Since I have been banned from Twitter, I will post my rants on my own blog.
David French wrote a thoughtful column on the Scott Adams controversy for the New York Times, but I find fault with it. I wrote to him:
I object to your column because you do not consider whether Scott Adams is a good cartoonist. Would you refuse to read his cartoons because he is ugly or handicapped? Should we ban Greek literature because the Greeks owned slaves? Should we refuse to watch Oscar Wilde plays because he was a homosexual? Should we refuse to watch Alec Baldwin movies because he shot and killed someone? Should we refuse to listen to Wagner's music because Hitler liked it? Would we refuse to fly in airplanes if the Wright brothers had been racists?
Is art not art because someone bad created it?
Bad people can do good things. Richard Nixon created the EPA. Should we destroy the EPA because of Nixon?
I consider your column to be a defense of the very societal hatred you claim to be against.
David French's column said, among other things, that:
|"I’ll close with two good thoughts from my friend, the Atlantic contributing writer Thomas Chatterton Williams. When the Adams story broke, he wrote: “This is *not* ‘cancel culture.’ If you film yourself going on a stupid and boring racist monologue and upload it to the internet and people notice it and react negatively you just have to play it as it lays.”|
|"Exactly so. Adams would have paid a rightful price for his comments years before the present wave of punitive corporate actions.|
|"At the same time, however, just as Adams’s comments were an extreme outlier in American discourse, the response to those comments should be an outlier as well. A punitive private response to speech should be the exception, not the rule. Again, I agree with Williams: “I remain convinced you cannot cancel or intimidate your way to a better, more genuinely empathic and just society — whether individual cases seem merited or not,” he said. “The road to that society is narrowly wended through dialogue, patience, persuasion and almost certainly generosity.”|
|"I would add another virtue to the list above: truth. The road to a more empathetic and just society is also paved by an accurate understanding of our neighbors. With exceptions, they are not monsters, their views aren’t rooted in malice, and we should extend the same grace to the good faith expression of their ideas that we seek for our own."|