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Meet FAIR, an anti-racist initiative based on dialogue, not resentment

A escritora Ayaan Hirsi Ali, o economista Glenn Loury e o linguista John McWorther, membros da FAIR Foundation

Writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, economist Glenn Loury and linguist John McWorther, members of the FAIR Foundation| Photo: Disclosure

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For the whole story behind human rights , it is regrettable that their just demands have been monopolized by political groups that do little more than galvanize resentments and distribute endless blame, destroying institutions and avenues of dialogue along the way. It is like this with the fight against racism, transmuted into the violent Black Lives Matter protests (which only harmed the poorest) and with the fight for equal opportunities and treatment for women and homosexuals, which today is crumbling between the erasure of the term “woman” and the creation of “gender neutral”.

The good The news is that there are indeed intellectuals, professors, communicators and scientists concerned with this trend – and they are not just Christians and conservatives. Little by little, progressive voices uncomfortable with the direction of the debate on human rights organize themselves to create new alternatives for dialogue. This is the case with the University of Austin, a cancellation-proof college announced last year, and FAIR, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism 2022(Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism). With notable names in the committee of members and supporters, the group was born with the aim of promoting training and facilitating the creation of work groups focused on simultaneously combating prejudices of race, gender, among others, and the so-called “cancel culture” .

“FAIR understands that our civil rights and individual freedoms need to be protected,” describes linguist John McWorther, a professor at Columbia University and author of a book that describes how anti-racism has become a religion that contributes little to the lives of black people. McWorther is one of the foundation’s supporters and appears in the campaign video, followed by musician Daryl Davis, known for seeking dialogue with members of the Ku Klux Khan (KKK) despite being black, and economist Glenn Loury, the first black professor to have a chair at Harvard.

“It’s not enough to be anti-racist, you have to be in favor of the people”, says Davis, in the video, in which the psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker, the journalist Bari Weiss and the writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali also appear. Shermer and environmentalist Michael Shellenberger.

On YouTube, the FAIR channel has 4,75 thousand subscribers, and offers content on several areas of knowledge commented by renowned specialists of different ideological shades. There is, for example, a lecture on gender ideology with the participation of journalist Abigail Shrier, author of “Irreversible Damage”, doctors Miriam Grossman and Carrie Mendoza, both specialists in sexual medicine, and activist Zander Keig, a transsexual man and critic of current self-affirmation policies aimed at this audience.

This is a An excellent example of how to bring fair concerns from all sides to the table: Keig recalls the challenge of being LGBT at a time when parents often threw children out of the house because of their condition, and Grossman and Shrier point to the risks of transition sexual intercourse before puberty, as well as the importance of biology in raising healthy boys and girls.

There are videos and texts about the controversial concept of structural racism, about the consequences of impregnating therapeutic offices with identity ideology and about intellectual diversity in the cademy. In this sense, FAIR’s proposal is similar to the Heterodox Academy, founded by the American psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of the famous book “The Coddling of American Mind”.

FAIR has also been involved in specific cases of discrimination: just this Thursday (3), the foundation accused the US State Department of Health of Utah to implement an “unconstitutional and unethical” policy, by deciding to take the race of patients into consideration when deciding who should or should not receive Covid medication 19.

So far, we do not know of similar alternatives in Brazil capable of uniting conservatives and progressives against the “cancel culture”, without leaving aside the search for social justice. The episodes are rare and sporadic, such as the petition in support of the anthropologist Antônio Risério, “cancelled” for questioning the dogma of “structural racism”, had about 800 signatures and raised names from the left and the right, among public university professors, researchers, journalists and politicians.

There is no lack of inspiration, however. According to the foundation’s portal, the creators of FAIR were based on the teachings of Martin Luther King to build the backbone of the movement: “we recognize that those who are intolerant and seek to oppress others are also human (…). We seek to defeat evil, not people”, attests to the declaration of principles. In Brazil, a similar movement would have availablefigures such as André Rebouças, one of the first black engineers in the country, Luiz Gama, the Bahian slave who taught himself literacy, graduated in law and helped free hundreds of blacks – both eloquent voices of the abolitionism still in the 19th century and staunch defenders of the principle that should guide the fight against any face of prejudice: freedom.

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