President David Wippman is the co-author of “How to Cancel Cancel Culture (or Not),” a book review published recently by The Messenger. Wippman, and his frequent collaborator Glen Altschuler of Cornell University, examined The Canceling of the American Mind: Cancel Culture Undermines Trust and Threatens Us All — But there is a Solution by Greg Lukianoff and Rikki Schlott of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.
Lukianoff and Schlott’s view that “cancel culture emerged through the growing dominance on college campuses of an ideology that sees history as ‘a battle between oppressors and oppressed’” say Wippman and Altschuler, “underestimates the role of ideological polarization across all of American society and the impact of information silos.” They point out that “progressive cultural assumptions have become increasingly dominant, not just in higher education, but within Hollywood, legacy media, and many large corporations.”
Though they give Lukianoff and Schlott credit for documenting “expanding efforts on the right to restrict classroom discussion of ‘divisive concepts’ related to race, gender identity, and sexual orientation,” Wippman and Altschuler note that “the authors also rely on some outdated statistics and questionable assumptions” in this book.
Among the book’s other shortcomings, Wippman and Altschuler say “the authors seldom engage seriously with arguments from the left” and ignore “the challenges social media pose for free speech norms developed in a pre-internet era.”