The weaponization of the federal government against President Joe Biden’s political opponents and anyone fighting “woke” orthodoxy is going at such dizzying speed that it’s hard to keep pace.
Now, the authorities are investigating Christopher Rufo, a conservative commentator who is on the board of the New College of Florida, for—among other crimes—refusing to address someone as “ze/zir.”
Yes, this is happening.
Neither “ze” nor “zir” are words in the English language, or any other language. They are inventions by far-left gender ideologues who insist they are “neo-pronouns” that must now be used in place of the third-person singular “he” or “she” for those who say they are of unspecified sex—also something that doesn’t exist, except for people born with a rare biological condition.
The Biden administration not only agrees with this lunacy but is prepared to use the full force of the law to enforce it. If the ideological implications of this current drift are daunting, so are the political ramifications.
Rufo, a well-known documentary-maker, activist, and author, was appointed to the Sarasota-based college’s board of trustees by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, specifically to clean up this type of gender nonsense.
DeSantis is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and the investigation arrives as the leading GOP candidate, former President Donald Trump, battles multiple indictments.
Biden’s Education and Justice departments have launched investigations into New College of Florida and Rufo—to which Rufo links in a Substack post, portions of which he also posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Education Department said it decided to launch the investigation after a complaint from unnamed “students, faculty and staff” who allege that Rufo and the other trustees violated civil rights law. The agency did so, according to a letter to New College’s interim president, because the students’ complaint contained a litany of alleged violations of civil rights law.
The complaint, included in the Education Department’s letter, accuses the college’s board of such transgressions as removing signs that said “gender neutral” from bathrooms; lowering academic standards so the college could admit more men, and “misgendering” the former head of the college’s department of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Yoleidy Rosario-Hernandez (whom the board fired) when Rufo referred to her as “she” instead of her chosen personal pronouns of ze and zir.
The Education Department also accused the college’s board, among many other things, of the “removal of all-inclusive and diversity-focused content from admissions marketing materials and the college’s website” and canceling “the Africana Studies Living Learning Community (LLC) in January or February of 2023 and changed the name of the Pride LLC to ‘Great Books.’”
One of the complaints, incredibly, was that Rufo had “mocked” Hernandez.
“You know what, I did mock her,” Rufo, a friend, told me in a conversation last Tuesday night at the Washington launch of “America’s Cultural Revolution,“ his new bestselling book. “Her pronouns are ridiculous. They are trying to make mockery illegal.”
This is an important point, as ridicule is one of the most powerful weapons in the war of ideas now being waged in America. Nobody knew this better than Saul Alinsky, the founder of American community organizing and one of the leftists who launched the opening salvos of this war.
“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage,” Alinsky wrote in his 1971 book “Rules for Radicals.”
Thus, the Biden administration is trying to make it a crime to say that the gender and racial emperor has no clothes.
But Rufo’s next point was even more pressing.
“What they are doing is making opposition to their orthodoxy illegal,” he said. “What this is is an inside-outside game. Activists outside the Department of Education are colluding with activists inside.”
And this is where we are right now in America. Rufo is, in the words of the leftist publication Vox, “the Right’s leading culture warrior.” Vox hurls that as an insult; I agree with it and see it as praise.
By attempting to silence Rufo, the Biden administration is trying to stamp out all possible criticism of or opposition to the race and sexual theories that have become government writ, something imposed by force of law not just domestically, but also overseas.
It’s not Biden necessarily who is doing any of this. The president is a Delaware politician who, in his many decades of government, never gave any sign of supporting any of this nonsense. It is the activists inside his administration, who seem to have control, who are obviously imposing obeisance to the new orthodoxy.
The attacks on political opponents are, of course, another matter.
This commentary originally was published by the Washington Examiner
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