150 writers and academics sign a letter defending ‘open debate’ against cancel culture

150 writers and academics sign a letter defending ‘open debate’ against cancel culture
Remains of a toppled and desecrated statue of George Washington in Portland, Ore. (Image: Twitter screen grab)

[Ed. – When you’ve lost Noam Chomsky…. Notice also the gratuitous dig at the Right.]

Harper’s Magazine has published a letter on “open debate” which is signed by 150 journalists, writers and academics, from Noam Chomsky to J.K. Rowling. The letter itself is relatively brief and takes plenty of shots at the right on the way to making a point about left’s growing fondness for cancel culture.

You can read it all here. The letter praises “powerful protests” for social justice and then warns that “forces of illiberalism” (they name Trump as an ally of these forces) are “gaining strength.” The letter warns “resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma.” And that’s really the main point of the letter.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture. …

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