In a Manifesto for the Free Word, some ninety Dutch and Flemish academics, opinion makers and politicians turn against what they call: the cancel culture. The authors believe that action groups such as Black Lives Matter create social divisions.
The manifesto was written by scientists Bart Collard and Raisa Blommestijn. The list of signatories includes various names, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, professor of legal philosophy Andreas Kinneging, former chairman of Amnesty International Willy Laes and singer Marga Bult. FvD leader Thierry Baudet and journalist Arnold Karskens also signed the manifesto.
The free word, they say, is under pressure from the intimidating action of radical activists. “For the least you are called racist or extreme right,” says lawyer and philosopher Blommestijn (26).
With the manifest, the initiators say they want to reach everyone: from left to right. Blommestijn:
“We also do not act as a collective. Everyone signs in a personal capacity.”
“As a result of radical groups who say they want to fight against institutional racism, freedom of expression is put under pressure,” the letter said. “These groups want others who do not support the ‘right’ opinion, deprive of the right to express their opinion.”
That also includes – and perhaps even more – that it is possible to express opinions that you disagree with deeply or that go against current social discourse.