Opinion

Hey Cancel Culture: You Picked on the Wrong Man in Mike Adams

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Posted: Jul 25, 2020 12:01 AM
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By now you have heard that University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor Dr. Mike Adams has passed away. For 12 years Mike was a valued member of our Summit Ministries faculty, where he taught and mentored students on pro-life and free-speech issues.

We will miss him deeply. So will all who regularly avail themselves of the freedoms secured by our Constitution.

Mike’s legacy will be that of a passionate defender of the pre-born and brilliant advocate for free speech. He was one of the last great guardians of the First Amendment. Mike skillfully deployed all of the tools available to him—from the legal process to Twitter—to exercise his right to speak freely and to defend the right of others to do so, as well.

Sometimes Mike exercised his free speech with a devastating wit that rattled friends as well as foes. But anyone who took the time to engage with him personally found him to be gracious and thoughtful. Bullish for what he believed in, for sure. But no bully. Mike’s many friends on the left and the right can testify to his goodness as a man.

And yet some on the left have already begun to characterize Mike’s legacy as that of a “racist” and “misogynist.” Few professors in America have ever had to put up with such hateful, hurtful falsehoods. They led to his being pushed out of his tenured position at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington by an official who publicly accused Mike of “vile” actions. Where does a taxpayer-funded bureaucrat get the moral authority to destroy a professor’s reputation in this way? Every educator in the nation should be chilled to the bone.

The ugliness that led to Mike’s “early retirement” from UNC-Wilmington, involving edgy but hardly “vile” tweets, is the latest example of the cancel culture that is tearing our country apart. Mike was cruelly maligned. And this is happening to multitudes across the political spectrum.

What is sadly ironic about this is that those who do not share the ideology Mike articulated had the truest kind of friend in him. Mike ardently defended the right of people of all viewpoints to say with passion the things that overflow from their hearts and inform their worldviews. The cancel culture would not have returned the favor. Professors often grandly proclaim that they will defend free speech to the death. Most of them are blowing smoke. Mike wasn’t. He fought for everyone’s freedom, even those who used it to launch hurtful personal attacks against him.

Mike also sought, and urged others to seek, common ground with those with whom they found themselves in conflict.

As Mike wrote for Townhall just a few months ago, describing how he resolved an argument that got more heated than it should have with his dad, there is an alternative we all can, and must, pursue when we find ourselves in a disagreement – even one rooted in our most sacred beliefs.

“If there is someone you love that you are not at peace with just swallow your pride and reach out,” Mike wrote. “Chances are, the source of your conflict really is not as important as you once thought it was. Perhaps it is just as meaningless as the one between my dad and me. If fact, I’ll bet it is.

“We are all dying, folks. It is time to meet the people we love where they are and start talking. There is no need to wait until the holidays to start applying this principle. We can start today. We might not have tomorrow.”

History will show that the cancel culture’s trashing of Mike was utterly short-sighted. When the “pure” revolutionaries come after them, those on the left will realize—too late—that they had no better defender of their right to speak than Mike Adams.

And for those hateful enough to think that Mike’s death is somehow a victory for their agenda, I have news for you. You’re too late. In addition to his landmark free speech lawsuit and work at the university, Mike trained nearly 15,000 students at Summit Ministries. They are ready and waiting to stand for freedom. Yes, even yours.