Barbara Kay: A look into Multiculturalism, Identity Politics, and Totalitarianism

“Where I am coming From”

I am delighted to submit this, my debut weekly column, to I hope readers will indulge my taking this occasion to introduce “where I am coming from,” so to speak, in my choice of polemical subjects.

When I look back over the body of my columns in the National Post, since I began my tenure there as an opinion columnist in September 2003, and review the topics that sparked first my curiosity and then my instinct to make a case against the prevailing opinion, I see a superficial diversity of themes: feminism and its descent into misandry, bias against fathers in family court, multiculturalism and its shortcomings, identity politics and speech suppression on campus, domestic violence and rape culture, anti-Zionism and pit bull advocacy (a subject that is sui generis, but, for me, a source of cultural fascination nonetheless.)

Beneath the eclectic surface, though, are two common denominators.

First, in every case, there is attached a theory, an ideology or a racial imperative that promotes willingness to ignore the democratic foundational principles of individual rights and equality under the law. As a result, our society often accords higher moral standing and (invented) rights to those with “correct” credentials as victims or potential victims, such as women, LGBT, people of colour, Muslims and indigenous peoples, while ignoring the rights – and often the pain – of those accorded lesser moral standing: white men, Zionists and pro-life Christians, amongst others.

Orphan Topics

Second, a good many of the themes I tackle are what I call “orphan topics.” They are orphaned because their “parents” – classical liberalism and an environment in which free intellectual inquiry is encouraged – are moribund. Thus, they are subjects in which, pushing back against what has become conventional wisdom, I often find myself alone or amongst a tiny minority of like-minded pundits in Canada’s mainstream journalism community.

To take but one example, although I am not a pro-lifer, I am angered by the intimidation and downright obstruction or expulsion from the public forum (on campus, especially) applied to groups who express pro-life views in public forums. The suppression of alternate views on unfettered abortion, viewed by feminists as a sign of misogyny and inadmissible in decent society, suffocates discussion of bona fide health information around abortion, as well as discussion of such abominations as sex-selective abortion in certain cultural communities.

Thick Skinned 

Anyone who dares challenge this dogma must have a very thick skin to endure the blowback of hostile feminists determined to control the levers of public discourse on this and other gender issues. The same can be said for multiculturalists, who simply will not hear any criticism of practices or belief systems that offend Muslims. Which is why I am one of the few Canadian columnists who has willingly, and frequently, defended a ban on the niqab in public life as an offence to the democratic principles of a free society.

I did not begin my career in journalism with a thick skin, but I had to grow one—and I did.

I am well recompensed, though, by the positive feedback I receive from the many Canadians who agree with me on these issues but are too intimidated to say so out loud.

The chill on discourse surrounding uncomfortable topics is what the late psychology professor, John Furedy, called “velvet totalitarianism.”

That’s a masterful definition of the mood on our campuses today. And when I see or hear or smell evidence of velvet totalitarianism in the environment around me, I feel compelled to make a case against it with the best arguments I can muster.

I look forward to continuing this tradition in the pages of

You can find Barbra’s archive and continuously updated work also on her website.