Commentary: Enough smear-mongering: it’s time for real change

Ethan Magistro

Powerful protests for racial justice and political change have taken our nation by storm. After many years of hard work and slow change, our world has shifted decades’ worth in days. Though the direction of this change is positive, with it comes a dangerous rise in illiberal attitudes, which has become apparent in the practice of smear-mongering. Last month, Civics Analytics dismissed former Obama campaign analyst David Shor, who had tweeted a paper written by Princeton politics professor Omar Wasow. In his research, Wasow found that violent protest had not electorally benefited the Democratic Party. By retweeting Wasow’s work, Shor was criticized for “using your anxiety and ‘intellect’ as a vehicle for anti-blackness.” Considering that the University sits at the heart of academia, the prospect of being denounced for sharing an academic paper should concern all of us.