Over 20o employees at mega publishing house Simon & Schuster have signed a letter demanding that the company cease all publication of former Vice President Mike Pence's new book. In addition, they would like to see the publishing house not publish any books by anyone who was affiliated with the Trump White House.
The petitioners equivocate the publication of Pence's book to "Rehabilitating fascists," and says it "puts all of our BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+, disabled, neurodivergent, immigrant, working-class employees, and the greater bookseller/reviewer/reading community in immediate and long term danger and dismisses the generations of violence that have contributed to our direct oppression."
The article in the Wall Street Journal revealing the existence of this petition states plainly that "An employee petition at Simon & Schuster demanding that the company stop publishing authors associated with the Trump administration collected 216 internal signatures and several thousand outside supporters, including well-known [b]lack writers."
Their reasoning, in the letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal, reads that "When S&S chose to sign Mike Pence, we broke the public's trust in our editorial process, and blatantly contradicted previous public claims in support of Black and other lives made vulnerable by structural oppression."
It reads that "By choosing to publish Mike Pence, Simon & Schuster is generating wealth for a central figure of a presidency that unequivocally advocated for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-[b]lackness, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, islamophobia, antisemitism, and violence. This is not a difference of opinions; this is legitimizing bigotry."
It is essential to note that the Vice President stood behind policies were ones that he fully believed in, and ones that those who have signed the petition have their own ideological bias against. There is no reason to believe that the value system upheld by the petitioners in this deplatforming and censorship campaign is more morally sound than Pence's view. It is simply a difference of opinion.
The Wall Street Journal article notes that "Among the more than 3,500 outside supporters" of the petition "were writers of color including Jesmyn Ward, a two-time winner of the National Book Award for fiction."
This was noted almost as some sort of indicator that Ward's opinion, and the opinion of other authors of color, bear more weight and relevancy in this discussion than do those of their white counterparts. The article makes deference to these writers on the basis of their skin color.
There is nothing in our skin color that inherently dictates our views or that gives any one person or group of people power over any other person or people on the basis of skin color.
Yet the Wall Street Journal submits to this, what can only be termed progressive idea, that race is such an essential factor that it needs to be mentioned even when discussing who signed a letter to censor the former vice president from publishing a book.
Further, the petition "asks Simon & Schuster not to treat 'the Trump administration as a 'normal' chapter in American history.'" This again is an ideological view, one that was upheld by mainstream media, one that was cow-towed to by pretty much every cultural force in the nation, and by corporations.
There is no reason to believe that the moral precepts of the progressive dogma are more correct than those of conservatives. In fact, upholding censorship and deplatforming has no basis in any morality, specifically not in the Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights offers that all people are free to speak, to practice their religion, and that we the people of the United States have the right to a free and fair press. A free and fair press should not be dictated to by authors and employees of that press who simply don't like what the former vice president has to say—and the odds are that few of them have actually read it.
Essentially, these employees and their supporters are doing what employees of The Guardian have done to one of their authors, and what Congress has attempted to do to OANN, Newsmax, and Fox News.
There was every reason to believe that those who had been associated with the Trump administration, who had worked in the Trump White House, or who had spoken out in favor of policies of the former president, would be suppressed, targeted and vilified, and it is coming to pass.
Silencing those with whom you disagree, liberals ought to know, only gives their opposition more power. In response to the petition, "Simon & Schuster Chief Executive Jonathan Karp sent an internal letter last week rejecting the employee demands..." Perhaps he will stand firm, or perhaps the next move of the petitioners will be to try to remove Karp from his post.