Not Mount Allison's Finest Hour

September 2021

The “woke” politically correct cancel culture mob is alive and well – indeed flourishing – at Mount Allison University, given that once venerable institution’s cowardly and out-and-out despicable treatment of psychology professor Rima Azar. Dr Azar has hitherto enjoyed a distinguished thirteen year teaching career at this beautiful Sackville, New Brunswick, campus. Now she, a tenured professor, is suspended without pay until December and mandated into diversity, inclusion, equity (DIE) propaganda training.

Her “crimes against humanity” stem, at least in part, from her private blog, which apparently stoked the ire of precious little “cupcakes” at Mt Allison and probably beyond. One “unpardonable sin” is her claim that Canada is not systemically racist, especially when compared with other countries and other civilizations. Apparently, we are no longer permitted to suggest such a thing!!! Whiskey, tango foxtrot!!! Many will recall the “controversy” at the National Post a few months back when the great Rex Murphy made the same point, thereby inflaming the ire of numerous colleagues, who clamored for his head. Professional jealousy anyone? How about throwing a co-worker under a bus? With colleagues like these, who needs enemies. Instead of this tyranny, we should exercise our freedom of speech rights, while constructing counterarguments, and, while graciously agreeing to disagree, taking a live and let live approach. Besides, do we really want the obvious consequence of politically correct totalitarian speech control, which is to live in constant fear of being persecuted (and prosecuted!!) for something we said (even something in our distant past). Nobody is immune.

Dr Azar also ran afoul of the “socially enlightened” when she had the temerity to claim that Canada is not a patriarchy with an all pervasive rape culture; then suggested that if you want to see a real rape culture, check out ISIS. How dare she even suggest such a thing while good “social justice warriors” opt for “moral equivalence” when comparing a western democracy to a terrorist organization. After all, it would be “judgmental”, even “racist”, to claim that we might actually be better.

It doesn’t improve. Dr Azar further fanned the flames by reportedly describing Black Lives Matter (BLM) as a “radical movement”. Think about this. BLM co-founder Patrisse Marie Khan-Cullors Brignac proudly describes herself and her co-founders as “trained Marxists”. Under such systems, centrally planned governments controlled by “social engineers” with no knowledge of economics, business, or finance (not to mention human nature!!) spawn economic basket cases and, by extension, condemn their citizens to poverty. And many who disagree with their “utopia” end up murdered (north of one hundred million in the twentieth century and still counting in the twenty-first), or sent to gulags, where life is harsh and many die a hellish death.

BLM also declares Israel an apartheid state and, until recently, wanted the traditional family abolished (and probably still do, but decided it would be good “PR” to remove that objective from their formal platform). They demand that Jesus statues be torn down (our “woke snowflakes” who want Sir John A Macdonald, Edward Cornwallis, and Egerton Ryerson erased from our history can no doubt relate), and, lest we forget, one of their Toronto co-founders once described whites as “recessive genetic defects” and mused about “wiping them out”.

All of the above seems pretty radical to me. What’s the problem?

Obviously, people are free to disagree with Dr Azar’s views and free to formulate oral or written counterarguments, with the best ideas hopefully winning out. But people must never be free to destroy others’ reputations or their lives or have them fired from their jobs because they find their opinions objectionable. Such conduct is not in keeping with a free, decent, democratic, and civil society. We should be ashamed of ourselves for tolerating this cancel culture.

Sadly, this was not the finest hour for Mount Allison’s administration. They cowardly caved to the "woke" mob instead of summoning the courage to support an employee. They failed to realize the obvious; that bullies keep pushing when there is no resistance. Stay tuned for more of these situations.

Last but not least, where were/are Rima’s colleagues in the Mt A psychology department? Jordan Peterson has a point when he suggests they should all resign en masse in support of her. Think about this. The administrators would have to cave to them or witness the obliteration of their psychology department. By extension, psychology majors would be forced to leave, taking their tuitions with them. One assumes the aggregate in lost tuitions would exceed the overhead costs saved by no longer paying the salaries of psychology professors. OMG (!!!), the reduced revenue might necessitate the laying off of some diversity bureaucrats. Of course this will only happen in something closer to a perfect world. Cowardice is understandable because many professors have families to support and all have bills to pay. Believe me I know. I was always one pay cheque away from either being evicted from my apartment or having the bank take my car. Yet sadly enough, cowardice is only a partial explanation. We know that a critical mass of academics actually supports the cancel culture and doubtless believes Rima “had it coming”. This is reality now – the new world order if you will.

On a concluding note, Rima’s childhood experiences include a civil war in her native Lebanon. Such adversity is thankfully unknown to many of us living in what has hitherto been an open and pluralistic democracy. Rima, like those who have fled communist tyranny, can’t be blamed if they begin to believe the horror they fled has followed them here. By contrast, we have “snowflakes”, mostly from middle-class socioeconomic backgrounds, or higher, who get hysterical over blog posts(!!!). What gives? Is this stunted maturity? How will such people ever cope in a real crisis? One fears for Canada if these are “our leaders of tomorrow” or maybe even today, given the seeming hatred that Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh, and Victoria mayor Lisa Helps have for Canada, her people, and her heritage. Methinks Rima is a symptom of a much larger problem: a nation immersed in self-hatred, while sycophantically genuflecting at the high alter of political correctness, wokeness, postmodernism, and critical race theory. Kudos to Rima for courageously standing for freedom. Kudos as well to SAFS, Jonathan Kay (“A White Mob Comes After an Arab-Canadian Professor In the Name of Anti-Racism,” National Post, Feb 25, 2021), Jordan Peterson (You’re Next — Dr Rima Azar: The Jordan B Peterson Podcast, Season 4, Episode 28, June 13, 2021), and others who have come to her defense.