Rantz: Seattle Libraries under pressure to illegally cancel event activists don’t like

Dec 11, 2019, 5:59 AM | Updated: 9:00 am
Seattle Library...
(Photo by Ron Wurzer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Wurzer/Getty Images)

Seattle Progressive activists are livid that the Seattle Public Library is hosting an event for an organization they disagree with politically. So mad, they’re calling for censorship. And in typical Seattle fashion, the SPL is figuring out what to do, meeting with transgender staff and the city’s legal department.

The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) calls itself a “radical feminist organization” fighting for women’s rights — which includes fighting against some transgender issues where biological women are disadvantaged by trans-women.

In February, they’re holding an event titled “Fighting the New Misogyny: A Feminist Critique of Gender Identity” in order to offer “a critical analysis of gender identity.” Sounds boring, to me, but to Progressive activists, it’s a hate rally!

The Gender Justice League, a far Left LGBTQ group out of Seattle, said they will speak with SPL leadership about the event: “The end result of a hate group using the library as a venue to ‘critique’ the existence of a minority group creates a hostile environment and is unacceptable,” they wrote in a statement per a local newspaper.

Tobi Hill-Meyer, co-executive director of the GJL, calls WoLF a hate group because, according to the Times, “their stated purpose is to critique the existence of trans people and in this current climate that’s a serious threat.”

Not that it matters, but WoLF isn’t actually a hate group, no matter what Hill-Meyer pretends.

They’re simply a group that disagrees with the Gender Justice League. If you polled average Americans about some of the positions the GJL holds, the group would be well outside the mainstream. Does that make the GJL a hate group? Nope.

There are undoubtedly nuances and complexities when discussing some transgender issues, and we should stop pretending that it’s cut and dry. A transgender woman should have the same rights as biological women, for example, but we should stop pretending that transgender women don’t have an athletic advantage when competing against biological women. This very issue is playing out in the courts.

Leaders at SPL are taking these complaints seriously. SPL’s chief librarian Marcellus Turner said in a statement: “Controversial groups like these can test our limits as democratic centers of free speech and intellectual freedom, as well as our limits as a united community and organization. I hope you can recognize the difficult situation this has created for us.”

It shouldn’t be a difficult situation. In fact, it’s not.

WoLF undoubtedly has the right to use a library for an event. Their speech is protected and they cannot be shunned by a public library on the basis of their content, even if aggressive activists find the positions hateful.

Progressives activists don’t get to decide what speech should or shouldn’t be censored on the basis of “hate speech.” That term isn’t even legally meaningful — “hate speech,” even as defined by activists, is protected speech. And many of these angry activists hold the position that any opposition to trans issues as the activists see them is somehow an assault against a marginalized group. Indeed, these same voices will undoubtedly say this very column is hate speech. It is not. It’s simply offering a mainstream – and constitutional – opinion they don’t like.

I was told a quote when I was in college that has stayed with me: “imagine the power to censor in the hands of your worse enemy.”

One could very easily justify saying no to a Gender Justice League event, particularly the way some activists speak about conservatives — a protected class in Seattle. Indeed, one could go one step further. Imagine the outcry if far-right activists, given the power, would censor books and events even mentioning trans issues. Folks on the Left would be outraged. They should be. I’d join them in that protest. But the only ones acting out in a truly offensive way are the activists seeking to censor protected speech that is very well within the mainstream in this country.

If these activists are so upset that folks hold different opinions than them, they should rent out space at the library and hold their own counter event. Or perhaps they should go to the event, hear the argument, then civilly engage in a rigorous conversation.

But we’re in Seattle, where taking rabid offense to even mainstream views is considered a sport. And rather than engage in meaningful dialogue with those they oppose, they take the cowardly, easy way out and try to silence.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Frank Sumrall

Ballard brewery owner nearly loses business to homeless fire

Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co. in Ballard was nearly destroyed after a fire created by a homeless person nearly engulfed the property in flames.
2 days ago
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Shocking ignorance as Seattle Public Health blames drug ODs on racism, drug laws

Seattle Public Health is breathtakingly out of touch with the local drug crisis. It's no wonder more addicts keep dying on our streets.
3 days ago
Max Gross

Gross: Can anti-intrusion fog system stop Seattle crime in its tracks?

DensityUSA makes ‘anti-intrusion fogging systems’ that are meant to make it impossible for criminals to see once a break-in occurs.
4 days ago
women prison inmates...
Jason Rantz Show

WA Rep: Bill to protect women inmates, transgenders ‘going nowhere’

WA Rep. Jacobsen co-authored a bill that proposes if someone's been convicted of sex crimes, they cannot be housed near women inmates.
4 days ago
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Identity-obsessed Progressives can’t fathom crime without racism

We were shocked, disgusted, and maybe angry, but we saw them for what they were without defaulting the blame on racism.
5 days ago
politically active...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Democrats sue to kill WA’s one election security feature, which makes fraud easier

Left-wing organizations are suing election officials over the signature verification process. This would make election theft effortless.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Rantz: Seattle Libraries under pressure to illegally cancel event activists don’t like