Category Archives: Cancel Culture

David Hume canceled

UPDATE: Over at his website, my Chicago colleague Brian Leiter, a philosopher and legal scholar, has a good take on Hume. An excerpt: What’s bizarre about the mass delusion now gripping the Anglophone world, even outside the U.S., is that no one yet knows whether George Floyd was killed because he was Black, rather than poor, marginalized, and non-cooperative (which […]

Darwin next for cancellation?

A couple of upset readers sent me links to the article below, but I don’t think it’s time to get upset quite yet. It’s not clear that the Cancel Culture will come for Darwin, though the Telegraph article below implies it. What it actually reports is that the Natural History Museum in London is assaying […]

VICE tries desperately to smear Steve Pinker

The very title of this VICE Motherboard piece (click on screenshot below) is part of a multifaceted attempt to smear Steve Pinker, calling him a “free speech crusader” who nevertheless has blocked people on Twitter who connected his name with Epstein. And the smear continues in the first paragraph, implying that somehow this blocking is […]

John Muir gets canceled

This article on the cancellation of John Muir, outdoor lover and founder of the Sierra Club, appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (click on screenshot below), but I also found the same piece in the National Review. (The author, John Fund, is the National Review‘s national-affairs reporter.) Yes, the National Review is a conservative magazine, but […]

Authors of anti-Pinker letter, having failed to discredit him, now write a 35-page academic paper claiming that the media and public misunderstood them

In July, a group of linguists sent a letter to the Linguistics Society of America (LSA) trying to get Steve Pinker’s status withdrawn as both an LSA distinguished fellow and a designated media expert. I analyzed the letter here and found it totally without merit—just a bunch of tweets that were misinterpreted as racist and […]

Turning literature into ideology: Flannery O’Connor gets cancelled

In June I reported that among the books I pried from the university library before it closed was the collected works of Flannery O’Connor, a writer who’s celebrated but whose work I hadn’t read.  After having worked my way through all her short stories and one of her novels, I decided she is indeed among […]

“Blazing Saddles” gets a trigger warning

The Critic site is new to me, but appears to be a kind of Quillette-like UK website that fosters free speech, even when it’s not ideologically au courant.  At any rate, this article appeared on the site recounting how once again HBO has tried to sanitize a “problematic” movie by giving it an ideologically palatable […]

Tulane University cancels book event because book is on the KKK—portraying it in a horrible light

Well, we have another cancellation by the Woke Left. A new book by Edward Ball came out on August 4 (click screenshot below) about the author’s investigation of an ancestor who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan right after the Civil War. Highly praised, it apparently paints a sad and devastating picture of […]

Another weak argument against the Harper’s letter

Eve Fairbanks is a journalist from South Africa, and her national origins play a substantial part in this rather weak essay on free speech in the Washington Post (click on the screenshot). Increasingly, I find long-form op-eds in both the New York Times and the Washington Post—the two sources I’m subscribed to besides Andrew Sullivan’s […]

POLITICO poll: A plurality of Americans think “cancel culture” has gone too far

Well, my title comes from the headline of this article in POLITICO describing a poll that it took along with the firm Morning Consult to suss out what Americans think about cancel culture (henceforth “CC”). Everything jibes—until you get to the end.  Click on the screenshot to read. I’ve put below the poll’s main conclusions […]