Contributor Post Created with Sketch. When J.K. Rowling Got Cancelled for Tweeting Me

 

I had a definite fangirl moment yesterday when one of my favorite writers, J.K. Rowling, tweeted in response to my support for her position on free speech and defense of feminism:

The Internet went wild against Rowling’s nice tweet in response to a nice tweet, incorrectly (unfortunately for me!) assuming we had a prior relationship (we don’t, but I’m totally open to it, just saying).

That viral tweet contains two screenshots: her tweet exchange with me on the left, and on the right, the screenshot of a headline I wrote three years ago. I followed up with a second column about “How the Angry Left Turned Me Into a Nazi,” describing the phenomenon illustrated above. I explained,

I’m not, obviously, a Nazi. But you wouldn’t know that from my Twitter mentions.

A year ago, I wrote a column for the Forward entitled, “We Need to Start Befriending Neo-Nazis.” Over the course of the year, the headline has been screenshot and tweeted by actors with millions of followers, influential progressives like cartoonist Eli Valley and former Al Jazeera editor David Klion. Their intention wasn’t to spark a conversation about the content of my column, but to paint me as a Nazi-loving member of the alt-right.

The bad faith involved in this campaign is shocking. Far from a piece endorsing Nazism, my piece recounted the story of three individuals, two Jewish and one black, who were able to make neo-Nazis change their ways by responding to their terrible bigotry with kindness.

Of course, I acknowledged that this work is not easy, but also that “the only way we’re going to get our country back is to change minds.”

For this, I’ve been compared to a Nazi over and over again. The insinuation is always the same: For suggesting that instead of beating up Nazis, we try to change their minds, I am complicit in their despicable, hate-filled ideology.

The bad faith smear campaign against me for the last three years about these columns is the same campaign being waged against J.K. Rowling and her stance on feminism, transgender issues, and her signature on a letter supporting free speech that appeared in Harper’s. Her words have been taken, twisted, and completely turned on their heads.

This is how Rowling’s critics on the Left operate: utterly in bad faith and with malice that completely invalidates any criticism they may have about her positions. They are self-destructive; once you see the level of bad faith of these attacks, they cannot for a moment be taken on their merits.

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  1. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Thank you for standing up to the mob.

    • #1
    • July 9, 2020, at 11:25 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Just another reason to stay off social media. I’m so sorry, Bethany.

    • #2
    • July 9, 2020, at 11:30 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. Spin Inactive
    SpinJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Maybe it’s time to dump Twitter?

    • #3
    • July 9, 2020, at 11:54 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. Unsk Member

    Brave effort Bethany!

    The Neo Nazi Storm Troopers are coming for us all! Just some think they can hide and ride it out but they can’t. 

    Just like the Reign of Terror and the Bolshevik Revolution, being a comrade in arms won’t necessarily save you. 

    • #4
    • July 9, 2020, at 12:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I don’t want anyone cancelled, whether I agree with them or not. The tactic is thuggish.

    • #5
    • July 9, 2020, at 12:03 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. Henry Racette Contributor

    Congratulations! That’s very exciting. I’m not a particular fan of Ms. Rowling (though my kids are), but I applauded her recent defense of biological science and common sense. Well done.

    • #6
    • July 9, 2020, at 12:03 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  7. JayCee Member

    Just saw that Thermidor starts in ten days.

    • #7
    • July 9, 2020, at 12:43 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Wow! They have become the people they accuse others of being. Thank you for standing up! 

    • #8
    • July 9, 2020, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I would want to know a lot more about Rowling’s beliefs before calling her a “hero.”

    It is a good thing that she joined a statement against some of the worst behavior of the Wokeist mob. This does not make her a conservative. My impression is that she is a dedicated ideological opponent of my world view. 

    Her books were entertaining, if a bit juvenile. That’s not really meant as a criticism, because I think they were intended as teen fiction.

    • #9
    • July 9, 2020, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Henry Racette Contributor

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I would want to know a lot more about Rowling’s beliefs before calling her a “hero.”

    Jerry, that is so you.

    I’m okay with the tweet. It should have been obvious to most people that the “heroic” deed was standing up to the “trans” movement, which is simultaneously a nonsensical and dangerously powerful force. I posted a nice thing about Noam Chomsky a couple of days ago (not on Ricochet), for his willingness to endorse true free speech. Chomsky will never be my hero (and I didn’t call him that), but I still want to give him credit where it’s due.

    • #10
    • July 9, 2020, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I would want to know a lot more about Rowling’s beliefs before calling her a “hero.”

    Jerry, that is so you.

    I’m okay with the tweet. It should have been obvious to most people that the “heroic” deed was standing up to the “trans” movement, which is simultaneously a nonsensical and dangerously powerful force. I posted a nice thing about Noam Chomsky a couple of days ago (not on Ricochet), for his willingness to endorse true free speech. Chomsky will never be my hero (and I didn’t call him that), but I still want to give him credit where it’s due.

    Yeah, I can be a bit obnoxious, I guess. Maybe more than a bit.

    I think that it is an important point. To take it to an extreme, I think that the alliance with Stalin was the right thing to do, at the time, during WWII. But there is a danger in thinking that an ally of convenience is actually a friend.

    • #11
    • July 9, 2020, at 2:10 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I would want to know a lot more about Rowling’s beliefs before calling her a “hero.”

    I read “the hero we needed” as different from saying “you are a hero”. The former is saying that someone is bravely joining/leading a losing cause in the Greek tragedy sense and not a life evaluation. When you are at war and struggling and heavyweight joins your side, it is proper to be thankful. In popular culture, JK is a demi-god.

    • #12
    • July 9, 2020, at 2:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Henry Racette Contributor

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I would want to know a lot more about Rowling’s beliefs before calling her a “hero.”

    Jerry, that is so you.

    I’m okay with the tweet. It should have been obvious to most people that the “heroic” deed was standing up to the “trans” movement, which is simultaneously a nonsensical and dangerously powerful force. I posted a nice thing about Noam Chomsky a couple of days ago (not on Ricochet), for his willingness to endorse true free speech. Chomsky will never be my hero (and I didn’t call him that), but I still want to give him credit where it’s due.

    Yeah, I can be a bit obnoxious, I guess. Maybe more than a bit.

    Nah. But you are … meticulous.

    I think that it is an important point. To take it to an extreme, I think that the alliance with Stalin was the right thing to do, at the time, during WWII. But there is a danger in thinking that an ally of convenience is actually a friend.

    I agree. But I figure there’s a place for informality and encouragement, and I’m okay with sending the woman a robust attaboy for getting one thing spectacularly right. I’m sure that, were Bethany to sit down with Joanne, they’d quickly decide that they didn’t agree about all sorts of things. I don’t think there’s any undo hero worship going on here.

    But I have to tell you: I miss a world in which left and right could sit down and talk sensibly about things, agree and disagree and occasionally reach compromises. I think such a world once existed: it doesn’t today, thanks to a censorious progressive movement that concedes nothing and recognizes no extreme as too extreme.

    In that context, Ms. Rowling and Mr. Chomsky, with their simple acknowledgements that the left can go too far, are, however briefly, on the side of the angles. I’ll applaud that.

    • #13
    • July 9, 2020, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Nick H Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But there is a danger in thinking that an ally of convenience is actually a friend.

    I don’t think anyone is mistaking Rowling for a conservative, but she definitely deserves credit for not caving to the pressure here. She’s taken what once would have been a uncontroversial position, that there is a difference between a trans man and a woman, and been savaged for it. Most celebrities would have backtracked and surrendered to the mob. She hasn’t. Which has to be shocking to them, since she was always seen as so supportive to the gay and lesbian community. The thing is, she still is supportive. She’s just drawn a line and that’s unforgivable to the mob.

    • #14
    • July 9, 2020, at 2:32 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. Stad Thatcher

    Spin (View Comment):

    Maybe it’s time to dump Twitter?

    Twitter is anti-social media . . .

    • #15
    • July 9, 2020, at 2:43 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. Stad Thatcher

    Bethany Mandel:

    I had a definite fangirl moment yesterday when one of my favorite writers, J.K. Rowling, tweeted in response to my support for her position on free speech and defense of feminism:

    Good for you!

    • #16
    • July 9, 2020, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Richard Fulmer Member

    Now, children, please behave.

    • #17
    • July 9, 2020, at 3:37 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Full Size Tabby Member

    The growing effort is for the attack mob to attack not just because of something the target said or did, but because the target associated with someone who said or did something of which the attack mob disapproves. As if trying to conform our own behavior to the ever changing demands of the mob weren’t hard enough, now we also have to pay attention to the behavior of everyone with whom we might become associated. 

    Staying “woke” is is exhausting. I have some hope that the sheer level of exhaustion people feel trying to keep up with the ever-changing demands will soon cause the entire “woke” edifice to collapse in a heap.

    • #18
    • July 9, 2020, at 5:03 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Nerina Bellinger Member

    @richardfulmer, my kids all prefer Richard Harris as Dumbledore.

    I think JK Rowling is in the position of having enough money to never have to care what any of these woke terrorists have to say about her. She is lucky. Most people are not.

    • #19
    • July 9, 2020, at 6:42 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  20. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Nerina Bellinger (View Comment):

    @richardfulmer, my kids all prefer Richard Harris as Dumbledore.

    I think JK Rowling is in the position of having enough money to never have to care what any of these woke terrorists have to say about her. She is lucky. Most people are not.

    And we should be glad that she is using that relatively safe position (and it is only relatively “safe” – the UK could rather capriciously choose to charge her with “hate speech”) to speak out, when others of us have to be far more wary.

    People speaking out from her position give the rest of us more cover to do likewise.

    • #20
    • July 10, 2020, at 5:26 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. GrannyDude Member

    Have any of you ever met a person who belongs to the Twitter mob? Who are these people?

    • #21
    • July 10, 2020, at 6:00 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. Full Size Tabby Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Have any of you ever met a person who belongs to the Twitter mob? Who are these people?

    I have not met anyone who is part of the Twitter mob. My understanding is that a very small portion of the general population uses Twitter, but a large portion of the media-related population does. Therefore the actions of a very few people get amplified by the media-related population, and the media-related population has an outsized influence on the general population. So, the Twitter mob is a very few people who know how to apply leverage to have an exaggerated effect on the general population. 

    The Twitter mob must consist of people who do not experience many real problems that they can spend time and energy finding, researching, and broadcasting tiny perceived offenses. 

    • #22
    • July 10, 2020, at 9:17 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Ammo.com Member

    Congratulations on the response!

    I recognize the tactic. The same thing just happened to James Lindsay of “Grievance Studies” notoriety. 

     

    • #23
    • July 10, 2020, at 12:49 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Jerry, that is so you.

    😂😂😂

    • #24
    • July 10, 2020, at 12:55 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Have any of you ever met a person who belongs to the Twitter mob? Who are these people?

    I have not met anyone who is part of the Twitter mob. My understanding is that a very small portion of the general population uses Twitter, but a large portion of the media-related population does. Therefore the actions of a very few people get amplified by the media-related population, and the media-related population has an outsized influence on the general population. So, the Twitter mob is a very few people who know how to apply leverage to have an exaggerated effect on the general population.

    The Twitter mob must consist of people who do not experience many real problems that they can spend time and energy finding, researching, and broadcasting tiny perceived offenses.

    Daniel Radcliffe is part of the mob, though I don’t know if it was technically on Twitter. In looking up the controversy about Rowling’s sensible reaction to the trans cray-cray, I found that Radcliffe had criticized her.

    • #25
    • July 10, 2020, at 1:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. kedavis Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Daniel Radcliffe is part of the mob, though I don’t know if it was technically on Twitter. In looking up the controversy about Rowling’s sensible reaction to the trans cray-cray, I found that Radcliffe had criticized her.

    Would anyone know who Radcliffe is, if not for Rowling?

    Talk about ungrateful snots…

    • #26
    • July 12, 2020, at 4:48 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. Weeping Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Daniel Radcliffe is part of the mob, though I don’t know if it was technically on Twitter. In looking up the controversy about Rowling’s sensible reaction to the trans cray-cray, I found that Radcliffe had criticized her.

    Would anyone know who Radcliffe is, if not for Rowling?

    Talk about ungrateful snots…

    Apparently all three of “the trio” have publically disagreed with Rowling and her tweets.

    • #27
    • July 12, 2020, at 10:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. kedavis Member

    Weeping (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Daniel Radcliffe is part of the mob, though I don’t know if it was technically on Twitter. In looking up the controversy about Rowling’s sensible reaction to the trans cray-cray, I found that Radcliffe had criticized her.

    Would anyone know who Radcliffe is, if not for Rowling?

    Talk about ungrateful snots…

    Apparently all three of “the trio” have publically disagreed with Rowling and her tweets.

    Oh, for a time machine…

    • #28
    • July 12, 2020, at 4:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes