The Week in Cancel Culture: First Edition

One of our faithful readers down in Australia (you know who you are down under) wrote in to say that perhaps we need to have a regular TWiCC (The Week in Cancel Culture) to go with TWiP, and TGiP. Not sure if the topic lends itself to this format, because pictures of witch trials and ritual drownings would get old pretty fast. Plus, if the coverage was comprehensive at all, the item would get very long every week.

So perhaps a Sports Center-style highlight reel. And we have actually reached the point where the cancellers are starting to cancel themselves:

On the afternoon of Saturday, March 20, Mary Lu Bilek, who has spent 32 years at the law school at the City University of New York, the past five of them as dean, sent an email to students and faculty with the subject line: “Apology.” Ms. Bilek, who is 65, was explaining why she had cryptically announced her retirement two months earlier and why she expected now to leave even sooner. Discussing a contentious issue of race and tenure in a committee meeting last fall, she had likened herself to a “slaveholder.”

It was a strange, deeply jarring thing to say, but she had been trying to make the point that her position left her responsible for whatever racial inequities might exist institutionally. What the dean might have regarded as an admission of culpability, some of her colleagues viewed as an expression of the buried prejudices well-intentioned liberals never think they have.

Ms. Bilek quickly realized that she had drawn a terrible — perhaps unforgivable — analogy. “I am still shocked at what I said,” she wrote in her letter. Invoking what has now become the boilerplate of self-flagellating exits, she said that she had “begun education and counseling to uncover and overcome my biases.”

Next up: the Journal of the American Medical Association:

Following controversial comments on racism in medicine made by a deputy editor at JAMA, the editor in chief of the prominent medical journal was placed on administrative leave on Thursday. . .

The controversy began when Dr. Ed Livingston, a deputy editor, said on a Feb. 24 podcast that structural racism no longer existed in the United States.

“Structural racism is an unfortunate term,” said Dr. Livingston, who is white. “Personally, I think taking racism out of the conversation will help. Many people like myself are offended by the implication that we are somehow racist.”

You can’t say that! Doesn’t the good doctor know the famous line, as updated to Wokespeak: “Dr. Livingston [you are a racist] I presume?”

But not all the news is bad:

USA Today fires race and inclusion editor who falsely claimed Boulder shooter was an ‘angry white man’

USA Today’s race and inclusion editor Hemal Jhaveri was fired this week after she claimed that “it’s always an angry white man” who commits mass shootings, race-baiting in the wake of the Boulder attack. Jhaveri has since alleged that she was let go for “challenging whiteness.”

Let’s hope this becomes a new trend in newsrooms.

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