Winston Marshall, the banjo player in the folk-rock group Mumford & Songs recently announced that he is leaving the so that he can speak freely about political issues. He wrote a piece about why he is willingly walking away from the that brought him so much joy and a legacy of songs.
Marshall took social media by storm after tweeting out congratulations to American journalist Andy Ngo for his book “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.” The book gained national attention for reporting on Antifa violence that plagued the city of . Marshall said that posting about books had been a theme of his social media throughout the pandemic and that he found this tweet to be as “innocuous” as the others.
“Over the course of 24 hours, it was trending with tens of thousands of angry retweets and comments. I failed to foresee that my commenting on a book critical of the Far-Left could be interpreted as approval of the equally abhorrent Far-Right,” Marshall wrote in a Medium post.
The book was so despised by the radical left that local Powell’s Books announced they would not sell it due to overwhelming pressure by protesters. Ahead of the book’s release, Powell’s Books had to close their early a few times due to “safety precaution” and protesters who gathered outside and threatened the workers. While Powell Books said they remain committed to free speech and will sell Ngo’s book online, they will not have physical copies in the .
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“Given that Powell’s dedicates part of every year to banned and censored books, it’s a shame they’ve made the decision to restrict in- sales of a book by a local week ahead of release. However, I also have sympathy for them given how ruthless Antifa has been in vandalizing and hurting local businesses,” Ngo said.
Marshall went on to say that thirteen members of his family were murdered in the concentration camps of the Holocaust and to call him “fascist” was ludicrous beyond belief. The ’s name was dragged into ugly accusations and, as a result, Marshall apologized for the tweet.
Marshall said that the invited him to continue with them, which took courage in the age of cancel culture, but that he would take a temporary step back. He said if he continued to “self-censor” then it would erode his sense of integrity and gnaw at his conscience. He decided to leave the outright in to speak his mind.
He took the time to retract his previous apology and emphasized Ngo’s bravery for reporting on Antifa and publishing the book. He said that reporting on the extremism of the Far-left is at the great risk of endangering oneself and called it “unquestionably brave.” He said that he retracted his previous apology because it participates in the lie that extremism does not exist, or worst, “is a force for good.”
“I hope in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences,” Marshall wrote.
At this point, everyone is afraid to speak up if they do not agree with this “cancel” mindset. The driving force of the cancel culture is political belief and skin color. And apparently, you have to leave a rock in to “speak your mind.” That’s cancel culture in a nutshell for you.