerful and influential?  Bureaucrats, corporatists, intellectuals, the military’s upper echelon, the media, and government swamp creatures who are in sufficient control to manipulate others, whether monetarily or by sympathy and threats.  They embellish historic events to arouse accusations, defense, humiliations, envy, and anger, so as to elicit obedience, whether through speech or action, on the streets and in our government.  Continually using catchword accusations, such as racism and hate speech, they foster imbalance and fear, and censor for control. The students, impressionable and vulnerable, are weaponized to turn against each other and, in fact, against their own families, all in the name of “social justice.”  We see a reenactment of both Stalin’s Marxism and Hitler’s Nazism as our children are taught that the importance of the state supersedes that of their parents.

Their vocabulary is taking shape to comply with the party line, limited by fear, opinions remaining unuttered or withheld, tethered while the war evolves around them.  What young child today has not heard of transgenderism, white privilege, social justice, masks and quarantine, but how many of our children know of sandcastles, fairgrounds, circuses, and trapeze artists?  Our population is becoming quick to shut down whatever refutes the narrative, and teachers are advised that certain lesson plans need not be revealed to parents – which attacks our Tenth Amendment.

Early in the process of their acquiring control, the schools began training our youths to accept what they’re told without question or verification, proceed without thinking, considering, reasoning, or analyzing whether something is true or false.  Today they are forcing The 1619 Project into the curriculum, a verifiably false narrative about our history.  They offer “safe spaces,” a retreat of hot chocolate and Teddy bears for college students who are recoiling from reality and encouraged to remain immature.  Universities, once the springboard for entry into the outside world, have become shelters from new ideas as well as places of propaganda, where lecture halls host only speakers who spew the leftist agenda.

The latest assault, racial identity, is upon the natural and deserving progression of students due to merit alone, with claims for needing equity, equalized outcome for undereducated dark-skinned children, and the reward of benefits regardless of merit.  Those with higher grades, but white-skinned only, are said to be arrogant supremacists who earned those grades at the expense of others.   In essence, inadequacies remain unaddressed and unchallenged, with children not getting the help they need.  The quality of education is reduced to less than mediocre, and all are cheated merely because of skin color.  Rather than endeavor to find real solutions to societal ills and lower grades, the authorities sidestep the issues by blaming racism, the result being that the chains of control are tightened and tensions increased between the races.  The Biden administration is carrying this further into society by its recent announcement that only farmers of color would get subsidies because of the coronavirus, although all farmers were suffering from the virus, blights, and weather conditions.  It has just been announced that white farmers will sue the federal government.

We have entered an era of totalitarianism, where the features of our fundamental freedoms, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, are being severely eroded.  We are losing our Freedom of Speech, upon which all other freedoms are based.  The small accusations of hate speech; the school curricula that change our language, history, and even the children’s self-perception; the overt lies in the media, and the technocrats who thwart our interaction with others, work in tandem.  To that, we have the manipulated voting ballots, an un-FDA-approved vaccination that we may not be allowed to refuse, and the virus masks and gathering bans that keep us estranged.  We Americans are in the Valley of Decision: we must either meekly comply with our own enslavement or resist.  The decision is ours . . . for now.

©Tabitha Korol. All rights reserved.

Florida Legislature Passes Bill to Regulate Social Media Corporations—But Excludes One Key Company

One of the most powerful companies in America was able to wriggle an exemption from Florida’s proposed law targeting social media companies.


The Florida state legislature recently passed—by overwhelming majorities in both of their Republican-controlled chambers—a new law that imposes fines on social media corporations for deplatforming political candidates.

Governor Ron DeSantis called for the legislation and is expected to sign it, which would make Florida the first state in the nation to enact such a policy.

The Florida bill prohibits social media companies from permanently deleting or banning political candidates, but allows suspensions of up to 14 days. It still allows services to remove individual posts that violate its terms of service as well.

If disobeyed, the state’s Elections Commission would be directed to fine a company $250,000 a day for statewide candidates and $25,000 a day for all others. Additionally, the law requires the companies to provide information about removals and to apply their rules consistently.

While Republican lawmakers have insisted this measure has nothing to do with former President Trump’s removal from Twitter, many have connected the dots between the two events.

Netchoice, a trade group for internet corporations, testified against the bill. Their president, Steve DelBianco, said that private entities should have the right to decide what’s best for their users without (government) interference. He went on to state, “The First Amendment makes clear that government may not regulate the speech of private individuals or businesses. This includes government action that compels speech by forcing a private social media platform to carry content that is against its policies or preferences.”

Republicans say the legislation is needed to curb the influence of the nation’s leading social media companies who have outsized influence over the national conversation, but notably, they exempted from the law the state’s most famous corporation: The Walt Disney Company.

A provision in the bill gives an exemption to “ any information service, system, internet search engine, or access software provider operated by a company that owns and operates a theme park or large entertainment complex.” This amendment was added towards the end of the process, proving the Tallahassee capitol may maintain more than a few mouseholes for Disney’s lobbyists.

Disney, as you may recall, recently “canceled” conservative Hollywood star Gina Carano, making the exemption all the more striking.

Republican State Representative Blaise Ingoglia said that exemption was included so that the Disney Plus streaming service “isn’t caught up in this.” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis says that 77 percent of the state’s budget is funded through tourism, and Disney brings in more than $700 million in tax revenue each year alone. Given these factors, it is unsurprising state lawmakers avoided any action that might spur Disney to move the cheese.

The law will inevitably be challenged in the courts where it will likely be overturned as unconstitutional. Forcing a private business to host speech by a political candidate is one of the most overt violations of the First Amendment’s right to free speech in modern history. And the carve-out for Disney means the law also violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s promise of equal application of the law. Lastly, the legislation violates Section 230, which ensures that First Amendment protections are applied in technology spaces.

In short, this law is an egregious violation of our Constitution, our founding principles, and our belief in individual liberty.

Disney is not wrong to lobby its way into an exclusion from an unjust and unconstitutional law, though it would be acting unethically if it initially lobbied for the bill and then worked to exclude itself. But their actions still show that the government is beholden to special interests, even while claiming to implement regulations that restrain them.

If applied, Florida’s bill would demolish small competitors who may be emerging in the field, while Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter could easily absorb the fine. Instead, officials who claim to value limited government should be working to remove regulations and make it easier for new competitors to enter the market.

It is clear that we are dealing with a culture (in politics, business, and the media) in which the spirit of free speech is increasingly under threat. But we don’t beat them by joining them or by using the government to violate free speech laws in the name of “protecting” free speech.

In this case, it is clear that the best laid plans of mice and men will go awry. It would be better to follow the plans laid out in the Constitution instead.

COLUMN BY

 

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

MUST READ: The ANTIFA Manual — Found on the campus of The Evergreen State College

A reader send us a copy of the Antifa Manual found at Evergreen State College.

The Antifa Manual states:

Do not distribute to any cis white males
non-POC
non-LGBTQ
peoples
a.k.a. fascists

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ANTIFA MANUAL

©All rights reserved.

And Justice For None

Justice demands that child molesters be prosecuted swiftly and without fail. I challenge the wickedness of Washington, D.C.

©Bill Finlay. All rights reserved.

Dems Committed To Utterly Destroying Black Man’s Optimism About Race Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In the wake of a black man from the South expressing optimism about race in America, outraged liberals across the nation are doing everything in their power to crush that kind of positive thinking before it really gets out of hand.

“Look, black people are great and all, but they aren’t allowed to disagree with us,” explained Senator Chuck Schumer. “It’s pretty simple. Any black person who has the nerve to disagree with us is just a dumb puppet for white people. Or, as our great President once said, they aren’t even black! Now, we need liberals everywhere to remind Senator Scott that America is terrible and there is simply no way for black people to succeed without the graces of kindly Democrats. Leftist mob – assembllllllllle!”

White progressives answered the bell, crashing the airwaves with messages touting their unmatched racism. “How could a silly Senator say something like that?” laughed Jimmy Kimmel as he finished cleaning off his blackface. “I know so much more about racism than a black man from the South, especially one whose grandparents picked cotton. Don’t worry, I’ll perform a hilarious monologue for white liberals about how dumb it is for a black man to think our country is good – that will really put him back in his place!”

If being taunted by people on Twitter and humorless monologues from guys wearing blackface don’t work, Democrats claim they have other tricks up their sleeves. Ideas include bringing back school segregation, teaching elementary-aged kids that America is racist, threatening corporations with repercussions if they don’t teach employees that white people are evil, fanning flames of division between black neighborhoods and police, pushing the theory in universities that our skin color is our primary identity, flinging accusations of racism in every policy argument, and making claims that voting policies supported by the majority of black Americans are really Jim Crow, amongst others.

Sources say that Senator Scott doesn’t watch Kimmel and doesn’t care about Twitter trolls, and so far believes exactly what he believed on Wednesday: that our sin is not the end of the story.

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EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Why George Orwell’s Warning on ‘Self-Censorship’ Is More Relevant Than Ever

Just as George Orwell warned, governments don’t have to be the censors for free speech and free expression to be fatally stifled.


Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.

The above is a quotation from George Orwell’s preface to Animal Farm, titled “The Freedom of the Press,” where he discussed the chilling effect the Soviet Union’s influence had on global publishing and debate far beyond the reach of its official censorship laws.

Wait, no it isn’t. The quote is actually an excerpt from the resignation letter of New York Times opinion editor and writer Bari Weiss, penned this week, where she blows the whistle on the hostility toward intellectual diversity that now reigns supreme at the country’s most prominent newspaper.

A contrarian moderate but hardly right-wing in her politics, the journalist describes the outright harassment and cruelty she faced at the hands of her colleagues, to the point where she could no longer continue her work:

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; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m ‘writing about the Jews again.’ Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly ‘inclusive’ one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.

Weiss’s letter reminds us of the crucial warning Orwell made in his time: To preserve a free and open society, legal protections from government censorship, while crucial, are not nearly enough.

To see why, simply consider the fate that has met Weiss and so many others in recent memory who dared cross the modern thought police. Here are just a few of the countless examples of “cancel culture” in action:

  • A museum curator in San Francisco resigned after facing a mob and petition for his removal simply because he stated that his museum would still collect art from white men.
  • A Palestinian immigrant and business owner had his lease canceled and restaurant boycotted after activists dug up his daughter’s old offensive social media posts from when she was a teenager.
  • A Hispanic construction worker was fired for making a supposedly “white supremacist” hand signal that for most people has always just meant “okay.”
  • A random Boeing executive was recently mobbed and fired because he wrote an article 30 years ago arguing against having women serve in combat roles in the military.
  • A data analyst tweeted out the findings of a research paper (by a black scholar) about the ineffectiveness of protests and was fired after colleagues claimed their safety was threatened.
  • Led by progressives as prominent as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, a woke mob tried to get a Chicago economist fired from his editorship of an economics journal for tweeting that embracing “Defund the Police” undercuts the Black Lives Matter movement’s chances of achieving real reform.

These are just a few examples of many. One important commonality to note is that none of these examples involve actual government censorship. Yet they still represent chilling crackdowns on free speech. As David French put it writing for The Dispatch, “Cruelty bullies employers into firing employees. Cruelty bullies employees into leaving even when they’re not fired. Cruelty raises the cost of speaking the truth as best you see it—until you find yourself choosing silence, mainly as a pain-avoidance mechanism.”

These recent observations echo what Orwell warned of decades ago:

Obviously it is not desirable that a government department should have any power of censorship… but the chief danger to freedom of thought and speech at this moment is not the direct interference of the [government] or any official body. If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.

Similarly, the British philosopher Bertrand Russell noted in a 1922 speech “It is clear that thought is not free if the professional of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living.”

Some might wonder why it’s really so important to protect speech and thought beyond the law. After all, if no one’s going to jail over it, how serious can the consequences really be?

While understandable as an impulse, this logic misses the point. Free and open speech is the only way a society can, through trial and error, get closer to the truth over time. It was abolitionist Frederick Douglas who described free speech as “the great moral renovator of society and government.” What he meant was that only the free flow of open speech can challenge existing orthodoxies and evolve society. From women’s suffrage to the civil rights movement, we never would have made so much progress on sexism and racism without the right to speak freely.

Silence enshrines the status quo. As John Stuart Mill put it:

If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

This great discovery process through free-flowing speech first and foremost requires a hands-off approach from the government, but it still cannot occur in a culture hostile to dissenting opinion and debate. When airing a differing view can get you mobbed or put your job in jeopardy, only society’s most powerful or those whose views align with the current orthodoxy will be able to speak openly without fear.

Orwell and Russell were right then, even if we’re only fully realizing it now. Self-censorship driven by culture, not government, erodes our collective discovery of truth all the same.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Terrifying Facts about the East German Secret Police

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: The American Conservative Union has launched the Center To Protect Voters and Their Voices!

GUESTS AND TOPICS:

MATT SCHLAPP

Matt Schlapp is the Chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), the nation’s original grassroots conservative organization. Matt and his wife Mercedes appear regularly on major news outlets as veterans of national politics with leadership roles in the Bush and Trump administrations. They are quoted regularly in major media sites and write for various publications, including The Washington Times and The Hill. They host CPAC Now, a digital political show which was born out the sudden rise of lockdown and cancel culture in 2020.

TOPIC: The American Conservative Union has launched the Center To Protect Voters and Their Voices!

STEVE HECHT

Steve Hecht a graduate of Columbia University, is a businessman who has lived in Guatemala since 1972. He has written widely about the country’s politics and produced the mini-documentary “From Hillary With Love” that details the Clinton-Obama role in imposing a collectivist regime on Guatemala.. As an American who has lived in Guatemala for the last 40 years, and has a front row seat to the impact US policies in the area impact illegal immigration here in the United States. It’s a key aspect of illegal immigration here, and one that is often overlooked.

TOPIC: Biden spins border crisis to bankroll socialism in Central America!

©Conservative Commandoes Radio. All rights reserved.