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Sunday, April 14, 2024
Letter: Simpson’s column viewpoint was valid
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

I read with interest, both Cathy Simpson’s original column and the letter from Matthew French.

He characterizes her comments as talking points from the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism.

The talking points she references sound much more like universal values we should all support, rather than anything from the far right.

It bears rereading her article, as the spin put on it by French is not there at all.

His use of the Southern Poverty Law Center as an authority is misguided.

It has gotten much wrong over the last few years, including smearing philosopher Sam Harris as being a gateway to the alt-right. It is wrong on FAIR as well.

How do I know? Because instead of relying on what others say about them, I’ve read articles and books by some of their board of advisers, including Andrew Sullivan, Jonathan Kay and Jonathan Haidt (“The Coddling of the American Mind” is a great read) is as far from the far-right as one can get.

Many reasonable and intelligent people are concerned about the dominance of identity politics and its influence on society and culture.

In his book “The Identity Trap,” John Hopkins University professor Yascha Mounk refers to it as the identity synthesis.

The prioritizing of one’s inclusion in identity categories such as race, gender and sexual orientation over our individual characteristics is, in fact, a significant departure from the Enlightenment era ideas of equality and individual rights, or the civil rights era goal of being judged by the contents of one’s character rather than the colour of one’s skin.

This seems to me to be what Simpson is describing and should hardly be controversial.

Why her column would be seen as particularly political is a mystery to me and it would seem well within the purview of a library CEO to defend heterodox viewpoints without being chased from her job.

Kevin Leicht

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