Last week TV’s Nick Cannon said obnoxiously hateful things.
Cannon described white people as “closer to animals” and “the true savages.” He said whites are “acting out of a deficiency so the only way they can act is evil.” And he had even less kind words for Jews.
Being white, Jewish, and an activist, I sprung into action.
As the president of Accuracy in Media, I help lead an army of more than 50,000 activists who revel in battling lies, corruption, bias, and hate. So, I did what any self-respecting activist would do: I found the names and email addresses of Cannon’s publicists, agents, and managers.
After drafting an action alert, I encouraged our online army to send a polite message to Nick Cannon’s representation. Within a few hours, our activists had sent thousands of emails. The next morning, CBS/Viacom announced they were cutting ties with Nick Cannon.
And I was disappointed.
When designing my action alert, I made a point not to include Nick’s network bosses or his corporate sponsors. I only included those who might have a direct influence on him. And I made it clear to our list that we did not want Nick Cannon “canceled.”
Admittedly, this surprised and disappointed some of our activists. One of them told me we should be fighting with fire. I disagree.
Those of us who believe in free speech and civil discussion should always reject “cancel culture” tactics for a wide variety of reasons.
Conservatives and libertarians do not stand to gain from normalizing cancel culture tactics. As we saw in cities throughout our nation just a few weeks ago, the Left will always be much better than us at mobilizing unruly mobs. And who among us desires to live in a society dominated by mob rule? Aren’t we sick of the divisiveness in our nation?
Our side should always stand for free expression, even if we openly oppose the ideas being expressed. And when we oppose those ideas, we should indeed speak up. In the marketplace of ideas, I am confident that hate will not win.
Now, I’m not blind. I recognize we live in a world of sinners, saints, and saveables. We should obviously befriend the saints and persuade the saveables. But rather than banning the sinners from civilized society, we should instead expose to the world what they truly believe in. Doesn’t society benefit from knowing who holds hateful beliefs and who does not?
Conservatives and libertarians should remember that we are the true descendants of the Age of Enlightenment. The age where — for the first time in human history — individual rights and individual thought were truly embraced and celebrated. One of my favorite philosophers of that era was Thomas Jefferson. I’d remind any Jefferson fan that his memorial doesn’t swear hostility against the hated British, but rather against “…every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
This is a viewpoint that used to be widely held across ideologies. Unfortunately, left-wing liberals in the mold of Bill Maher are increasingly rare. Anyone who bemoans our inability to “agree to disagree” should not employ the tactics that make disagreement impossible.
Today’s progressives descend not from the Age of Enlightenment but from a less civilized ideology — the prehistoric age of brute force. That’s why their symbol is the fist. Progressives believe everything they love should be mandated and everything they dislike should be banned. And naturally, they think it’s perfectly acceptable to use violence, intimidation, fear, and even the guns of government to advance their goals.
In the words of Nick Cannon, that makes them the true savages.
This article was originally published at ConservativeHQ.