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Freedom's Just Another Word
The Left’s meltdown over a Freedom mural, and more
A funny thing happened on the way to the Facebook Inferno…
On March 1st, I photographed a new piece of mural art enlivening a particularly drab stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway through downtown Nanaimo, British Columbia. Then I walked home and posted it on my Facebook page. (No, not funny yet.)
(Mural artist: Justina Bartlett @dream.feel.paint)
Six days and 119 comments later, we learn what Left-leaning Facebook denizens think of public art whose only textual message is “Freedom.” I had friends of long standing defriend me, block me, and paste angry emojis to the image with such force it’s a wonder some keyboards didn’t break. One Green ecosocialist said “That actually disgusts me.” Another said “It should be spelled Freedumb.”
These Left critics of freedom and/or public art would say they object to neither but rather to equating Canada’s recent Trucker Convoy and its 3-week parking stint in Ottawa with freedom.
And yet, what is more fundamental to freedom than bodily autonomy, which was the purpose of the Trucker Convoy? Does it not really all begin there? With our personal right to refuse penetration? And is that right really intact if exercising it costs us our job, our education, our access to large parts of society, and our ability to travel or even get out of Canada?
Because of the Left’s collapse on defending bodily autonomy throughout Covid, the Left was unable to recognize the legitimacy of the hundreds of ordinary working class men and women who drove their big rigs across snowy highways to Ottawa in January to defend everyone’s bodily autonomy. Instead, the Left has done its best to falsely smear these workers as white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Because how else to conceal the Left’s own reversal of its historic values?
In truth, the Left’s vomit-rage over this mural is vomit-rage over freedom itself. Freedom has become an obscenity, and bodily autonomy an unspeakable heresy, for those hypnotized by the official Covid mythology.
(Some criticism was also directed at the inclusion of an Indigenous medicine wheel on the front bumper in the painting. However, mural artist Justina Bartlett describes herself as “a mixed Canadian & Indigenous mother, artist, and friend of Ojibwe Ancestry… I will be honoring my heritage by including a medicine wheel into my mural,” she says on the GoFundMe page to cover the material costs of the mural. Justina donated her art and labour for this project.)
The intensity of the Left’s hate-on for freedom prompted me to post a brief defense of bodily autonomy the following day. If you had told me two years ago I would one day find it necessary to justify bodily autonomy to my Left colleagues, I would have laughed in your face.
My defense of bodily autonomy drew scant fanfare, while the hate-fest against the freedom mural itself continued both on Facebook and in the real world. The mural was vandalized with the word “Freedumb” writ large, shortly after it was completed. The damage was repaired, and the artist’s work has been restored. For now.
We are in very deep trouble indeed when the “politically correct” response to a mural extolling freedom turns out to be revulsion and contempt.
This reality was reinforced for me two days later, when I sent an invite for a coffee meet-up to a group of local women writers. We had all been friends for years and met for coffee monthly prior to Covid. I wanted to revive our socials after the long hiatus.
One of the first replies to roll in on the group email was from an author friend I had many times shared a stage with as well as much camaraderie over the years. She responded to the group: “Kim G, the conspiracy theories and rightwing-based causes and personalities that you've been promoting on Twitter etc. have annihilated any desire to spend time with you. I hope you get help.”
That’s right, commitment to bodily autonomy is no longer merely “selfish” and “unkind,” as the Left lectured us endlessly in 2020 and 2021. It is now a mental illness for which the afflicted must “get help.”
The theories, causes and personalities being questioned here are doctors, scientists and yes, even truckers, speaking out and acting up in defense of bodily autonomy and against vaccine mandates—people I retweet as needed. Also public health officials who somehow manage to break free of the official orthodoxy long enough to share some truth, such as this February 16, 2022 letter from Vancouver Coastal Health to University of British Columbia President Dr. Santa Ono asserting that Covid transmission risk is now identical between vaccinated and unvaccinated staff and students, so mandates are doing more harm than good. I tweeted this bombshell letter here, where it received more than 1,200 retweets in the first 24 hours.
However, to those trapped in the mass hypnosis of the Covid narrative (which has become the sad fate of most Left and Greens today), such truth-telling from heterodox doctors, scientists and even public health authorities is branded as right-wing conspiracy and summarily dismissed.
More troubling than the Left’s vitriol toward its former values of freedom and bodily autonomy is the violent and even homicidal rage this produces toward the designated enemy. Today’s designated enemy is the unvaccinated. Tomorrow it could be anyone else. Because once mass hypnosis is established, the mesmerized have become a loaded gun that can be aimed any direction.
The following statement from a former Canadian Greens member was posted February 23, 2022, in the unofficial Facebook group Green Party of Canada Supporters—a group with 2,600 Green-leaning members.
Beyond the words themselves, the more disturbing fact is that such expressions of homicidal intent toward the unvaccinated do not elicit any pushback from the hundreds of other Greens reading these statements, including administrators of this group or the similar Green Party of Canada Ecosocialists group on Facebook. This posting shown here is not the first such hate speech toward the unvaccinated in those two Facebook groups, nor will it be the last. In fact, the group administrators themselves have, upon occasion, referred to unvaccinated citizens as killers and murderers.
It is the normalization of such speech that is the real risk here, the ease with which it finds its way into Green and Left discourse unchallenged.
I made an effort to address the basis for this collapse of the Left in a previous essay “Mass Formation: How the Left Got Duped.”
I had every intention of following that up with an essay on how we dismantle the mass hypnosis, how we break the spell for those who are now addicted to the increasingly fragile Covid narrative.
I may still write that essay. However, the prospect of waking the hypnotized seems more remote every day.
Kim Goldberg is a Vancouver Island writer and the author of eight books. Her latest is Devolution, poems and fables of ecopocalypse (Caitlin Press, 2020). Twitter: @AlsoGoldberg