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Monday, April 12, 2021

 White Lives Matter Protests Fizzle, But....

Do you think the media will stop covering white supremacists?  Not on your life. Brandy Zadrozny is forced to admit that the much-hyped (by her and other media apparatchiks) rallies turned out to be a flop:

Hyped by organizers [and Brandy Zadrozny] as events that would make "the whole world tremble," the rallies ran into a major problem: Hardly anyone showed up.

Now you might think that nobody showing up would indicate that perhaps too much attention was being paid to a phantom menace, but you'd be wrong.  In fact, the menace is still very real; it was only thwarted by the heroic efforts of Brandy Zadrozny and friends:

The poor showing underscores how the country's unpopular and disorganized extremist movements have been driven underground by increased scrutiny from the media, law enforcement agencies and far-left activist who infiltrate their online spaces and disrupt their attempts to communicate and organize.

But it's still important work, never mind how unpopular and disorganized they are!  Experts are roped in:

 The  ineptitude of organizers notwithstanding, experts say that the US extremist movement is at an inflection point and that would-be participants are discouraged by the increased negative attention....

It goes on in that vein for quite awhile, but NBC News won't let me copy and paste from the article and retyping is a chore. Suffice to say that white supremacy is a joke (stopped clock) but opposing it is extremely important work being done heroically.  Hey, I opposed the 9-11 Truthers back in the day, so I know what it's like to start out thinking the enemy is serious and then discover that it's a bunch of buffoons and crackpots.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Blurring the Line Between Legit Criticism and Cancel Culture

Been seeing quite a bit of this lately and it deserves to be pointed out and scorned.  A perfect example is this hit piece on the College Fix:

After Campus Reform published a story about Alyssa Johnson, an assistant professor at Louisiana State University, over a tweet she had posted in response to an incoming student’s racist slur, she faced such an onslaught of abuse and threats that she was forced to leave her home.

The story was picked up by scores of right-wing outlets, including Fox News, and went viral on social media and on a website for LSU sports fans, where insults and attacks against Johnson filled chat rooms for dozens of pages. “I read them all because I just wanted to make sure that nobody had found my address,” said Johnson, who is Asian American. She noted that a majority of the online comments as well as hundreds of emails she received were filled with sexist insults and “racial slurs about Asian people that I had never even known existed,” she said.

Let's start with the obvious, that slurs and insults are completely inappropriate and threats are quite possibly criminal.  Nobody should defend them.  But at the same time, criticism of the content of Johnson's tweet is surely allowed? She not only suggested that she would drop any students guilty of using racist slurs from her class, but that a list of such students should be maintained.

 It is of course useful to blur the line between one's critics and the loonies who then engage in the insults and slurs and threats. And yes, there is a causal relationship, but it's not intentional.  And no surprise the article's tack is that the College Fix is engaging in Cancel Culture; indeed, that's the headline:

A Billionaire-Funded Website With Ties to the Far Right Is Trying to “Cancel” University Professors

No doubt the College Fix suggested that Alyssa Johnson be fired?  I mean, that's a basic first step in Cancel Culture.  Nope, in fact while it notes that there were calls for her to resign, the article itself takes no stance other than to note that her tweet was inappropriate for an assistant professor at a public university.

Any criticism of the hall monitors like Taylor Lorenz is met with similar line-blurring. Glenn Greenwald criticized Lorenz for some very criticism-worthy behavior, Lorenz gets nasty emails and tweets, Greenwald is trying to cancel Lorenz. Rinse and repeat. These stories are particularly popular because they allow journalists the opportunity to talk about their favorite topic: journalists and how poorly they are treated by the knuckle-dragging morons who don't understand the importance of what they are doing.



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