The right ‘cancels’ those who disagree, too
To the editor:
This letter is in response to Mr. Spahr’s letter of Tues., March 2.
Although Mr. Spahr’s letter is full of untruths and one-sided opinions, I would like to address two issues that recur often in anti-liberal screeds: the Portland riots of last summer, and “cancel culture.”
The Portland riots of 2020 were initially precipitated by the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by police in Minneapolis, a real, factual occurrence, as unequal treatment of Black citizens is a real, factual issue in this country. Other issues addressed by the protestors were immigrant rights, homelessness, racism, police accountability and free speech. The issue of “defunding the police” was also addressed in the protests, a matter that is debated among people of good conscience; in my opinion, the word “defund” is inappropriate, as the suggestion is that some money be diverted from police departments to entities that can better deal with issues of mental health, addiction, and homelessness. Still, this debate is related to real, factual occurrences of unequal treatment by law officials.
To echo Mr. Spahr’s remark, no one with common sense approves of the Portland riots or the rioting and looting in other cities last summer. However, please remember that they were precipitated by real injustice, as compared to the Big Lie about election fraud in the 2020 presidential election that incited the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, a lie that has been disproven by over 60 judgements in courts of law.
Now I’d like to address the subject of “cancel culture,” a matter that is brought up often in the conservative press. Conservatives like to state that “cancel culture” is an exclusively liberal tactic. This is contradicted by Mr. Trump’s statement in his address at CPAC last weekend: “get rid of them all”, referring to the Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him. Rep. Matt Gaetz went to Rep. Liz Cheney’s home state of Wyoming to rally against her vote to impeach, effectively trying to “cancel” her participation in the lawmaking process. Republicans in several states voted to censure their senators and representatives that voted to impeach, a “cancelling” of their impact. It is arguable that various Republican senators are attempting to “cancel” the impact of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol by arguing, like Sen. Ron Johnson, that the rioters were not armed and did not present a real threat. Going back to Mr. Trump’s presidency, the former president targeted at least 21 companies with calls for boycotts, threats of taxes and other warnings, including Apple, Amazon, AT&T, Boeing, Facebook, GM, Google, Macy’s, Merck, Nordstrom, T-Mobile, Toyota, and Twitter — even Oreos! It seems to me that Republicans and other conservatives are fond of “cancel culture” themselves.
Mr. Spahr would be well-advised to make sure that his statements are balanced and factual.