George Washington University associate professor Elisabeth Anker criticized the concept of freedom Sunday in comments to CBC Radio regarding the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” protest.
"On the far right, [individual freedom] is often translated into somebody who refuses to be bound by norms of equality, treating all people equally or norms to remedy inequality," says Elisabeth Anker, author of Ugly Freedoms.https://t.co/eY8mslpYFy
— CBC Radio (@cbcradio) February 13, 2022
She said freedom was a “slippery concept,” claiming that “on the far right, [individual freedom] is often translated into somebody who refuses to be bound by norms of equality, treating all people equally or norms to remedy inequality, whether that’s trying to remedy racial discrimination or gender discrimination,” according to CBC.
She called the “far right” version of freedom “violent freedom,” and said it could result in danger and discrimination and potentially be anti-democratic, CBC reported. Anker said it was surprising that Canadians were pushing back against “social interdependence” with the language of individual freedom during the trucker convoy protest.
The CBC article, titled “Why the word ‘freedom’ is such a useful rallying cry for protesters,” cited another “expert,” Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University, who complained that freedom is too flexible of a term, linking the concept to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The alt-right has weaponized ‘freedom’ to undermine democracy https://t.co/CgQdtmXWnM
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) February 8, 2022
An opinion article published by The Globe And Mail Feb. 8 also complained that conservatives “appropriated” freedom to oppose vaccine mandates and other COVID-related restrictions.
“For many, it’s a word that has become code for white-identity politics and the far-right’s weapon of choice in the culture wars,” columnist Gary Mason wrote, adding that freedom “has not always been a concept usurped for selfish, malicious purposes.”
Anker and Perry did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.