By: Mark Glennon*

If you are among the two-thirds of Americans opposing calls by Black Lives Matter to defund the police, think twice about saying so in public.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is the latest example of what you might face. On Friday it cut ties with a prominent University of Chicago economics professor, Harald Uhlig, who was a scholar at the bank, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The Chicago Fed said it terminated Mr. Uhlig’s contract effective that day.

What was Uhlig’s sin?

A series of tweets criticizing Black Lives Matter’s call to defund police departments.

BLM had “just torpedoed itself, with its full-fledged support of #defundthepolice,” Uhlig tweeted. “Time for sensible adults to enter back into the room and have serious, earnest, respectful conversations about it all… We need more police, we need to pay them more, we need to train them better,” he wrote. The full text of the tweets is linked here.

If those comments seem harmless, you are not alone. Beyond the two-thirds of Americans who tell pollsters they oppose calls for defunding, you have to wonder how many more are afraid to answer polls honestly.

Uhlig also knocked those who tried to redefine what defunding means by claiming “it just means funding schools (who isn’t in favor of that?!?).” He was absolutely right to do that. We wrote just this week why calls to defund mean just that, which was affirmed by a New York Times column Friday headlined, “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.”

The Chicago Fed wasn’t the first to go after Uhlig for his tweets. Earlier reactions were covered by both the Wall Street Journal and Business Insider, reactions the National Review described as a mob attack on academic freedom.

Over the past few years we learned to expect, even to shrug off, charges of racism or insensitivity over even the most sensible or innocuous comments.

What’s new just in the past month, however, is far more frightening.

It’s the surrender by so many companies and institutions to intimidation by the most radical voices, such as those who would defund the police. Contributions to Black Lives Matter are pouring in from corporate America and dissenting voices are being muzzled and punished. The Federal Reserve Bank properly guards its independence, and its local banks pride themselves on independence even from one another. But for the Chicago Fed, that independence apparently ends when the mob shows up.

These are terrifying times for reasons far beyond law and order. This is about freedom of expression and America itself.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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Susan
4 months ago

If this is what it takes–mob rule— to disrupt crony-socialist public-pension-recipient rule, homeowners struggling to survive extraordinary Illinois property tax burdens may still come out ahead.
Defunding public spending, especially TIF spending, might be the only hope of survival left for non-political-class taxpayers who do not enjoy the luxury of TIF/abatements/exemptions/ aberrant low assessment a la Pritzker’s Toilets.

Illinois Entrepreneur
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

I have always found Quillette (Quillette.com) to have some great, long-form articles. Their mission is primarily focused on maintaining free speech.
 
This article is a bit of a discussion about what is going on in journalism and what it portends:
 
https://quillette.com/2020/06/09/for-journalists-the-new-york-times-social-justice-meltdown-is-a-sign-of-things-to-come/
 

NB-Chicago
4 months ago

Fantastic,, a must read!. Thank you

debtsor
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

No, because of the ‘paradox of intolerance’.     Those on the left – who control media, academia, and the corporate world – have deemed conservative values ‘intolerant’ and they do not believe that the freedom of expression extends to intolerance, because intolerance is an existential threat to the tolerant. Take note in that cartoon that they subtly distort all of Trump’s positions to make him intolerant. He did not say Neo-nazis were fine people, he did not demand newspapers be banned, etc.   However, this paradox is not a paradox, it’s just a dumb semantic word game. Those in… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by debtsor
NB-Chicago
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Thought this was good column on the blm neo-mccarthyism insanity from denis the barbershop guy. http://www.chicagonow.com/dennis-byrnes-barbershop/2020/06/why-im-not-bending-a-knee/

JimBob
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Check out firstthigs.com and search “free speech.” See also https://www.commentarymagazine.com/?s=free+speech

Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Mark:   The assault is is not limited to simply freedom of expression. The entire Constitution is under attack. The Democratic Party and multi-national corporations are working overtime to take the country down. The goal? World government just like Eric Arthur Blair and Tail gunner Joe said.   There was a third individual that predicted all of this as well. It was Quincy Wright, professor of international law at the University of Chicago but he predated both Blair and McCarthy by eight or more years. I have an interesting UPI article dated 12-08-41 that I will send you (I couldn’t… Read more »

Freddy
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

Sorry. Speaking about Illinois Abraham Lincoln’s speech in Springfield June 16,1858 at the Republican Convention said as part of his speech “A house divided against itself cannot stand” which comes from Scripture in Matthew 12:25 “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation,and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. Also in Isaiah 1:7 “Your country is desolate,Your cities are burned with fire,Strangers devour your land in your presence,and it is desolate,as overthrown by strangers”. Sound familiar? We are totally divided in all aspects of our lives and yet the press and even churches are silent.… Read more »

Freddy
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

I have noticed that any alternative methods to combat Covid-19 like increasing Vitamin D-zinc-magnesium-probiotics-etc are considered unproven and are being censored or banned from alternative health sites like Dr. David Brownstein-Naturalnews-Joseph Mercola. Plandemic video by Dr. Judy Mikowits is almost impossible to find. As soon as someone puts it online it’s taken down. Our freedom of speech is being severely curtailed. Almost everything is considered racist or hate speech. This is not just Illinois but almost all media nationwide.

Bill
4 months ago

Ron Paul is right. It is time to get rid of the Federal Reserve.

Illinois Entrepreneur
4 months ago

Leftists shriek and frown upon Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, but we are seeing its destruction play out in real life.   For years I had struggled to describe what it was about the Left that I despised, until I read the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. If you take away the lessons of the books, you’ll understand that the foundation of Collectivism is to destroy the truth. In the process of that destruction, you bind everyone you can to your agenda through means of intimidation, shame and coercion.   Orwell wrote about it, too.   I think what is happening… Read more »

debtsor
4 months ago

“The Millennials–who seem to abhor history–are taking control of our destiny, and leading us down the path of Collectivism. I believe it is because they were not objectively taught.”   This may go nowhere fast, as the generation behind them is shunning college especially now with the wuhan red death crisis. Enrollment is down 20% across the board with private college hit ever harder. The college tuition bubble popped and the first professors to be laid off will be the grievance studies professors. They can all help Eric Zorn groom my dog and pick up her poop off the sidewalk… Read more »

NB-Chicago
4 months ago

Outing people, everyone from professes to news paper columnists to public sect employees, by the blm Mccathyiests who even slightly disagree with the blm gospel in social media is where the actions at. Was reading story where cop was being disaplined for just hitting ‘like’ on FB for what blm consided rasist post, really??….look out, soon the blm gestapo will be targeting wp commenters and marking your socail media door…. Meanwhile, the real winners–the public sec unions & dem machine are happy to play along, mostly sitting on the sidelines, happy to throw cop unions under the bus in return… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by NB-Chicago
Thomas Fleming
4 months ago

Singing to the choir, I know, but the oppression and subjugation of minorities so they can be manipulated is the only game remaining for big-government advocates. Saw it with the covid response taking away their jobs, now with backing BLM, taking away their remaining safety. Then the pols ride to the rescue preaching “we’re helping you”.

UnclePugsly.
4 months ago

This act by the Federal Reserve in Chicago brings into serious question how it is being run. It has been suspected for years that the Federal Reserve system is more of a government jobs program than any kind of functioning bank. The whole core Federal Reserve function could be run out of leased space in a Kansas City strip mall with about 60 people.

4 months ago

It has now become a toss up as which is more deadly the coronavirus that kills individuals or the mob stupidity virus that is killing the soul of our democracy. In my time I have witnessed the sins of the Holocaust and similar atrocities around the world, and lived through the enduring blind eye racial and anti-semitic discrimination in America, the anti-communist McCarthy era, the King assassination and resulting riots, the Rodney King and Watts riots, the riots of the 1968 Democrat convention , the anti-war Viet Nam War riots and Weatherman violent disorder, and now the disintegration of rational… Read more »

MikeH
4 months ago
Reply to  Herb Caplan

You hit the nail on the head, Mr. Caplan.

Aaron
4 months ago
Reply to  Herb Caplan

Government has killed more people than anything else.

Pat Seibert
4 months ago

The day the ‘n-word’ became the sole province of one racial group I knew freedom of speech was doomed. Agree with the mob or risk your livelihood and perhaps even, your life.
Sad, sad situation. Hopefully cooler heads will eventually prevail.

4 months ago

Not bowing to mob…rather traditional public be damned attitude of oligarchs.

Dr S
4 months ago

Defund the police?
Then fund your firearm budget!

Aaron
4 months ago
Reply to  Dr S

Fund it all you want. Doesn’t do any good if you can’t buy ammo or firearms because the governor won’t fund FOID. I know several who have been waiting for almost a year get renewed FOID from the state.

Jeff
4 months ago

Robespierre lives

Dr S
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

I think very few people know who he is, hopefully some will google their history lesson for today. However people don’t even pay attention to current history and think socialism is the answer as it devastates countries across the pond. The French should just change their flag to white, it’s been the only think they’ve ever waved.

debtsor
4 months ago
Reply to  Dr S

Robespierre got the guillotine himself along with his right hand man and typical ‘bernie bro’ St. Just. The mob always turns on itself. The lesson from the French Revolution was the cause always comes full circle and in a matter of them they had another Bourbon king. Things move faster these days but if Trump loses 2020, there’s a good chance a strong Republican might win in 2024 to counteract the disaster that will be 2020-2024 with Biden as president.

Susan
4 months ago

If a policy is crafted to defund one branch of the local governments which are empowered to tax , perhaps we can apply this policy broadly across all taxing bodies which have always enjoyed freedom to spend beyond means of their communities, and reward cronies without fear of recourse. Emotional arguments are winning the day. When emotions peter out, sociopathic predators (politicians) get down to the business of codifying specific language which will broaden their own powers and deepen their own potential profit pools. If the mob in charge now sincerely wants to elevate living conditions of those they claim… Read more »

Gemini
4 months ago

If you don’t agree with what I say, you’re racist. (/sarc)
 
Time to buy an AR-15.

David
4 months ago
Reply to  Gemini

It’s WAY past time to do that, building one from scratch (80%) is probably a better idea so no-one knows you have it. Then start with 1,000 rounds and keep saving and buying until you have at last 5,000. You should always have at least 5000 rounds for any caliber firearm you own.