Letters written by two Michigan Tech professors against University Senate Resolution 41-21 were decried by its proponents as racist and sexist, but recent missteps by the “anti-racism” movement suggest a majority of Americans agree with them. The resolution had its origins in an anti-semitic incident in Hancock at the Temple Jacob in 2019. A 19-year-old New Jersey man, Richard Tobin, pled guilty last week to inciting the defacement. He is accused of helping to incite a similar disturbance at a synagogue in Wisconsin. There is no evidence yet that those who perpetrated the actual physical crimes live in the immediate area.
The resolution quickly went beyond the fairly simple condemnation of such a heinous action. It seemed to disparage the broader populace, “Our community is experiencing ongoing harm demonstrated by regularly occurring hate motivated events and rhetoric. We have borne witness to the experiences of our harmed constituents, seen and heard the hateful propaganda that ails our community…” It expanded to include a myriad of potential bigotries, including “racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, fatphobic, ableist, and other oppressive and intolerant behaviors…”
The laundry list of ills tacked on to a very clear-cut case of discrimination was called out by Jeffrey Burl, Jaroslaw Drelich, and area residents as a broader political agenda designed to strip others of their right to hold an opinion that runs contrary to left-of-center ideology. Stomping out dissension is quickly beginning to look like its own form of bigotry and intolerance. Last month, #CancelDisneyPlus became the number one trend after subsidiary Lucasfilm, responsible for Star Wars, fired Hispanic actress Gina Carano. She was the breakout star of the streaming service’s Mandalorian.
Carano had faced persistent harassment from transgender activists after she refused to include her pronouns in her Twitter bio. In February, she shared a post on her Instagram saying that the only way the Holocaust could happen was because German neighbors were first taught to hate the country’s Jewish citizens. The post went on to say that she is seeing the same things happen here based on political differences, and it is just as wrong as it was then. The post was twisted to be anti-semitic, the exact opposite sentiment from what it actually conveyed. Lucasfilm is run by Kathleen Kennedy, who is white. Another minority woman is being targeted for removal from the cast now. Rosario Dawson is a well-known Democrat activist and girlfriend of 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker.
Two minority women, of varying political thoughts, are in the process of being canceled by mostly white activists and corporate executives over having the wrong opinion. In Dawson’s case, there is no evidence that she actually holds those particular beliefs.
The article defines stans as 15 to 17-year-olds that, “don’t see “conservative” as a signifier of wanting lower taxes, smaller government, and deregulation. “Conservative,” to them, is increasingly becoming conflated with “bigot.”’ Once you have defined half of the country as bigots, it is easy to justify awful things being done to them, the exact point Carano was making.
To get to such an extreme position on a complex issue like LGBT rights, they first had to be radicalized on the issue of race. Former NBC morning anchor Megyn Kelly went on to Bill Maher’s HBO show Friday to discuss why she decided to pull her kids out of their private New York City school. She is outspoken against the usage of Critical Race Theory in education. Not only did Maher agree, his decidedly liberal audience gave her a round of applause. Bill Maher went so far as to say CRT was turning him into Tucker Carlson. Warning: adult language is used in the following video.
Cancel culture is now affecting corporations beyond hiring. Disney’s streaming service made headlines a week ago when it slapped a warning label prior to episodes of The Muppet Show, claiming that the program features potentially offensive depictions of various minority groups. Jim Henson Productions played a role in creating fan favorites like Sesame Street and the Yoda character. It begs belief that anyone truly thinks the studio is racist. Amazon refused to allow its users from having access to a documentary on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during Black History Month.
Two other Fortune 500 companies were caught in their own scandal. A latino whistleblower shared that Coca-Cola was forcing employees to take critical race theory training using a course developed by LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft. The tutorial was based off of author Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. It demanded that employees “act less white.” Coca-Cola has admitted the instruction module was employed by the company, trying to justify its use, but LinkedIn has since scrubbed its website of the training entirely.
In addition to the retreat from Coke and LinkedIn, Disney has engaged in its own efforts to tamp down backlash. They disabled all user participation on their Youtube page as online fans mercilessly ripped into their decision to fire Carano. Kathleen Kennedy made a video focused on female empowerment for the Academy and the Oscars. It too had to be locked down after Kennedy’s post was downvoted over 10,000 times compared to around 80 positive reactions. The message is clear: People value organizations based on what they contribute to society, but detest their efforts to further polarize and divide us. That lesson just might apply to Michigan Tech and the University Senate as well.