Woke Censorship Is Real

Abigail Shrier writes:

“In response to media attention and customer complaints, Target reversed itself; my book is again for sale. But other books will be quietly suppressed. In an America where the left has achieved dominance of cultural institutions and adopted a tyrannical opposition to other ideas, where social media extends its reach, and where books are distributed by a handful of retailers—a book burning doesn’t even require a populist uprising. It takes only one online extremist or two to make a book disappear. And when that happens, don’t look to the ACLU to defend you.”

4 Comments for “Woke Censorship Is Real”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    It certainly is. I got suspended from my favored website for merely posting a link to an article on a health website titled something along the lines of “about the rapid onset gender dysphonia controversy” and saying “this is a neutral and excellent discussion.” Which it was.

    But the fascinating thing is, immediately after that gay conservative with three names posted a favorable impression of the book, Target said “It’s back!” More of these censorship fights are going against the far left. People in the middle are hearing about every single one of them, and substantive discussions are occurring.

    Among the people I interviewed was the organization’s long-time Executive Director, Anthony Romero, who was forced to navigate the post-Charlottesville controversy with a series of increasingly confusing statements designed to appease not only public and donor anger over the defense by ACLU lawyers of the right of white supremacists to march (after one killed a protester with his car) but also internal rage that ACLU lawyers took that free speech case. Romero insisted to me that the ACLU had not retreated from its historic commitment to free speech nor its resolve to avoid partisan politics despite a series of post-Charottesville memos and a highly-funded election campaign that certainly gave the opposite appearance.

    Meh! Case in point. And there, I’ve achieved my yearly quota of saying something nice about Anthony Romero.

    In response to a series of questions I sent Strangio about his position…. He told me, however, that the book is dangerous:

    “The book and the arguments contained within it are fueling a wave of bills in state legislatures to criminalize health care for trans youth including through felony bans on the provision of care and forced outing of trans youth by school officials (an actual serious First Amendment concern).”

    First things first. I do not consider forced outing to be a “serious” First Amendment concern. School staff do not have a right to talk about their students.

    But speaking of dangerous ideas:

    In November 2016, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. As a result, and anyone could have predicted this as a maybe, 200,000 Americans died from a disease, thousands(?) of children were jailed separately from their parents and then removed into foster care, and plans were laid for the military to be used to put down race riots. And furthermore, in November of 2020, 70-something million Americans, including yours truly, knowing all of this full well, voted for Donald Trump AGAIN.

    Why? Well in my case it’s a bottomless black hole of very good reasons. Near the top of them, I had major concerns about Democratic majors (like my own) promoting and implementing policies that resulted in less law enforcement, much less public safety during BLM-related demonstrations, and more crime and far too much destruction and mayhem than I’m happy with, including very close to home.

    Politics is deadly serious business. The wrong person in office, and you will die. Republicans say this about Democrats. Democrats say this about Republicans. Both are correct.

    Who, then, will correct the matter? The American people and its elected officials are okay with innocent people dying for “more important” reasons.

    Like I said, I have exhausted my store of nice things to say about Anthony Romero and his leadership of the American Civil Liberties Union. His leadership during the Bush administration is a significant part of why the censorship problem Mr. Miller points to today exists: an to let politics come up with its own solutions, an eagerness to intervene when artificial sacred cows are violated, and above all a refusal to get to yes on *how* we should implement difficult political agendas. When his ACLU became one about opposing an entire administration philosophy or agenda, that was the end of the ACLU as a “civil rights” organization as far as I am concerned.

    I am reminded of Jordan Peterson’s commentary (and I am not mentioning him because of the trans issue) that behind every educated person who advocates for Communism, there’s a certain hubris: “If only I were in charge, I would be the benevolent dictator.” The inevitable result is you’d be murdered by Stalin, or mess things up as badly as he did: innocent people dying for “more important reasons.”

    I am as horrified by the ACLU lawyer’s tweet as Mr. Greenwald is.

    Reply
  2. posted by JohnInCA on

    Unless you’re alleging unlawful coercion, public pressure on a retailer or publisher to pull something isn’t a legal matter. The First Amendment protects you from the government saying your book shouldn’t be published, it does not protect you from randos on Twitter saying your book shouldn’t be published.

    Once you understand that, it becomes pretty clear why there’s no hypocrisy in an ACLU lawyer contacting a publisher about a book: because there is no First Amendment issue.

    That said? I find these claims of “woke censorship” laughable. “Censorship” that actually broadens the dissemination of whatever it’s supposed to be censoring is not censorship, it’s free advertising.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Once you understand that, it becomes pretty clear why there’s no hypocrisy in an ACLU lawyer contacting a publisher about a book: because there is no First Amendment issue.

      No one is arguing hypocrisy or law. We’re arguing culture and society.

      Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    And furthermore, in November of 2020, 70-something million Americans, including yours truly, knowing all of this full well, voted for Donald Trump AGAIN.

    If all goes according to plan, you’ll have another chance to vote for President Trump AGAIN AGAIN in 2024. He has shaped the Republican Party in his own image, and probably has a lock on the Republican nomination if he choses to run. President Trump could be a latter day Grover Cleveland.

    Reply

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