Bill Maher talks cancel culture and John Lewis with authors of Harper's open 'letter on justice'

Bari Weiss and Thomas Chatterton Williams appeared on 'Real Time with Bill Maher' Friday to discuss their Harper's letter on cancel culture.

8/2/2020 11:56:00 AM

During the segment on his HBO show, Maher noted that it's not just the celebrity elite who believe they will be chastised for saying something politically incorrect and that people 'don't like walking around on eggshells.'

Bari Weiss and Thomas Chatterton Williams appeared on 'Real Time with Bill Maher' Friday to discuss their Harper's letter on cancel culture.

Weiss said cancel culture isn't"just about punishing the sinner," but also a"secondary boycott of people who would deign to speak to that person or appear on a platform with that person." She added that if conversation around disagreement becomes impossible then the only way to resolve conflict would be violence.

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The former Times staffer said that"politics has come to supplant religion" and you see it with people on the right who look to Donald Trump as a"deity" and you see it on the left"where to be anything less than defunding the police or abolish the police to choose the issue of the day, makes you something like a heretic." She added that this type of thinking points to the"collapse of moderates."

Maher noted that it's not just the celebrity elite who believe they will be chastised for saying something politically incorrect and that people"don't like walking around on eggshells.""When the science has to come second to the political correctness, we're in trouble," Maher said before reading off part of Harper's letter that noted"professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes."

Williams said that cancel culture is not about bringing "elites back to Earth" but it has an"onlooker effect" that has"a chilling and stifling and narrowing influence on all of our behaviors."He added that the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis,

who died at 80 from cancer on July 17,also had a"point of view that was divergent from the consensus at the time that he was alive." Williams said that Lewis' stance seems"so clear to us now," but at the time Lewis was going against"consensus."

"We need to have all the points of view that we can have because we don’t know what the truth is actually going to shake out to be 10, 20, 50 years down the road," Williams said."We need to challenge our consensus views, and when we think about John Lewis, we should think about that was a guy who saw something wrong and stood up and spoke up for it, and he didn’t just adhere to the prevailing consensus at the time."

Read more: USA TODAY »

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A real jackass Yes, prime example is the organization (not the concept) BLM. If you disagree with any of their demands you are... of course, a racist. well there wouldn't be a cancel culture to begin with, if people didn't get the belief that they had something useful to say simply because they watched the pseudo intellectual bullshit that makes up maher's show, thanks!

well there wouldn't be a cancel culture to begin with, if people didn't get the believe that they had something useful to say simply because they watched the pseudo intellectual bullshit that makes up maher's show, thanks! Wow why the change in tone? I thought he wanted to US to burn for the sake of his political beliefs?

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