Winston Marshall, the ex-lead guitar and banjo player of the famous "Mumford and Sons" folk-rock band, spoke on Friday about his decision to leave the group, and how his Christian faith has been his inspiration.
In an interview with ex NY Times editor Bari Weiss, herself no stranger to America's growing cancel culture, Marshall commented:
"I'd been tweeting about books through the pandemic, I didn't have very many followers, and this one [his tweet recommending a book on Antifa by Andy Ngo] sort of seemed to take off."
"There were a couple of waves to what happened. So, firstly it starts to take off, and then, you have like a kind of 'swarm of snakes'; they come for every aspect of your life."
"So, for example, for me, they started messing about with my Wikipedia page, calling me a fascist, a Nazi and all these ridiculous things."
"And then, there's a sort of second wave where they come for your friends and your associates and their families, and it's very intimidating. When they start going for your friends and people you love, that's where it sort of changes."
"I mean, It's a very effective mode of intimidation, because it's one thing when they come for you, but when they come for those you love, you want to defend them."
"....I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning."
".... At the beginning, my integrity for the first month or so, my integrity felt okay because I was like, 'You put your friends first, you fucked up.' And then there were other people then assuming that if I was critical of the far left, then I must be pro the far right. Obviously, I absolutely, unequivocally condemn the far right."
"My faith has played a big part in this period of my life and actually the week before making the final decision, I was pretty much planted in my local Catholic Church around the corner from the house. It's a bloody big moment for me."
"That's probably why after a while, the apology was bothering me like it did, particularly that I'd felt like I'd been participating in that lie that we already talked about. I couldn't square those things in my conscience.
".... I was talking a lot to my mom and dad with whom I’m very close and I think who love me and understand me better than anyone and could understand the complexity of the situation. I was praying a hell of a lot."
"Had you felt in the past like you had had you stumbled onto land mines before? Or had you been tamping down your views about any number of issues for the sake of the band?" Weiss then asked Marshall.
Marshall answered: "Well, this is where I thought [about] your resignation letter." (Weiss resigned as an editor of the New York Times due to what she deemed to be a toxic work environment).
"One thing that resonated with me is the idea that Twitter had become the editor of The New York Times, and I'm aware that similar in music or I'm sure for all companies dealing with public relations, is that Twitter basically dictates their public relations," Marshall continued.
"It's a little bit pithy to say this, and not totally accurate, but you could say, when we were promoting stuff before 2016, they didn't ask about politics. And then after 2016, they basically didn't ask about music," he said.
"That's not entirely true, obviously. But there was definitely a change in 2016 where everything became political and there's nothing political about the music we made. And that sort of charged everyone," Marshall stated.
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