This week, MSNBC host Joy Reid stated that “people on the right would trade all the tax cuts for the ability to openly say the N-word like in ‘the good old days,’” adding that those same people’s inability “to be openly racist and discriminatory without consequence is oppression. Trump is the avatar for this ‘freedom.’”
I’ll say it again: people on the right would trade all the tax cuts for the ability to openly say the n-word like in “the good old days.” To them, not being able to be openly racist and discriminatory without consequence is oppression. Trump is the avatar for this “freedom.” https://t.co/RlqAFYe5Zr
— Joy-Ann Pro-Democracy & Masks Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) March 4, 2021
Reid’s comment came after former New York Times writer Bari Weiss published a column on Tuesday titled, “The self-silencing majority: In red America and blue America, an epidemic of self-censorship is threatening democracy.” In the column, she states, “I know a lot of people who live in fear of saying what they really think. In red America and in blue America — and, perhaps more so, on the red internet and the blue internet — we are in the grip of an epidemic of self-silencing.”
Weiss added on Twitter, “’Self-censorship is the norm, not the exception,’ a student at one of the country’s top law schools wrote. ‘I self-censor even when talking to some of my best friends for fear of word getting around.’”
That prompted a Morgan State professor and MSNBC contributor to respond to Weiss, charging, “Yes, because code-switching, mask wearing and all of the other hoops that black people have to go through to appease enough of the majority to even GET into law school isn’t the issue. But censoring yourself from saying the N word amongst friends is.”
Yes, because code-switching, mask wearing and all of the other hoops that black people have to go through to appease enough of the majority to even GET into law school isn't the issue. But censoring yourself from saying the N word amongst friends is https://t.co/PsKFXl1BUb
— Dr. Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) March 4, 2021
Johnson’s remark triggered Reid’s reply.
In Weiss’ column, she noted:
There are two illiberal cultures swallowing up the country. I know because I live in blue America, in a world awash in NPR tote bags and front lawn signs proclaiming the social justice bonafides of the family inside. In my America, the people who keep quiet don’t fear the wrath of Trump supporters. They fear the illiberal left.
They are feminists who believe there are biological differences between men and women. Journalists who believe their job is to tell the truth about the world, even when it’s inconvenient. Doctors whose only creed is science. Lawyers who will not compromise on the principle of equal treatment under the law. Professors who seek the freedom to write and research without fear of being smeared. In short, they are centrists, libertarians, liberals and progressives who do not ascribe to every single aspect of the new far-left orthodoxy.
After I resigned from The New York Times over the summer for their hostility to free speech and open inquiry, I began to hear almost daily from such people. Their notes to me sound like missives smuggled out of a totalitarian society.
I was born in 1984, which puts me among the last generation born into America before the phrase “cancel culture” existed. … The consensus view relied on a few foundational truths that seemed as obvious as the blue of the sky: the belief that everyone is created in the image of God; the belief that everyone is equal because of it; the presumption of innocence; a revulsion to mob justice; a commitment to pluralism and free speech, and to liberty of thought and of faith. … Most importantly, this worldview insisted that what bound us together was not blood or soil, but a commitment to a shared set of ideas. … This old consensus — every single aspect of it — has been run over by the new illiberal orthodoxy.
In this ideology, if you do not tweet the right tweet or share the right slogan or post the right motto and visual on Instagram, your whole life can be ruined. … Victimhood, in this ideology, confers morality. “I think therefore I am” is replaced with: “I am therefore I know,” and “I know therefore I am right.” In this ideology, you are guilty for the sins of your father. In other words: you are not you. You are only a mere avatar of your race or your religion. And racism is no longer about discrimination based on the color of someone’s skin. Racism is any system that allows for disparate outcomes between racial groups.
It is our duty to resist the crowd in this age of mob thinking. It is our duty to speak truth in an age of lies. It is our duty to think freely in an age of conformity. … Keeping the spirit of liberty alive in an age of creeping illiberalism is nothing less than our moral obligation. Everything depends on it.