By CHRIS POWELL
Political correctness and its cancel culture are starting to evoke the second great Red Scare and the tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.
Last week the talented young political journalist Alexi McCammond was pushed out of the editorship of Teen Vogue magazine just as she was starting the job. Anti-Asian and anti-homosexual comments she had made on the internet 10 years ago, when she was 17, galvanized the magazine's staff against her, and two advertisers threatened to withdraw. The magazine's owner, the Conde Nast chain, which had been aware of McCammond's old offense, turned on her.
It didn't matter that McCammond, who is Black may have come to recognize her own bigotry as she grew up. Two years ago she had acknowledged and publicly apologized for the mean comments and alerted her prospective employer about them. Conde Nast first thought that youthful mistakes might well be forgiven when sincerely repented. But the PC cancel culture, which seems especially virulent among journalists, quickly intimidated management out of its quaint attitude.
McCammond's hateful adversaries are teaching not only that there can be no forgiveness for thought and speech crime even when it is repented but also that it merits a virtual death sentence. For how is McCammond to get another job now? What employer will consider hiring her and risking a confrontation with the woke mob?
And if there is to be no forgiveness, why should anyone repent anything?
The prophet of old taught: "Go and sin no more." The prophets of the cancel culture teach: "Go cut your throat before we do it for you."
COLLEGE LOAN RACKET
With its first tranche of college loan debt cancellation, the Biden administration has confirmed that much of higher education is a racket and aid to it is not support for education at all but just for educators, who are a big part of the Democratic Party's army.
The cancellation, announced this week by U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, will erase obligations to repay about a billion dollars in loans taken by students who claim that their colleges deceived or defrauded them in some way. This billion dollars is a small fraction of the estimated $1.7 trillion by about 45 million college borrowers. While most of them are quite able to pay, the Biden administration is expected to follow with more loan forgiveness.
The college racket goes far beyond college borrowers who have not found employment that pays well enough to support a decent living as well as loan payments. The racket also encompasses the millions of college graduates and dropouts who hold jobs for which no higher education is required.
Secretary Cardona did not announce prosecutions of any colleges that defrauded or deceived students, nor any reconsideration of the self-serving attitude prevailing in educational circles that everyone should go to college. In his brief tenure as Connecticut's education commissioner, Cardona never addressed the remedial nature of public higher education in the state, where most freshmen at public colleges never mastered high school work and so must take remedial courses.
College loans are not the country's big educational problem. The failure of lower education is.
No matter how much they scramble and publicize, state and municipal government officials can't satisfy themselves over what they call the "equity" of their campaign to get people vaccinated against the virus epidemic. Vaccination in Connecticut so far has covered a much larger share of the white population than the racial minority population.
Officials should stop lashing themselves about this, for it is only to be expected. Racial minorities long have lagged in the metrics of many good things and have led in the metrics of many bad things -- because race correlates heavily with wealth and poverty.
People with more money can afford to take better care of themselves. They tend to be better educated and more engaged with society and to know more about how to deal with the world.
Not so with the poor. Extra efforts always must be made with them, and even then they may be suspicious and standoffish.
There is a big "equity" issue here but it has little to do with vaccinations. It is the failure of welfare and education policy - and it can't be discussed.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester.