Starting in the 1980s, the right-wing has been screaming “political correctness” every time they got criticized. It’s fine for them to tell gays and trans people they’re disgusting but it’s PC thought policing to punch back up at them. More recently it’s cancel culture — never mind that very few people are actually canceled over saying something politically incorrect, it’s an effective rallying cry.
It works for pouty right-wingers who feel they should be able to scream racist insults without any blowback, but it also works with a lot of mainstream people. Somehow the fact that the right-wing are the ones currently banning books doesn’t register. I don’t know why. Is it that, as Ta-Nehisi Coates once said, white grievance is automatically assumed to be valid? Or that the left are supposed to be tolerant so it disturbs people more when we do it? But either way it’s annoying as hell that we can’t seem to rouse the same reaction against the right.
Bari Weiss has built her brand on fighting cancel culture. She coined the phrase intellectual dark web to pretend that unremarkable right-wing ideas — identity politics are bad, men and women are fundamentally different — as stuff nobody can say in the mainstream without getting canceled. Of course people say that stuff all the time, but apparently the shtick works well for her. She signed the briefly notorious Harper’s letter and complaining that people are being terrified into self-censorship. Which even if true, is meaningless without context. If they’re terrified of saying the N-word or discussing how Biden’s cabinet has too many Jews, I’m fine with them not wanting to say that crap aloud.
Now Weiss has found a new angle, trying to launch a new university because academic freedom! Except as noted at the link, she’s recruiting founders who oppose academic freedom (more discussion here). One of them is a conservative Catholic who specifically says freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry are the highest goals of college education. Weiss’s response is that she knows — that’s why she wants him on board! I presume the point is, unlike liberals she embraces FREEDOM so much, she even supports people who oppose FREEDOM! Except when they’re liberals; she’s not making any attempt to find anyone on the left who doesn’t like free speech (admiteddly there’s a lot fewer) just as their mission statement doesn’t discuss Republican attacks on said freedom.Weiss is, as usual, full of shit. Here’s more about one of the grift organizers.