AOC Has ‘Worst Take’ on Liberals ‘Canceling’ People With Wrong Views

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday declared that the left’s suppression of free speech is mostly made-up by entitled and powerful people.

Tweeting into an internet storm over “cancel culture,” Ocasio-Cortez informed those who think they have been censured for their opinions they are probably “just being challenged, held accountable, or unliked.”
  According to Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, the real victims of “cancel culture” are left-wing activists — and her.
  The trigger: Ocasio-Cortez was responding to an open letter published on Tuesday in Harper’s Magazine that warned against a spreading culture of “censoriousness.”
  • The mini-manifesto was signed by 150 mostly left-leaning luminaries, including J.K. Rowling, Gloria Steinem, Malcolm Gladwell and Noam Chomsky.
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter said, citing “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”

Many other members of the social justice left — where “cancel culture” has long been downplayed or denied — joined Ocasio-Cortez in condemning the letter and its signatories as privileged and out of touch. Emily VanDerWerff, a transgender journalist, tweeted a letter to her editors at Vox complaining their colleague Matthew Ygelsias had made her feel “less safe” at work by signing the letter, which she said featured “anti-trans” signatories and “dog whistles.”
  Ygelsias, a reformed “cancel culture” denier, declined to comment other than voicing support for VanDerWerff.

While many of the signatories expressed pride in the letter, at least two disavowed their support amid the outcry.

  • Other prominent liberals boasted they had declined to sign in the first place.
  • More than 160 journalists and academics signed a counter-letter published on Friday criticizing their peers, “many of them white, wealthy, and endowed with massive platforms,” for failing to recognize those who have been “silenced for generations.”

Case in point: Writer Thomas Chatterton Williams, who spearheaded the Harper’s letter, said the reaction proved his point.

“The very few people distancing themselves from the letter have been pressured and shamed to do so, not because of the arguments in the text, but because of the presence of certain other signatories, which I think is all the more reason the document is necessary,” he told TheWrap on Thursday.

Chatterton Williams, who was raised black but has rejected race, said he had sought “as wide and diverse a range of signatories as we could feasibly get.”

  • Contrary to the claims by Ocasio-Cortez and other critics, many transgender, female and non-white people singed the letter.
  • And two of the signatories, Salman Rushie and Garry Kasparov, were persecuted by authoritarian regimes because of their ideas.

Conservative commentators generally agreed the letter was a good if flawed corrective to left-wing intolerance and the backlash was bad.

Seth Mandel, the editor-in-chief of the Washington Examiner, declared Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter thread “the worst take” of all.

Actor James Woods was characteristically brutal in a reply on Friday.

Amid racial upheaval across the United States in recent weeks, several dozen people have been fired over often-dubious allegations of racism or racial insensitivity. 

Also on Friday, the CEO of Latino-owned food company Goya appeared on “Fox & Friends” and decried a boycott pushed by Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats because he praised President Donald Trump during a White House visit the previous day.

  • Robert Unanue called the boycott “suppression of speech.”
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