Tag Archives: free speech

Let Loose The Seuss!!

Critics of Dr. Seuss find the “Chinese man, Who eats with sticks” (lower left) to be racially offensive, found on this page from And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, recently taken off the market, due to pressure from woke-ness critics.

Did Dr. Seuss really get canceled? As with all of these “woke-ness” controversies, there is some grain of truth in every complaint.

In his earlier years, of the 1930s and 1940s, Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a “Dr. Seuss,” did advertising and political cartoons, featuring some occasional racist themes, which was not terribly unusual during those times. But his greatest legacy was the series of children’s books, that I feasted on as a kid. Over time, Seuss’ cartoon books matured, overcoming earlier missteps, and have continued to have tremendous staying power, for newer generations of children.

Perhaps the Dr. Seuss Enterprises took the step to cease publication of certain titles, such as Seuss’ first children’s book And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, to preemptively assuage Seuss’ anti-racism critics. After all, The Cat and the Hat has for years received accusations of promoting racist stereotypes. But it would be a shame to cancel The Cat and the Hat.

The trend towards taking certain written materials out of the marketplace is deeply disturbing. Private companies have the right to do what they want, but it does not bode well for instilling the value of freedom of speech, for rising generations. As a Christian, where freedom of speech is threatened, the threat against the freedom of religious expression is not too far behind.

Thankfully, there are others, who would not consider themselves conservative Christians, who share the same concerns. The Intellectual Dark Web is a loose collection of mainly (though not exclusively) classic liberal thinkers who believe that the contemporary fascination with “woke-ness” and various forms of critical theory present the greatest threat to Western civilization, in our day. Among them is Brett Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist, who makes no particular claim to having a Christian faith. But Weinstein has served us well by offering his own Seussian verse, in less than 4-minutes, in an effort to stem the tide against unfettered “woke-ness.” I hope you enjoy this.

Let the Seuss loose!

The woke-mob may think that they know what is best and morally correct for the rest of us, but I would rather make those decisions for myself, thank you very much.

By the way, speaking of the Intellectual Dark Web, Jordan Peterson is back!! Here is an interview Jordan has with Jonathan Pageau, an Eastern Orthodox icon-carver. Great, thoughtful conversation!

Does Free Speech Still Matter?

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, there is a growing crisis whereby free speech is being curtailed on college campuses across the United States. The crisis invariably impacts the freedom of religious expression, at all levels of society. Without freedom of speech, the whole of modern democracy is at risk. But strangely, the majority of Americans want to get rid of it.

Within the past five years or so, a number of secular, college campuses began to restrict Christian campus organizations from being able to require their leaders to subscribe to their own statements of faith. That is like requiring the chess club to open up their leadership standards to accept new leaders who hate chess.

But there is some good news. A number of college campuses are bucking the anti-free-speech trend. A recent survey by RealClear Education, of various experts on free speech, indicates that there still are a number of colleges and universities that value free speech, viewpoint diversity, and open inquiry.

The University of Chicago and Purdue top the list, but I was glad to see that the College of William and Mary, where I work, also made it on the list (alphabetically, it is at the bottom). I am proud to work at an institution that still values free speech, where healthy and respectful dialogue can still take place. Read the full report here.

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