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Tucker Carlson and the new standard we need
For FAIR’s Substack, FAIR Advisor Wilfred Reilly writes about the recent controversy surrounding Tucker Carlon’s leaked text messages.
It’s telling that the media outlets that ran with this story decided to bury the laudable point Carlson was making in this text—that our political opponents are human beings, and we should all condemn political violence even if it comes from “our side.” But the Carlson “scandal” also touches on a pair of core problems with modern American group relations—double standards, and hyper-sensitivity. How this case presents an example of a double standard is easy to illustrate. Simply put, I—or indeed a far more famous Black man—would not get fired if I did the exact equivalent of what Carlson did. If I, for example, went on Twitter to describe polyamory as “some white pervert shit,” I wouldn’t give any thought to whether it might cost me my job.
When “Protected” Groups Are Silenced, Diversity and Inclusion Are Illusory
For her blog, Unplugged, FAIR Advisor Monica Harris writes about how no one is immune to censorship and shares a recent personal experience in which she herself was censored.
When I shared the incident with a left-leaning friend, she cautioned that conservatives, Nazis and right-wing extremists have created a dangerous environment for transgender Americans. While this is undoubtedly true of some fringe elements on the Right, I’m neither a Nazi nor an extremist. Why should my legitimate concerns be conflated with fringe elements with whom I have nothing in common? If an article that raises thoughtful questions and concerns on behalf of other protected groups can be characterized as “hateful content,” then what is the threshold for hate?
You don’t have to be gay, female, or a person of color to appreciate the danger this poses to all Americans. If the boundaries of prohibited speech keep growing, then we can effectively be silenced by anyone who disagrees with us or is offended by our opinions. All they have to do is call us “hateful.” But if we live in constant fear of offending others, then how long will it be before we’re too afraid to say anything?
The psychological dangers of being in a silo
For the Braver Angels newsletter, Julian Adorney writes about the psychological dangers of being in a silo.
We talk a lot about the societal dangers of political siloing, but one point isn’t brought up enough: being in a silo is psychologically bad for us. It’s like eating junk food: it gives us cheap dopamine hits, while crowding out our ability to live a better and healthier life. When I was living in my silo, I was furious. What was wrong with all those people who disagreed with me!? Couldn’t they see how self-evidently right my side was? Were they too stupid to read the data, or did they just not care about all the problems caused by big government?
My conversations with other people also suffered. Each time politics came up, I was like a dog with a bone. I worried and harried my friends until I had pounded whatever anti-government point I was trying to make into their heads (or, perhaps, until they voiced polite agreement so we could take the conversation in a less obnoxious direction). Instead of using political conversations as a way to learn more about an infinitely complex world and to grow as a person, each took on a binary notation. Had I moved the other person towards libertarianism? If yes, good. If not, the conversation was a failure.
I have been censored for warning about censorship
For spiked, Joanna Williams writes about her scheduled talk on free speech and gender ideology being cancelled by an Ontario public library.
This is how censorship works today. Cut-and-paste policies are used to stop a scholarly society from hosting a public event, and to prevent a woman – in this case, me – from talking about women’s rights. Make no mistake, it is very clearly my views that the library objects to here. The library managers were frightened that I might speak truths about sex and gender that they were not willing to let people hear. They have set themselves up as gatekeepers of what can and cannot be said. After all, the London Public Library seemingly has no problem hosting drag queen storytimes for young children. By stopping me from speaking, it is clearly taking sides in the gender debate and preventing the opposing view from being heard.
Publisher to retract paper on ‘Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria’
For Unherd, James Billot writes about a new paper on gender dysphoria being retracted from an academic journal by one of the world’s largest academic publishers.
The research, which focuses on parents’ reports on gender-dysphoric adolescents and young adults whom the parents believe have Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD), gained over 42,000 downloads before the decision to retract. ROGD is a theory that links the explosion in cases of gender dysphoria among young females to a socially contagious false belief that they are transgender. The paper found 1,655 cases of ROGD in which the parents said that these young people had a high proportion of pre-existing mental health problems, predating their gender dysphoria by four years on average. It also found that the best predictor of transition was consulting a gender specialist, where parents often felt pressured to transition their children.
Shortly after the article’s publication on 29th March and the controversy that followed it, criticisms of Bailey’s and Diaz’s research began to surface. On 19th April, the Listserv of the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) shared a message that it was “consulting” with both the Archives of Sexual Behavior’s editor and their publisher Springer Nature about the “ethical questions” raised in the research. Then, on 10th May, a publisher’s note appeared on the paper alerting readers to “concerns” about its methodology. This resulted in the decision to retract the paper days later.
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