Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Maybe it's Time to Cancel Chris Hedges

I think maybe it's time to "cancel" Chris Hedges. Not because of racism or bigotry - but because he clearly has nothing to contribute to on-going discussions about the shifting attitudes towards BIPOC - and the political realities confronted by people of colour in their daily lives. Buying into the right-wing idea that "cancel culture" is a thing is a bad enough. Conflating it with the silencing of voices from the past whom lacked the power and political protection of the white majority - that's just egregious.
Hedges is setting up a false equivalency, seemingly largely based on the realities of the U.S. civil rights movement of 50-60 years ago. Yes, capitalism is a huge issue and we've got to do something about that. But enabling racism because some whites involved are disenfranchised by an oppressive economic elite IS NOT the answer.
Racism, in all of its forms (including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia) - and misogyny, anti-LGBTQIA2S+ - must be confronted and called out at every instance. Hedges is here actually preaching a kind of toleration in the name of finding allies for a larger project - tearing down capitalism. Maybe that's a worthy cause - but allying with the haters because of a larger common interest just isn't on. And frankly, it's not very likely that many allies are going to be found in that quarter anyway, given the serious embrace of capitalism of the political right - and probably more profoundly, their complete contempt for the left and the kind of socialism Hedges probably wants to use as a sword against capitalism.

Tolerance for the intolerant is the liberal recipe for continued inaction and failure. It may sound good and all to find common ground and to work with political foes - I'm all in favour of that - but if those "foes" are actually more than just political opponents and actually represent a clear and present danger to the well-being of individuals through their policies that seek to restrict the rights of women and BIPOC (not to mention outright hatred), they have zero place in civil discourse. If that means they're "canceled" so be it. We're not talking about canceling conservatives here - just bigots and haters. 

See: "Cancel Culture: Where Liberalism Goes to Die," Chris Hedges,, February 15, 2021.