Just when you think we have made it to the furthest reaches of cultural lunacy, and of the cowardice that enables that lunacy, we find still deeper depths to plunge. Winston Marshall plays — did play, rather — the banjo and lead guitar for Mumford and Sons, a group famous for being everyone’s third favorite band in the summer of 2011. This past weekend, Marshall ignited controversy, as well as accusations of bigotry and Nazism, by publicly confessing to having read a book. The musician tweeted an endorsement of journalist Andy Ngo’s Antifa expose, “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.” The tweet, addressed to Ngo, said: “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.” That was it. And it was enough to set the cancel wheels in motion.
Fans, the media, and fellow musicians came out swinging, labeling Marshall a racist, calling for him to be fired, and so on and so forth. They made it clear that there is essentially no difference between reading and enjoying a book critical of Antifa and pledging allegiance to Hitler after reading Mein Kampf. To hint at even the mildest disagreement with the most radical fringes of the far Left is to profess far Right views, which is to be a bigot, which is to reveal yourself unworthy of inclusion in civilized society. This is the formula, clear and simple and totally insane.
In fairness to the cancel mob, this is not Marshall’s first infraction. He has in the past showed ominous signs of possessing a mind of his own. An article in the Hollywood Reporter notes:
This is not the first time Marshall and Mumford & Sons have courted controversy for associating with notorious right-wing personalities. Back in 2018, the band invited Canadian academic Jordan Peterson, who has been accused of transphobia, misogyny and Islamophobia, to visit their London studios. After pictures of Peterson and members of the band appeared on social media, Marshall told a Canadian radio station, “I don’t think that having a photograph with someone means you agree with everything they say.” He added, “Primarily I’m interested in his psychological stuff, which I find very interesting.”
There you have it. One minute, Marshall is taking a picture with a famous psychologist, three years later he’s reading a book. The Left could not allow this dangerous dissident a strike three. If they didn’t cancel him now, who knows what he’d do next. He might go out and misgender a Potato Head toy. There’s really no telling what sort of dastardly deeds this villain might get up to. Fortunately, the cancel mob was able to rein him in without much trouble.
After deleting the offending tweet, and then apparently deleting all of his other tweets, Marshall issued the standard order apology. His statement said:
“Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed. I have offended not only a lot of people I don’t know, but also those closest to me, including my bandmates, and for that I am truly sorry. As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to 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, as this was not at all my intention.”
If you thought you would live your whole life and never encounter the phrase “pain caused by the book I endorsed,” you were sadly mistaken. Indeed, I feel it must be emphasized, and really cannot be emphasized enough, that this man is begging for forgiveness and stepping down from his position because he read and recommended a book. He has come to believe, or at least is pretending to believe, that his decision to read a book caused not only offense, but actual damage, to other human beings.
Prior to this, the most pathetic and deranged bit of groveling we’d ever witnessed was “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison’s apology for advocating forgiveness. Winston Marshall managed to show a level of stomach-churning obsequiousness that outdid even that. And I have faith that some brave pioneer will come along in the very near future to debase themselves and surrender their dignity in such a way as to make Marshall look like Davey Crockett defending the Alamo by comparison.
It is all for naught, of course. As always, the groveler gains nothing from his masochistic performance. He is no less canceled at the end of it. The emotional blackmailers who demanded an apology for something that did not affect them or harm them in any way have no plans to actually accept that apology. Like any schoolyard bully, they get off on the act of imposing their will on another person. If you let yourself become a source of this perverse high, they will keep coming back for more. You can’t get them to stop taking your lunch money by giving them your lunch money. Your only hope is to stand up for yourself, refuse to play their game, and to send that message with a punch in the nose.
Admittedly, in the case of the cancel mob, that is much easier said than done. There is certainly no guarantee that they’ll leave you alone just because you have made it clear that you will not be an easy target. It’s quite possible that, no matter how you respond, they will come and take your job, your livelihood, and your reputation anyway. But the one thing they cannot take is your dignity. That is something a man must willingly forfeit. Winston Marshall is not the first, and certainly will not be the last, to offer his up on a silver platter, and get nothing in return.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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