In February of 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was reaching Canada, a large Montreal women’s agency fired Valérie Pelletier because of allegedly “transphobic” posts on her personal Facebook account.
Articles on Class
Vincent Emanuele is a community organizer, US Marine Corps veteran, and host of the YouTube channel PARC Media. He is the co-founder of the PARC (Politics Art Roots Culture) Community-Cultural Center, located in Michigan City, Indiana.
Vincent joins me for a discussion about grassroots organizing, class based issues in today’s political climate, and his thoughts on moving the conversation past wokeism or anti-wokeism.
Is the world a better place? Opinions vary, though the enduring Western-centric belief is that humankind has never had it better. This belief is commonly espoused by technologists who praise the information age for ushering in a new era of opportunity and prosperity. The information age, coupled with industrialization, has certainly shaped the world in ways previously thought unimaginable. Advances in technology have transformed everyday life. Facial recognition software. Artificial intelligence. Microchip implants. Renewable energy. Genetic engineering. A revolutionary mRNA vaccine designed in just two days.
Given all this progress, it’s hard not to believe in the “prosperity presumption,” the belief that the world, as a whole, is getting better. Indeed, techno-utopians who adhere to the prosperity presumption also hold the belief that any form of technological stagnation is antithetical to progress. Some of the biggest technologists fall under this category.
Sophie Watson joins me to chat about her experience at Cambridge University, where she is currently working on an undergraduate dissertation about surrogacy. (Sophie’s proposed dissertation topic was detransition, but her advisors told her they would not and could not oversee this project, deterring her from writing it). In November 2020, Sophie published a piece in Unherd called “Cambridge is censoring any dissent on trans issues” about the student campaign against Kevin Price, a porter at Clare College who resigned as Labour Councillor rather than agree with a motion that included the statement “transwomen are women.”
Arty Morty sits down with Sasha for an in depth conversation about what made him start to question gender identity ideology, the realizations that come with being outside the popular opinion of the cultural mainstream, the problems plaguing worthwhile social justice movements today, and so much more.
Over the past several months, many of these reputable voices – including high-profile journalists – have been jumping ship from their safe, cushy jobs to join Substack, a newsletter-based subscription platform, to escape the onslaught of ideology, censorship, and rigid editorial control.
Some are calling this migration the “beginning of the gold rush," others are comparing Substack to the old Internet, while others are likening it to the early newsletters of the 17th century. In some ways, Substack does harken back to the old blogosphere; it is reminiscent of a former Internet, and elicits a certain sense of nostalgia. As tempting as it is to see this as a step towards building a rich information ecosystem, I fear this mass migration will simply re-organize the establishment class in new ways and create more toll booths on the information highway.
Jodi sits down with Sasha to tell the story of how she came to be at the epicenter of a discussion about racial bias training and the nature of oppression and conformity. Jodi is a Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life at Smith College in Massachusetts, a women’s university which is also her alma mater. She is currently on paid leave.
On Oct 27 2020, Jodi posted a video on YouTube titled “Dear Smith College: I Have a Few Requests”, in which she addresses the “policies and initiatives” that she sees as creating “a divisive, racially hostile work environment”. Jodi specifies that she is a life-long liberal, but that she considers this a human issue of reducing people to racial categories.
Jodi joins me on Crossroads for an in-depth conversation about the courage it takes to speak out, how she sees this as a workplace conditions issue, and about the reaction she has received since making that first video.