Fort Langley’s rainbow crosswalk was installed in 2017. On Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, the Township has consented to one between the school district and RCMP buildings in Murrayville but Councillor Margaret Kunst has been the subject of criticism for not voting in favour. (Langley Advance Times file)

LETTER: Kunst doesn’t deserve cancel culture treatment, Langley letter writer argues

A local resident said the councillor has worked with a wide spectrum of the community

Dear Editor,

Cancel culture must stop. I refer to the recent article [Langley East Liberal candidate denies NDP accusation of homophobia over crosswalk vote,, Sept. 29] in the Langley Advance Times in which the BC NDP apparently called on Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson to remove Langley Township Councillor Margaret Kunst as a Liberal candidate in the upcoming provincial election because “there is ’no room’ for homophobia and transphobia in his party.”

What about these terms ‘transphobia and homophobia’?

Whenever the press waves these words around it reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast ‘The Imaginary Crimes of Margit Hamosh.’ His podcast explores the phenomenon of “mass sociogenic illness” (aka mass hysteria) in which “people, linked by some shared anxiety,” explains Gladwell, “come to believe they have been exposed to something malevolent.”

The career of Margit Hamosh, professor of medicine who ran a major lab funded by the N.I.H., was destroyed by false accusations perpetrated by the OSI (Office of Scientific Integrity) and journalists who, in the 1990s, were obsessed with science fraud.

Switch the obsession to fear of transphobia and homophobia, and you have a similar scenario that destroys people’s careers.

Margaret Kunst was elected in 2018 as a Langley Township councillor. Her record of work among a large spectrum (might we say rainbow) of immigrants, refugees, and children is pristine. Democratic process brought her in, and most Canadians used to believe that democratic process is the only thing that should have the right to move her out. Not mass sociogenic illness. Not undercurrents of political correctness. Not slapping unsubstantiated labels of homophobia in order to manipulate public opinion.

Kunst, according to the Langley Advance Times article, voted the way she did because of “the way such projects are approved, rather than a single crosswalk.” That makes sense. We want democracy upheld by allowing our representatives to vote according to wise policies rather than one-off projects. Or has mass sociogenic illness begun to control political decisions here in Langley and among the BC NDP?

Susan Hitchman, Langley


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