Friday 18 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Censoring Jackson's music shows democracy is at risk'

Singer Michael Jackson in 2005. AP Photo
Singer Michael Jackson in 2005. AP Photo
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

In light of the recent alleged abuse case being made against Michael Jackson, this has shed light on a darker underbelly of what we call "democracy".

I would greatly appreciate if someone could answer me the following question. Under what kind of logic would a radio station make the decision to stop playing music of a deceased artist based totally on a single-sided interview by two alleged victims of sexual abuse? I urge others to be under no illusion that this is a real threat to democracy, censoring of such music is worrying, especially when the deceased artist has been extensively investigated by the authorities and proven not guilty in a court of law. 

Why should the artist's music be censored based on allegations and biased accounts? In a democracy are we not innocent until proven guilty? Under what thinking process would prominent DJs and radio stations side with allegations and not with factual evidence? The truth in all of this is the fact that trial by social media is being held in higher regard than trial by a court of law.

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If we adopt this fundamental principle of holding allegations/anecdotal evidence in a higher regard over empirical factual evidence, what type of society are we constructing? Can you imagine if we adopted this approach in our universities, in our scientific research departments, in our legal systems, in our hospitals and in our schools of education? Think about it. 

Caoimhe McQuillan

Drogheda, Co Louth 

Driven up the wall by liberal hypocrisy over Trump's plan 

LIBERALS love to get on their high horse in berating Donald Trump for his proposed wall between the US and Mexico. Some of the outrage, I'm sure, is genuine. But a lot of it doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.  At the same time as the president is proposing the construction of a wall, a massive construction is well on the way to being finalised between Turkey and Syria.

The purpose of this wall is primarily to prevent refugees from Syria and further afield gaining access to Europe (via Turkey). The EU states have provided the government in Ankara with security and surveillance technology valued at more than €80m in exchange for the protection of its borders. So those in Europe (including Ireland) who get on their high horse over President Trump's wall have zero credibility.

Likewise, the usual suspects in Hollywood (the Barbra Streisands, George Clooneys, Nancy Pelosis etc) who bleat most about "the wall", are not adverse to such security themselves. Most of the wealthy Hollywood luvvie crowd live in splendid, security-clad isolation, well away from the plebs. The hypocrisy is blatant. In fact, enough to drive one up the wall. 

Eric Conway 

Navan, Co Meath  

Two wrongs don't make a right with bias over gender 

I AM one of the women who Mary Mitchell O'Connor seems to feel patronised her by disagreeing with her policy of creating professorships reserved for women ('Men have 'teeny-weeny' interest in gender equality, says minister', Irish Independent, March 8).

She dismisses the arguments by saying the objectors were mainly concerned with such posts being considered "second-rate".  She alleges that "statistics prove that academic posts are outrageously biased ... towards men" and there has been a "huge, massive, ginormous, unconscious bias present for decades".

To which allegation, unsupported by any figures justifying such hyperbole, I can only echo her and say "really? really?" When I studied at UCD 50 years ago there were three women professor heads of department and numerous other women academics in the science faculty.

Perhaps Ms Mitchell O'Connor is thinking of an even more bygone era. It's difficult to know in the absence of a serious discussion of the subject.  Even assuming Ms Mitchell O'Connor is correct, her argument seems to be that anti-woman bias in the past justifies anti-men bias now, which sounds uncomfortably like simple revenge for past wrongs being visited on present-day men.

Two wrongs do not make a right. I can only hope this unjustified discrimination doesn't survive Constitutional challenge. She is lucky men have been silent about it. They should be up in arms.

Jacinta Skelly PhD

Glenageary, Co Dublin 

Bradley's comments were reminiscent of claims by SF 

THE stupid and insensitive comments by Karen Bradley remind us of the stance of Sinn Féin, which claims that blowing to pieces innocent men, women and children in pubs and restaurants is not murder either.

Pat O'Mahony

Dalkey, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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