KNOWLES: What To Do When The Woke Mob Comes For You

THE BACHELORETTE: THE MEN TELL - "The Men Tell All" - Luke P.'s stunning final standoff in Greece is revealed; and then, the controversial bachelor will take the hot seat opposite Chris Harrison to give his side of the story. The other men, fired up by Luke P.'s self-defense, explode into the vitriolic outburst they have been holding back all season long. The other most memorable bachelors - including Brian, Cam, Connor S., Daron, Devin, Dustin, Grant, Dylan, Garrett, John Paul Jones, Jonathan, Luke S., Matt, Matteo, Mike and Ryan -- return to confront each other and Hannah one last time to dish the dirt, tell their side of the story and share their emotional departures. Finally, as the clock ticks down on Hannah's journey to find love, a special sneak peek of her dramatic final week with Jed, Peter and Tyler C. is featured on "The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All," MONDAY, JULY 22 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images)
John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images

Chris Harrison thought he could reason with the mob. When leftist activists attacked Bachelor contestant Rachel Kirkconnell for having attended an Antebellum-themed party in college several years earlier, the longtime host defended the young woman against the campaign to smear her. During an interview on Extra, Harrison averred, “We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion.” He counseled the mob to refrain from “tearing this girl’s life apart” and instead to give her “a chance to speak.” Harrison’s gallant gesture did not placate the mob. On the contrary, it impelled the censors to turn their attention onto him, at which point he wilted.

“I am an imperfect man,” Harrison confessed on Good Morning America. “I made a mistake, and I own that.” But did Chris Harrison really believe that his encouragement of grace, understanding, and compassion in defense of a young woman was a “mistake”? As a moral matter, Harrison had acted justly. But as a political matter, he had indeed made a mistake, which now threatened his job. So he reversed course, threw the girl under the bus, and pleaded with the mob to spare his career. Days later, ABC announced that Harrison would not return to his show.

While the woke mob toyed with Chris Harrison, it also took aim at Winston Marshall, banjo player and lead guitarist for the folk rock band Mumford & Sons. Marshall had endorsed Unmasked, an excellent new book that chronicles the tactics of Antifa by journalist Andy Ngo, whose brain once bled after a vicious beating by the leftist militants.

When the mob came for him, Marshall did not even attempt to defend his appreciation of the book. “Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed,” he groveled. “As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots. For now, please know that I realise how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behaviour. I apologise.” Marshall had not concussed any journalists, nor had he caused anyone’s brain to bleed. But he had endorsed a book written by one of Antifa’s victims, and for that he apologized in a desperate attempt to save his job. But he lost his spot in the band anyway. In a culture that forswears forgiveness, one doubts he will ever get it back.

Harrison and Marshall both had good gigs. One understands the temptation to forfeit their integrity to keep their careers. But that was never really the choice. The situation Harrison and Marshall faced calls to mind one of the final scenes of Breaking Bad. As Walter and his cop brother-in-law Hank confront gangster Jack Welker in the desert, Walter begs his cop brother-in-law to plead for his life. “You want me to beg?” asks Hank, incredulous. “You’re the smartest guy I ever met, and you’re too stupid to see — he made up his mind 10 minutes ago.” With that, Jack shoots him.

Healthy societies thrive on confession and forgiveness. The late philosopher Roger Scruton noted this arrangement. When we confess our sins, we sacrifice our pride; when we forgive the sins of others, we sacrifice our resentment. The exchange requires trust in our fellow citizens because both sides sacrifice something they cherish. In turn, the arrangement builds upon that trust and binds a people more closely together.

But ours is not a healthy society. America, once the land of second chances, has traded confession and forgiveness for “cancel culture.” If the mob can destroy a man, it will. The choice is not between keeping one’s integrity and keeping one’s career. The mob has already made up its mind. The only question that remains is whether to grovel before one’s tormenters. The mob can rob a man of money, fame, and influence, but it cannot take his integrity. For that, the mob must make the man debase himself.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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