One of the most prominent tactics in the modern anti-free speech movement is to “hoist the wretch” — to make examples of those with opposing views to deter others from risking cancel campaigns. The idea is to immediately pile on any prominent person who breaks from the narrative on issues ranging from systemic racism to transgender rights to the pandemic. Few would want the label “controversial” that an enabling media immediately assigns to such targets. The latest example is children’s book author Judy Blume, who has publicly supported transgender rights. Blume had the audacity to say that she supports fellow author J.K. Rowling. The result was immediate and scathing. One liberal site declared “Judy Blume, seemingly incapable of just ‘enjoying her money,’ comes out as TERF.” The term trans-exclusionary radical feminist or TERF is used for feminists like Rowling who have expressed concerns over how transgender policies are undermining the gains of women in the last few decades. In this case, simply supporting a fellow author’s right to speak has earned Blume the label of a TERF and the deadly notation of now being officially “controversial.”
In her interview with The Times, Blume expressed her respect for Rowling: “I love her. I am behind her 100 per cent as I watch from afar.”
Those words sent some into an utter hyperventilated frenzy. You are not allowed to admire Rowling, who has been designated a persona non grata by the pundits and the press.
Rowling is now the living embodiment of someone “who must not be named” except as the object of ridicule and disgust. Even showing a Harry Potter game at a bar is enough to unleash a cancel campaign against the business.
Liberals have turned to blacklisting and even book burning — all in the name of tolerance.
The usual flash mob formed to show others that there is no mercy for anyone who even glances kindly in the direction of J.K. Rowling. As one site stated:
“Yes, we are talking of none other than author Judy Blume – who used to be widely loved and admired until she is believed to have joined the coterie of public figures famous for attracting an enormous amount of media attention for their overtly non-inclusive opinions.”
Blume went into panic mode and immediately issued a pleading statement that her words were taken out of context and that she stands with transgender rights. It did not help with some who said that she picked a side.