I don’t get two things about this letter:— Ryan Heath (@PoliticoRyan) July 8, 2020
1) Why would a signatory care who else signed it? You either agree with its content or don’t
2) Why does anyone care 153 “intellectuals” think these things? We don’t live in a dark age of intellectual dependence https://t.co/giKZ4WCSq9
With nothing else to do during quarantine except post stale takes on Twitter, Harper Magazine (idk her) decided to get together a bunch of people that are supposedly smarter than all of us peasants and pen a call out letter about cancel culture. As expected, Twitter is already clowning them so some of them are already retracting their signatures while others really think they ough to be proud of what they are doing. TL;DR under the cut!
- After seeing what BIPOC have accomplished by posting open letters talking about racial inecuety in academic and creative films, a bunch of elitist randoms decided it would be a good idea to talk about how they are being personally affected by "an intolerant climate".
- Says that an intolerance to opposing views and people taking a liking into public shaming and ostracizing people are destrying public debate.
- As writers, they deserve a culture that leaves room for experimentation, risk taking, even mistakes.
- People are calling the people that signed the letter thin-skinned, privileged, and said they fear the loss of relevance.
- Richard Kim, director og HuffPost had this to say:
“Okay, I did not sign THE LETTER when I was asked 9 days ago, because I could see in 90 seconds that it was fatuous, self-important drivel that would only troll the people it allegedly was trying to reach — and I said as much."
- This is the result of a long-running conversation with a small group of writers.They were concenred about timing given the political climate but still decided to do this.
- There isn't a particular incident that provoked the letter but some dude that talked to the NYT cited events such as: the resignation of more than half the board of the National Book Critics Circle over its statement supporting Black Lives Matter, a similar blowup at the Poetry Foundation, and the case of David Shor, a data analyst at a consulting firm who was fired after he tweeted about academic research linking looting and vandalism by protesters to Richard Nixon’s 1968 electoral victory.
- Says cancel culture is far more dangerous than Cheeto in Charge's "illiberalism" and calls him the canceler in chief.
- Letter was a croudsourced effort.and then circulated around a "diverse" group.
- Prominent signers include people that have been "cancelled", such as: Ian Buruma, former editor of the New York Review of books (got kicked out for publishing an essay penned by a rapist and defended him saying the allegations were inaccurate), Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., a Harvard Law professor that was part of Harvey Wesintein's legal team. After some students started a few petitions complaning about this plus him creating a toxic enviroment, he left his position), J.K. Rowling (known transphoble, wrote a few bad books), Magaret Atwood, (other white author), Salman Rushdie, Noam Chomsky, among others,
- People are especially mad because Bigoted Aunt Joanne Rowling signed this.
- Other people that have expressed transphobic sentiments signed this mess. Transgender writer, Emily VanDer Werff believes noted that the people that signed this letter could solidify their beliefs that they're being martyred.
- Since the letter got some blowback, some signers hace decided to back away from the letter. A spokeperson for the magazine said all the signatures were fact-checked but I am guessing people retracting are shaking in their boots right now.
- A person that decided to stay anonymous when talking to the NYT said that if they had known who else was signing the letter,they wouldn't have supported it. LOL
- Some rando named Mr Betts says it's bad authors are being silenced after being called out for cultural appropiation.
- The cause of the letter is supposed to be "a defense of people being able to speak and think freely without fear of punishment or retribution, of the right to disagree and not fear for your employment.” There was no mention of marginalized creatives being afraid of speaking up in regards to the prejudices they face within academic and creative circles in this letter.
mods, in the middle of me making this post the people at harper magazine started deleting their tweets so i can find a new source if needed!
ontd, do you believe in cancel culture?