Columnist Kass: What happened to the America where one could speak his mind?

by WorldTribune Staff, July 31, 2020

The cancel culture mob came for Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass after he dared to criticize leftist billionaire George Soros’s role in the ongoing rioting and violence in the United States.

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass

Kass, who has written the Tribune’s Page 2 column for 23 years, noted in his July 22 column that it is “the big cities run by Democratic mayors, where murder and gang shootings are out of control and where once vibrant downtown areas are on their way to becoming ghost towns. But these Democratic cities are also where left-wing billionaire George Soros has spent millions of dollars to help elect liberal social justice warriors as prosecutors. He remakes the justice system in urban America, flying under the radar.

“The Soros-funded prosecutors, not the mayors, are the ones who help release the violent on little or no bond.”

After the leftist cancel culture mob complained about Kass, Tribune editor-in-chief Colum McMahon announced that he would reorganize the placement of the newspaper’s columnists and separate news coverage from opinion columns. Kass would also lose his title of lead columnist.

But Kass is refusing to bow to the mob.

In a July 29 column, Kass wrote:

“The angry left-handed broom of America’s cultural revolution uses fear to sweep through our civic, corporate and personal life.

“It brings with it attempted intimidation, shame and the usual demands for ceremonies of public groveling.

“It is happening in newsrooms in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. And now it’s coming for me, in an attempt to shame me into silence.”

Kass said that, after his column mentioning Soro’s role in the riots, the Tribune newspaper union, the Chicago Tribune Guild, “which I have repeatedly and politely declined to join, wrote an open letter to management defaming me, by falsely accusing me of religious bigotry and fomenting conspiracy theories.”

Kass said his July 22 column titled “Something grows in the big cities run by Democrats: An overwhelming sense of lawlessness” explored “the connections between soft-on-crime prosecutors and increases in violence along with the political donations” of Soros, who he noted has funded liberal candidates for prosecutor, including Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

“Soros’ influence on these races is undeniable and has been widely reported. But in that column, I did not mention Soros’ ethnicity or religion,” Kass noted.

Kass cited several examples of media outlets touting Soros’s funding of leftist district attorney candidates.

“So, it seems that the general attitude in journalism is that super PACs and dark money are bad, unless of course, they’re operated by wealthy billionaires of the left. Then they’re praised and courted,” Kass wrote.

“All of this is against the backdrop of an America divided into camps, between those who think they can freely speak their minds and those who know they can’t,” Kass noted.

“Most people subjected to cancel culture don’t have a voice. They’re afraid. They have no platform. When they’re shouted down, they’re expected to grovel. After the groveling, comes social isolation. Then they are swept away. But I have a newspaper column.”

Kass continued: “Agree with me or not — and isn’t that the point of a newspaper column? — I owe readers a clear statement of what I will do and not do:

“I will not apologize for writing about Soros.

“I will not bow to those who’ve wrongly defamed me.

“I will continue writing my column.”

Kass went on to note: “The larger question is not about me, or the political left that hopes to silence people like me, but about America and its young. Those of us targeted by cancel culture are not only victims. We are examples, as French revolutionaries once said, in order to encourage the others.

“Human beings do not wish to see themselves as cowards. They want to see themselves as heroes.

“And, as they are shaped and taught to fear even the slightest accusation of thought crime, they will not view themselves as weak for falling in line. Instead they will view themselves as virtuous. And that is the sin of it.

“Those who do not behave will be marginalized. But those who self-censor will be praised.

“Yet what of our American tradition of freely speaking our minds?

“That too, is swept away.”

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