America has had it, and the cracks in the veneer are showing. The expression of our outrage is heard in the chants of “Let’s Go Brandon!” at public events, seen among parents pushing back on radical educational agendas that insert trans ideology into curriculum in places such as the Loudoun County school district in Virginia, where a trans-identified male student sexually assaulted two young girls, and most recently, is explicit in the defense of Dave Chappelle by comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan of Chappelle’s latest Netflix special, “The Closer” after transactivists joined Netflix employees demanding that Netflix pull his comedy special.
What do “Let’s go Brandon!” and Dave Chappelle have in common? The catchphrase and the comedian have become targets by radical activists who seek to silence opposition, demonize detractors, and sideline anyone who threatens their radical agendas. People are done being pushed around and bullied into sitting down and shutting up.
As Gary Powell says in my latest film, “Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender?”: “One thing that is particularly striking is that as soon as anybody expresses any kind of mild criticism of extreme gender ideology or any type of considered criticism or raises any doubts, they are denigrated as transphobes and as haters.”
That’s what is happening today. Parents are being labeled as domestic terrorists and Chappelle is being labeled as a transphobe and charged with hate speech. Fortunately, freedom of speech is a two-way street, and Main Street has had enough.
Signs of hope? I see plenty. Rogan immediately threw his support to Chappelle, saying, “He’s not a homophobic or transphobic person. He makes fun of himself. Look, it’s fun. It’s just making jokes. That doesn’t mean hate.”
Other high-profile celebrities have voiced their support too. Piers Morgan expressed how refreshing it was that Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos didn’t cave to the activists request to cancel “The Closer” and even trans-female-identified Caitlyn Jenner said on Twitter, “Dave Chappelle is 100 percent right.”
“This isn’t about the LGBTQ movement,” Jenner said. “It’s about ‘woke’ cancel culture run amok, trying to silence free speech. We must never yield or bow to those who wish to stop us from speaking our minds.”
Not only are people with influence coming to the defense of free speech, biological reality, and even comedy, but the public is also weighing in with their support and their wallets. Most recently, Chappelle, joined by his pal Rogan, played to a sold-out audience in New Orleans, telling the audience, “In the middle of me being canceled, we broke the attendance record.”
Jennifer Bilek said it best, writing, “Chappelle has given everyone permission to say the unsayable, and they are saying it, and they are laughing. They are laughing because this agenda is comedy gold, and no one has been tapping it, for fear of the very ridicule some are slinging at Chappelle. This time it isn’t sticking, and Chappelle has doubled down. He is not only too big to cancel, he understands the subtext and has called it out.”
As Chappelle says in “The Closer,” “All this talk about how people feel inside. Since when has America given [expletive] about how any of us feel inside? And I cannot shake the suspicion that the only reason everybody is talking about transgenders is because white men want to do it. … No one asked you how you felt. Come on everybody, we have strawberries to pick. It reeks of white privilege. You never asked yourself why it is easier for Bruce Jenner to change his gender than it was for Cassius Clay to change his [expletive] name?”
President Joe Biden campaigned and promised in his first 100 days in office that he’d pass the “Equality Act,” but signed an executive order on “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” on day one of his presidency. The Equality Act seeks to obliterate biological realities, allowing anyone to self-identify into whatever sex they wish to be, and force the rest of us to just go along and be polite, lest we be called haters and transphobes.
But people aren’t having it. Let’s Go Brandon! Let’s Go Joe! And Let’s Go Dave!
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.