Writers and Publishers Embrace Blacklisting In An Expanding American Anti-Free Speech Movement

Hundreds of publishing officials, professors, and academics have signed a petition to blacklist Trump administration alumni from receiving book deals.  It is the latest step in a rapidly expanding anti-free speech movement in the United States. In the wake of the Capitol riot, Democratic members and others are calling for a crackdown on free speech and punitive actions for those viewed as complicit with Trump. What is striking is how censorship, blacklists, and speech controls are being repackaged as righteous and virtuous. Indeed, the failure to sign such anti-free speech screeds is a precarious choice for many.  It is as easy as calling for tolerance through intolerance.  After all, why burn books if you can just effectively ban them?

We are coming out of the most divisive and consequential political period in modern history. Academics would ordinarily want to have insider accounts, even from those who are blamed for excesses or wrongdoing.  You did not have to like Nixon to want to read his account. This is part of the intellectual mission of our profession. However, academics are lining up to silence or bar access for anyone deemed a fellow traveler with Trump. They are seeking to purge books of opposing views or accounts. The letter describes a blacklisting of anyone deemed to have “enabled, promulgated, and covered up crimes against the American people.”…

https://jonathanturley.org/2021/01/22/why-burn-books-when-you-can-ban-them-writers-and-publishers-embrace-blacklisting-in-an-expanding-american-anti-free-speech-movement/

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