Polar bear prof potentially punished for telling inconvenient truth
Susan Crockford, a zoologist and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria, has essentially been fired after her renewal application was rejected with no explanation.
Dr. Crockford believes the university has chosen not to renew her adjunct position due to heightened social pressures and her strong assertion that polar bears are not only not facing a climate emergency but are actually thriving.
“When push came to shove, UVic threw me under the bus rather than stand up for my academic freedom,” said Dr. Crockford, who is a renowned scientist in her area of study of polar bears.
She also chastised the university for their sudden shift in sentiment, citing that the University was only too proud to share her appearance on a 2007 PBS ‘Nature’ documentary not so long ago.
According to The Washington Times, Crockford’s lectures were shut down In May 2017, “after the speakers bureau received a complaint about her ‘lack of balance,'” which Crockford believes “poisoned support I might have expected from colleagues in the department.”
“The speakers’ bureau incident made it clear the administration had no intention of protecting my academic freedom against complaints from outside the university,” Dr. Crockford said in an email to The Washington Times.
The University of Victoria has denied that they did not renew her adjunct professorship due to her research refuting recent popular belief that polar bears are starving because of climate change. Dr. Crockford says starvation has always been an unfortunate reality in polar bear populations.
The university didn’t comment on whether it was due to her denial of polar bear’s going extinct due to climate change.
“There is no evidence to suggest that Dr. Crockford’s adjunct appointment was not renewed for ‘telling school kids politically incorrect facts about polar bears,’” said Ms. Parkin. “The University of Victoria, in both word and deed, supports academic freedom and free debate on academic issues.”
Since changing her stance on climate change, Crockford wrote the book The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened, citing the positive growth of the polar bear population from 22,000 to 31,000, despite climate activists saying they are nearing extinction.
Due to her resilient stance, Crockford has been labelled a climate denier and been lambasted in various articles.
“Professor after professor has been hounded, silenced, censured or fired for speaking out against the approved man-made climate crisis narrative,” says Marc Morano, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change. “The message to any climate dissenters in academia is once again reinforced: Stay silent with your skepticism or risk endangering your career.”
Fellow University of Victoria professor Cornelis van Kooten agrees with the assertion that politically correct waves in academia are harming academic freedom.
“Put it this way: religion, race, evolution, gender, indigenous peoples, nuclear power, polar bears, deforestation. … Any views on these topics that don’t fall in line with the ‘consensus’ are taboo,” said van Kooten in an email. “Think the extent to which free speech has been banned from campuses across much of the West in the name of political correctness.”
The line between freedom of speech and the freedom to incite violence is one of the hardest distinctions to put into practice. Toby Young, however, who has recently created the Free Speech Union, may have a better idea than most.
Two years ago, when Theresa May was still the prime minister of the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party appointed Toby Young as a member of the Board of the Office for Students. Despite it being an unpaid position, Young quickly accepted it, and yet within a few days, he had not only lost that job but four others.
Young suffered from the sordid affliction of conservatism, and because of this, his qualifications were overlooked. Almost as soon as he was appointed, legions of “offence archaeologists” began to excavate through decades of articles—inevitably digging up artifacts that would soon cost him his livelihood.
“They dug up some stuff, took it out of context, and portrayed me as a bigot,” said Young. “It was trial by social media: guilty until proven innocent and, by the way, you’re not going to have a chance to defend yourself. I ended up not only having to step down from the regulator, but also from four other positions, including my day job running an education charity. It was brutal—I lost two stone.”
By appointing Young—who perhaps was even an overqualified candidate—the British Conservative Party had committed the unpardonable sin. They had appointed someone with the exact virtues needed for the position: industry knowledge, a public profile, and, most importantly, outspoken and lucid principles. And yet, it was precisely these qualities that led to Young’s downfall.
Within hours, the platoons of the progressives had trudged through decades of articles and social media posts. At one point, all ten of the Spectator’s most viewed articles in their archive, which dates back to 1828, were authored by Young. As the editor of Spectator noted, “Young’s army of detractors were hard at work.”
Young’s ordeal is not as remote as it may seem. These tactics—owing in part to their efficacy—have begun to seep into democracy itself. Take, for instance, Justin Trudeau’s tactics in the 2019 election, where the Liberal apparatus took the form “of a constant barrage of oppo research deployed against Conservative candidates.”
Mercifully enough for the Conservatives, the state-funded offence excavator, indulgent in its smugness, was retired after Justin Trudeau’s penchant for blackface emerged. Nevertheless, within a few weeks, the Liberal Party had time to craft and exhibit the online transgressions of six separate opposition candidates.
All this has sent an unequivocal message to Conservatives: If you dare oppose the prevailing orthodoxy of the day—or in the case of those Conservative candidates, dare oppose Canada’s natural governing party—you will suffer first public humiliation and then unemployment.
“Free speech has never been in more peril across the Anglosphere than at any time since the Second World War,” said Young. “Why? Because the regressive Left has launched a ferocious attack on free speech and the progressive Left doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to defend it.”
As a result of this, Young has launched the first major revolt against those who no longer value free-speech or ideological diversity. With a group of internationally recognized academics, public intellectuals, and journalists, Young has created the Free Speech Union, aimed at defending those who have exercised their right to free speech. “I want to stop the same thing happening to other people, which is why I’ve set up the union,” said Young.
The Free Speech Union is perhaps the only available means to defend yourself against the tactics of the far-left. If you are a member, the union will mobilize an army of supporters to defend you against outrage mobs. They will also launch counter-petitions, defend you in the media, and provide legal assistance whenever it is reasonably possible.
“We will challenge outrage mobs in a variety of ways,” said Young. “If bullies come after one of our members on social media, we’ll go after them. If the woke witch-finders start a petition demanding that one of our members is fired, we’ll start a counter-petition. If one of our British-based members faces a disciplinary process—or is fired—we’ll give them access to legal advice and, if necessary, help them crowd-fund to pay their costs. The enemies of free speech hunt in packs; its defenders need to band together too.”
Speaking to The Post Millennial, the prolific National Post columnist Jonathan Kay commended the ambition of the union. “I hope it works,” he said. Kay, however, did express caution over the capability of the union: “the problem is that if somebody really wants to cancel someone, the pressure points come from within their own professional milieus. The cancellers don’t care if you’re in some kind of free speech union. It would only work if thousands and thousands of people joined it.”
The good news is that the Free Speech Union is well on its way to garnering this support. Speaking about the reception the Union has received, Young said that “it has been very well received by conservatives and by some members of the progressive left.”
One example of this is the Conservative leadership candidate Erin O’Toole, who told The Post Millennial that “free speech is the foundation of a free and democratic society. Conservatives need to stand united against the threat posed by “cancel culture.” The left is trying to intimidate into silence conservatives—and even those on the left who question the most extreme views. This is a real threat that we need to take seriously.”
The Free Speech Union has suffered some criticism from the usual candidates. The regressive Left, for instance, have “done their best to portray it as an organization that’s been set up to protect male, pale and stale conservatives like me from the consequences of hate speech.”
This attempted portrayal may be a difficult task for Young’s army of detractors. So far, the five-person Board of Directors includes a gay man and a woman of colour, making the Free Speech Union, as Young said, “more diverse, in every sense, than the BBC.”
Speaking on the necessity for free speech, Young paraphrased Ira Glasser, the former head of the ACLU: “speech restrictions are like poison gas. They seem like a great weapon when you’ve got your target in sight. But then the wind shifts.”
Combative metaphors aside, it would be more constructive for the regressive left to join the union, or at least not work against it. After all, Young’s detractors proclaim themselves to be liberals. Shouldn’t they commit to a cause that defends the central tenet of liberalism: free speech? To silence any voice is to impoverish the world and our decision-making capacity. The free speech Young is trying to protect is our individual liberty: we negate it at our cost.
Roxane Gay thinks Jeannine Cummins should go cry into her publishing contract. After Cummins’ publisher Flatiron Books cancelled her American Dirt book tour due to death threats, Gay said that was basically no big deal because lots of authors receive death threats. Gay dismissed the concerns of Flatiron and Cummins, saying that it’s “important to acknowledge the death threats people receive for daring to have opinions, for daring to be black or brown or queer or disabled or women or trans or any marginalized identity.”
Gay made the remarks at Antioch University in Culver City, CA, when she spoke on a panel with author Myriam Gurba as part of #DignidadLiteraria (#LiteraryDignity), a movement that emerged after the publication of American Dirt. The purpose of #DignidadLiteraria is to hold the publishing world accountable for not publishing enough stories by and about the Spanish speaking people of the Americas. This panel was part of a national week of action organized by the hashtag’s founders Myriam Gurba, David Bowles, and Roberto Lovato.
Cummins’ book was the subject of much initial fanfare. It was on The New York Times’ highly anticipated book list. It was a pick for Oprah’s Book Club. Movie rights were sold before the book hit digital shelves and Cummins received a seven-figure advance. All this indicates that the book was going to be a literary circle darling. Instead, it has created a crisis in American publishing.
While there were some positive initial reviews, most of the notices for American Dirt were incredibly damning. Once word got out why the book was no good, critics could not stop dishing on the white author who had the audacity to write a story about a Mexican mother and son running for their lives to escape drug cartels.
The complaints were that Cummins shouldn’t have written the story, that the story wasn’t hers to write. The authors who trashed her book know that the story sprang from Cummins’ imagination and that she spent years researching the subject. And primarily, the harsh critics of American Dirt were other authors, like Gurba and Bowles, who take issue not only with the work itself, but the fact that it was published at all. They’re using it as a bludgeon with which to beat the publishing industry into submission to identity politics.
It’s possible, however, that some of the reviews were written by people who hadn’t read the book. For example, this Jezebel review from Shannon Melero notes that “There is no sense throughout the book that Cummins is familiar at all with the landscape of Mexico, outside the names of towns. At times it reads as if she was purposely vague on the description of a neighbourhood so that the reader could imagine they were anywhere else. But the lack of specificity is precisely why such a book appeals so massively to a mainstream white gaze: they can put themselves in the story and imagine they are practicing a type of empathy, when in fact they’re just perpetuating erasure.”
Journalist Jesse Signal points out many passages that show the specificity of the location Cummins writes about.
This is not the first time a book has been trashed by people who probably didn’t read it. A year ago, Amélie Wen Zhao’s unpublished novel Blood Heir was brought up on charges of being racist. It was mostly a play to get people to buy the books of the complaining critics, instead of the one that received the big advance and heavy push from publishers.
In Gurba’s review at Tropics of Meta, she writes that she was predisposed not to like the book based on a publisher’s letter, and she hates it thoroughly. “Unfortunately, Jeanine Cummins narco-novel, American Dirt, is a literary licuado that tastes like its title,” Gurba writes eviscerating both Cummins and the work. “Cummins plops overly-ripe Mexican stereotypes, among them the Latin lover, the suffering mother, and the stoic manchild, into her wannabe realist prose. Toxic heteroromanticism gives the sludge an arc and because the white gaze taints her prose, Cummins positions the United States of America as a magnetic sanctuary, a beacon toward which the story’s chronology chugs.”
For this review and for speaking out, Gurba says that she received threatening messages as well. To Gay, the threats Gurba received are more worrisome than the threats Cummins received.
“People need to realize what real censorship looks like,” Gay said. “They need to understand how unsafe it can be to challenge authority and the status quo. These are not things that should be taken lightly, nor should this level of harassment be dismissed as mere trolling. You never know when one of those so-called trolls is going to take his rage from the internet into the physical world.”
Ideally, well-known authors would decry all threats made against authors for their work. Gay was asked about the intimidation that caused Flatiron to cancel Cummins tour. “This woman is going to be set for life,” Gay said to the panel. “This book is going to earn royalties in perpetuity, and so it just reinforces what publishing already knows, which is as long as white people are translating the experiences of people of colour, it will sell very well.” Perhaps she thinks that the threats don’t matter if the author is successful.
To publicize the threats made against those authors who wrote against American Dirt, an online “death quilt” was organized so everyone could see. While Gay is saying that this is what “real censorship looks like,” neither bad reviews nor cruel missives from internet trolls are what censorship actually looks like. Censorship looks like a political and cultural ideology that demands adherence to rules about who is entitled to write what due to the fact of the genetic background. Locking people into prisons of ancestral experience is what censorship looks like, whether it comes from government or organized advocacy to correct publishers for transgressing these rules.
This is the 5th installment in a series analyzing cult manipulation strategies, as they apply to the social justice movement. Read the rest of the series here.
Have you noticed cancel culture getting more and more extreme lately? A few years ago, men would get mobbed on social media for allegations of real-life sexual assault. Now people are getting mobbed online, not for what they say or do, but for merely liking someone else’s tweet. Now people are mobbed not for their own opinions, but for simply suggesting that other people should have the freedom to express one.
Cancel culture is becoming more and more extreme, because it has to. This is because cancel culture isn’t about holding people accountable or upholding social mores. Instead, it’s about feeding the social needs of the people doing the mobbing.
The social justice movement behaves in the same way as traditional cults that immerse people in a closed social environment (such as a university) and then make them completely dependent on a system of social rewards and punishments.
Of course, social rewards and punishments are normal in any society. But in the regular world, there are lots of ways people can gain social rewards like praise, love, and social status; they can do well in their job, or volunteer in the community. They can develop a good sense of humour, or create art, or spend time with family or friends.
In cults, the methods for gaining any kind of love or status are limited to behaviours that benefit the cult leadership. The social need for love and acceptance is a very real human need. Therefore, if obedience to the cult is the only way to fill this need–and avoid being shunned or banned by the group–then you’re likely to comply. This is compounded by your isolation from outside norms and information.
One of the methods for gaining acceptance in a cult is learning the cult doctrine. The other methods include whatever else leadership wants, such as recruiting new members, or fundraising, or–in the case of social justice–mobbing and harassing anyone who does not comply (“cancel culture”). In fact, the more complicated and contradictory the cult doctrine is, the easier it is to control people. We can see this in the increase in the extremeness of cancel culture, which is happening alongside an increase in the complexity of social justice doctrine. And social justice doctrine is very complicated indeed.
For an example of the complexity of these rules, consider social justice’s teachings on other cultures.
Indigenous are being oppressed by “cultural genocide”–the decline and loss of their culture. If you’re a non-Indigenous person, DON’T make any traditional Indigenous art–that’s “cultural appropriation”, and it’s oppressive. Or it might even be “cultural genocide” outright. Remember, we need to celebrate other cultures, but we can’t actually experience those cultures ourselves.
White women wearing Black hairstyles or feathers or chopsticks in their hair is oppressive. But making food from other cultures is cultural appreciation, which is a good thing.
Listening to music outside your culture is ok, but producing it is NOT OK, as we see here. Even when it’s between Indigenous groups, performing another culture’s musical concept is a grave evil, which must be protested through a boycott. Boycotting the rare avenues that promote Indigenous music is thus the appropriate way to fight cultural genocide (AKA the decline of Indigenous music). Now, all of this is the fault of colonization, and “colonizers” (i.e. non-Indigenous people) need to move over to make room for Indigenous peoples. But also, we need more immigration to bring even more non-Natives here, and any criticism of immigration methods or levels is racist.
Got all that?
Hopefully you do, because you need to understand it in order to gain love and status from your peers. If you slip, you’ll be shamed (but not completely mobbed) by someone telling you to “please educate yourself” before you commit further sins against the social order. You’ll be told that you’re wrong, but if you object or ask why, you’ll be shamed further, because expecting an explanation for why you’re wrong is asking for “emotional labour” from an oppressed person–another sin against the group.
Thankfully, there’s a solution that’s easier than mastering these convoluted rules and getting shamed for asking questions. You can simply join in an online mob to shame someone else who is stepping out of line. You can gain love by doxing someone or joining a boycott or harassing someone out of a job.
And herein is why cancel culture is becoming more and more extreme. It’s not about enforcing moral standards. That’s why the bar for moral progressive standards is becoming increasingly restrictive. The constant in all of this is cult members’ need for love, acceptance, and status, which can be fed through online mobbing.
If the moral code of social justice remained stable over time, people would get used to the rules and avoid breaking them. Then we would run into a shortage of people stepping out of line. It sounds ridiculous, but people stepping out of line is an actual resource–and a finite one at that. This is one of the areas where you see a distinction between the people who voluntarily agree with social justice ideals, and people under control of the cult. We all have social needs, and members of the cult are limited in how they can achieve them. One of those limited ways is through joining a mob.
And this is why we have people actually searching through Mark Hamill’s like history on twitter.
Because in a cult, hate is love.
The media’s efforts to glorify morbid obesity as “beauty” and the push for the so-called Health At Every Size (HAES) and body positivity movements have been met with resistance from fitness guru Jillian Michaels and others in the fitness scene. The latest influencer to take on the unhealthy lifestyle, Xiaxue, is now the subject of social media cancellation after she spoke out against the horrendous practice.
The popular Singaporean YouTuber and influencer, whose real name is Wendy Cheng, mocked the unhealthy standard after a post glorifying a morbidly obese model trended on Instagram.
“It’s one thing to be chubby or fat but this is way past that. Most morbidly obese people don’t live past 40. They gorge themselves with 30 burgers a day and when they inevitably get a clogged artery or diabetes taxpayers have to help foot their medical bills when their health conditions are entirely caused by their irresponsible behavior,” she wrote. “Disgusting. The morbidly obese (like this woman) should never have been seen as attractive because death and disease isn’t attractive full stop. Irresponsibility isn’t attractive.”
“Even when they die [they] need 3 [people] to carry the corpse please,” she joked. “Fucking stop glorifying this shit @instagram, shame on you.”
The post, which was widely reported by offended social justice activists, was deleted by Instagram for harassment. Fat activists are now mocking Xiaxue for undergoing plastic surgery and have called upon each other to report her account in an effort to suspend her.
Xiaxue has continued to call out morbid obesity in a series of posts and videos decrying the Instagram community’s double standards in enforcing its harassment policy. In screenshotted DMs, Xiaxue captured the vitriol sent to her by numerous social justice activists, many of which called her “fatphobic.”
“Skinny people die from stroke and diseases too lmao. I hope u die one day,” wrote one user named soft.sapphire.
Explaining herself, Xiaxue wrote that she wasn’t “fat shaming” anyone and that she was expressing concern about the glorification of morbid obesity.
“What concerns me is that the media is constantly glorifying morbid obesity, trying to say it’s perfectly attractive (which we all know it isn’t). It’s fine to have an eating disorder. But we don’t glorify anorexia as being sexy so why the other end of the spectrum? Both are really unhealthy,” she wrote. “If you see your friend get addicted to smoking which will slowly kill him will you tell him his lifestyle is perfectly acceptable and his behavior is beautiful? No, you tell him to stop or reduce. So why isn’t it OK to say that morbidly obese people should not obstinately be PROUD of their size and should do something about it?”
“It’s OK to love and accept someone whatever size they are, but being the rough size and shape of Jupiter should NOT be glorified,” Xiaxue continued. “If people cannot get the difference and think this is the same as fat shaming then so be it, I refuse to pretend that being so big you can’t even get out of bed and you can’t even wipe your own arse is fine and dandy because it’s disgusting and unhealthy.”
Xiaxue continued in a separate post: “Why is it my business and why must I be so mean? Why can’t I let these people be deluded and happy? Because I don’t think we should encourage obesity, which is a disease. I think people weighing 500lbs should go on a freaking diet instead of living in a delusion held up by enablers that the fatter they are the ‘braver’ they are and the more beautiful they are,” she said. “They need to know the truth and that is that people aren’t ‘fatphobic’ if they find obesity unattractive. It’s natural to want to breed with healthy people to ensure the survival of your kids. No matter how you try to drum the beauty of obesity into our minds, it will never work.”
“So stop lying to yourself. You are being selfish [because] you want to look kind online and feel good about being ‘nice.’ But your lies are harming people,” she concluded.
As I’ve previously written on Twitter, there’s no such thing as “fatphobia.” It’s just another one of those terms designed to pathologize the natural dislike of obesity as a form of mental illness—as if you’re abnormal for preferring fitness and health.
The postmodern left uses science-y sounding faux clinical terms designed to validate and normalize unhealthy lifestyles, degeneracy and inhumanity while disenfranchising decency as a “social construct”—as if what they promote aren’t social constructs from a counter-narrative.
There are firm biological foundations to preexisting social constructs—fitness primary among them. If you’re physically and/or mentally unfit, you’re a burden to society and everyone around you. Period.