What’s the extenuated way of saying, “I have no idea?” I don’t know what’s “cancel culture”, what is “cis or trans”, what is this perceived infringement on justice and freedom. I just read “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” and the much longer rebuttal “A More Specific Letter on Justice and Open Debate”. All I can say is I don’t know any of these things existed until today. Being a typical clueless immigrant, I have no idea this kind of things have happened for a long time, as what’s pointed out by the letters. Is there really a cultural war going on–it sounds fun–that I am not aware of? Somehow I feel like a person working in a downstairs kitchen, missing what’s going on at the upstairs party.
The first letter is about freedom of speech–the right of saying things without the fear of losing one’s livelihood. It sounds reasonable, to my untrained ear. The second letter is longer, providing more specifics. It is a rebuttal but it is not directly rebut the first letter. It didn’t say the first letter is wrong, but rather it points out its deficiency–the timing of the first letter, the vague tone, the choice of words, the past behavior of some of the signatories, their wealth and prestige. It basically says it agrees with the idea of “justice” and “openness”, but it disagrees with all the implications.
Is this a conflict between “haves” and “have-nots”, majority and minority, old and young? I wish each has a representative. Remember the debate between Sartre and Camus? Their intellectual squabble captivated a generation of people worldwide and generations ever since. If I were the arbitrator, I would say Harper’s should publish both letters and invite people from both side for a live debate on youtube.