With friends like the lads at C2C Journal, does Collin May need enemies?
C2C Journal is the right-wing publication associated with the national nuisance formerly known as the Manning Centre.
Mr. May, of course, is the new Chief of the Alberta Human Rights Commission, which owing to his 2009 literary contribution to the aforementioned publication is doomed to be known throughout his tenure in that position as the controversial chief of the AHRC.
Mr. May’s leadership of the commission is controversial because of the revelation by The Progress Report a few days before he officially took office that a review he wrote for C2C Journal 13 years ago appeared to be an enthusiastic endorsement of a book has been fairly described as denigrating Islam.
The report of this unfortunate situation by The Progress Report, which as its name suggests is a publication with a progressive point of view, resulted in many people expressing the reasonable opinion Mr. May had disqualified himself from being able to do his new job properly however much his opinions may have changed over the years.
After all, rather like Caesar’s wife, the leader of a rights commission must be seen to be completely without bias.
Naturally, this concern was completely ignored by the United Conservative Party Government, which went ahead and appointed Mr. May a few days later.
At that point, things quietened down. A week, after all, is a long time in politics, and there’s a shocking new revelation about the front-running candidate to lead the UCP almost every day.
Things likely would have stayed quiet had Mr. May’s friends at C2C Journal been able to resist the temptation to publish a whiny attack on his critics that raises the man’s personal relationships, which are completely irrelevant to the issue at hand and ought to remain that way.
Nobody’s business or not, however, apparently the Journal’s editors thought this was such a devastating countercheck it would shut up the entire woke left once and for all. Accordingly, they repeated it three times – in the article, a pull-quote, and the caption under a photo borrowed from the 1978 remake of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
I guess the body snatchee in the photo, played by Donald Sutherland, was supposed to represent the dangers of woke cancel culture, a perennial obsession of the North American far right despite the plethora of publications like C2C Journal on hand to defend their culture war tactics.
“The Editors” referenced in the byline – identified at the end of the story as being the magazine’s editor in chief and senior features editor – even huffed that Mr. May’s personal life was “mentioned nowhere in any of the accusations made against him.”
Well, of course it wasn’t! For one thing, it was almost certainly unknown to most people who commented on the review, and it was nobody’s business anyway.
The rest of the arguments in the editorial were predictable and can be fairly described as sophomoric.
It begins by suggesting none of the critics of Mr. May’s article had actually read it. This is categorically false in at least one instance.
Claiming that the book reviewed by Mr. May “was widely regarded as an important, if controversial, work of scholarship,” the editorial asserts the book’s author, Israeli professor Efraim Karsh, was no crank. A cursory Google search reveals problems with this statement. Certainly critics at the time described Prof. Efraim Karsh as, if not a crank, at least someone whose scholarship was politically motivated.
The editorial asserts Mr. May was merely describing the author’s thesis, as would any reviewer of an academic book, and therefore he must not be held liable for the content conveyed. This, it is fair to argue, is misdirection. Mr. May’s review enthusiastically endorsed virtually all of Prof. Karsh’s arguments.
The editorialists complain that Islamophobic attacks are not technically racist on the grounds that, like Christianity, Islam is a religion with adherents of many races. True. But never mind that, in Canada, for demographic reasons such attacks usually are racist nonetheless. It is entirely appropriate to acknowledge that common motivation for Islamophobia.
And finally, C2C Journal argues criticism of Mr. May is of no value because it was made by woke snowflakes, self-described progressives, and even known NDP members, “with the CBC acting as useful idiots,” whose “game here is evidently to score cheap political points.”
Criticizing Mr. May for his past words, the authors assert, is an “overt act of political bullying.”
This is utter pish-posh. The views of an office holder are obviously directly relevant to his suitability for the job.
The authors bemoan “the habit of picking through old and often obscure utterances of public or semi-public figures with the singular goal of finding something that might be considered problematic today, and with which they and/or their employers can be humiliated, damaged or even destroyed, is today running rampant.”
This is nonsense too, and of course the operatives of the political right are no slouches themselves when it comes to uncovering and misrepresenting things written in the past by their political foes.
Nothing has changed as a result C2C Journal’s defence of Mr. May and his appointment.
The irrelevant details of his personal life notwithstanding, he remains an unsuitable candidate for the important position he occupies.