“Cancel culture is out of control!” the right wing pundits shriek. “Hasbro is making a gender-neutral potato toy! We can’t buy the more-racist Dr. Seuss books for our children anymore! WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN???”
Nothing outrages a bigot more than people demanding that they treat the people they believe to be their inferiors with basic respect and common courtesy. Whether it’s Jordan Peterson decrying the violation of his sacred free speech rights by trans students who wanted him to do the bare minimum of politeness by refering to them by the pronouns that conform to their identity; to the decision by major league baseball to move their All-Star game to a state that doesn’t try to suppress the votes of black people – nothing gets far-right bigots and extremists more apoplectic than their bigotry being “cancelled” when people call them out on it.
This is, of course, just the latest rebranding of a tired old trope in far-right circles. For historical reference:
But something the far-right doesn’t like you to think about is that they have their own form of “cancel culture.”
All too often, fascist “cancel culture,” = violence. Take for example what happened to the Lyon, France anarchist book shop La Plume Noire last month: 50 fascists from France’s Generation Identitaire swarmed the shop in a planned attack, smashing out its windows, breaking down a door & display, and trying to attack the volunteers working there that day (video shot by neighbours appears to show les fachos beating a hasty retreat when the shop’s volunteers responded with a volley of pepper spray.)
Unfortunately, the damage done to the book shop was significant and enough to force them to close down while they try to put the money together for repairs:
It’s important to note that this is not an isolated incident. In 2017 trans comic artist Sophie LaBelle was forced to cancel a book launch when the book shop hosting it received thousands of death threats and bomb threats.
That same year, a Princeton professor was forced to cancel a lecture tour about her research on the Black Lives Matter movement after she received over 50 threats to murder her and her family.
A year later, Proud Boys in San Diego, California mobbed a UC San Diego campus book shop, threatening to beat the staff and burn it down. That night they returned and set fire to it.
In 2019, a theatre in Southampton, UK was forced to cancel performances of a play about a gay couple when two of the actors were assaulted on their way to the theatre.
Fascists wail and moan “cancel culture!” when their ability to publicly express their bigotry is curtailed but will not hesitate to threaten, assault, burn, and smash to shut up people asserting their right to simply exist.
Like most of you, we at The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund won’t stand for it. Like the old labor saying goes, “an injury to one is an injury to all!” We are proud to have been in a position to provide significant financial support to La Plume Noire to repair the damage done by fascists to their book shop. We encourage you to do the same, just as we encourage you to join us by contributing to the world’s only standing defence fund mandated to provide emergency aid to anti-fascists around the world when fascists try to cancel their existence.