Feminist and human rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali issued a vocal condemnation of the Black Lives Matter orthodoxy behind the deadly George Floyd riots and the burgeoning cancel culture. A victim of forced marriage and female genital mutilation in her youth, Hirsi Ali has vocally opposed radical Islam and the terrorism it inspires. She accused the cancel culture radicals of becoming “censorship terrorists,” a threat to America’s “open society.”
On Monday, Ali shared an op-ed from Gerard Baker, editor-at-large of The Wall Street Journal. “Trump’s detractors warned there would be an all-out assault on freedom of speech. Then they launched one, writes [Baker],” she tweeted.
On Tuesday, she shared Bari Weiss’s powerful resignation letter, which exposed the “new McCarthyism” at The New York Times. Weiss’s fellow staff at the Times accused her — a Jew — of being a Nazi for opposing the left’s stifling orthodoxy.
“The New York Times was once a great paper. Not anymore. It is now held hostage by a small group of censorship terrorists. Yesterday they hounded out James Bennet and today it is Bari Weiss who must leave. Who is next?” Hirsi Ali tweeted.
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On Wednesday, Hirsi Ali went on Fox News to discuss the threat to Western Civilization.
“I think we are transitioning from being open societies to becoming closed societies. What defines an open society? It’s freedom. What defines a closed society? It’s fear,” she said. “It looks like the New York Times newsroom and opinion pages are adopting fear.”
Hirsi Ali also condemned the “lack of leadership.” Leaders refuse to punish “all the bullying and the terrorizing that goes on.”
“The people who are supposed to discipline what I call the censorship terrorists, they’re not doing their jobs,” she explained. “This is alarming, this is disturbing. We have to fear for our open society. It’s not just that the leadership is being silent and doing nothing. No, they’re actively appeasing the mobs.”
Yet Hirsi Ali, a black woman originally from Somalia, condemned the left’s new orthodoxy on race as “pure fraud.” She warned white people against the arguments of Robin DiAngelo, the author of the book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. DiAngelo argues that white people are reluctant to talk about racism because they are secretly and unintentionally racist. In other words, unconscious racism is at the heart of the reluctance to talk about racism.
“What Bernie Madoff was to the financial sector, Robin DiAngelo is to the intellectual sector. This is pure fraud. To my fellow white citizens: please don’t be conned,” Hirsi Ali tweeted.
Hirsi Ali condemned this argument not just because she thinks it is false but because she tied it to the threat of “censorship terrorists” who aim to use “fear” to shut down America’s open society. This isn’t just about racism — it’s about free speech, free thought, and western civilization itself.
In a recent interview with the Hoover Institution, Hirsi Ali noted that “the iconoclasm and this impulse to destroy has been with us for a while.” Yet after the horrific police killing of George Floyd, “this mishmash of people who call themselves Black Lives Matter, they have found the hook.” They aim to undermine “the idea of America, by constantly harping on the things we did wrong, which we all admit, the slavery, the segregation.” While Americans have had serious moral failings, that does not justify trashing the American experiment.
“It’s not about lifting up black people, it’s not about ending racism for them,” Hirsi Ali warned. “It’s about power.”
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.