Saving Higher Ed (and the Broader Society) From Cancel Culture

Project Details

Party(ies) Involved

American and Canadian Academia, et al.


The overwhelming majority of American and Canadian college/university campuses and beyond.

Time Frame


Project Overview

“Cancel culture” is a name given to modern-day shunning. According to the online Encyclopaedia Britannica, shunning is a “social control mechanism” whereby those who violate the most serious group rules are banished or exiled. In the modern version, anyone who dares challenge the intelligentsia’s verities – especially its pronouncements about what constitutes “racism” – is effectively ostracized by being largely cut off from social, business, and internet exchange. It began in the academy, but what started in higher education eventually migrated to the broader culture.

The Legal Insurrection Foundation has challenged cancel culture’s verities and its grip on academia, the business world, and the tech world.

Our Involvement

LIF has exposed the dangers posed by cancel culture. In particular, LIF presented an August 30, 2020, live stream panel discussion on “Saving Higher Ed From Cancel Culture.” Approximately 300 people attended. The event featured a stellar panel, including Robert Shibley of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Joshua Katz, then of Princeton University (whom Princeton subsequently fired for daring to oppose an “antiracist” manifesto); Jason Hill of DePaul University; and LIF founder and president William Jacobson of Cornell Law School.

Media Coverage

LIF has devoted a lot of coverage to cancel culture. A listing of articles may be found here. Perhaps the high point was LIF’s August 30, 2020, online panel discussion.

Highlights of LIF’s coverage of cancel culture in academia include:

Mike LaChance, University in the UK Cancels Jordan Peterson’s Visiting Fellowship for Not Being Inclusive, LEGAL INSURRECTION (March 21, 2019).

William A. Jacobson, “There’s an effort to get me fired at Cornell for criticizing the Black Lives Matter Movement,” LEGAL INSURRECTION (June 11, 2020).

William A. Jacobson, ‘Saving Higher Ed From Cancel Culture’ (This Sunday, August 30, 8 p.m. Eastern)(Update), LEGAL INSURRECTION (August 13, 2020).

William A. Jacobson, Academic Death Spiral: VIDEO Highlights From “Saving Higher Ed From Cancel Culture,” LEGAL INSURRECTION (September 3, 2020). Video of both the full August 30 program and an abbreviated version is embedded within the article.

Kemberlee Kaye, Penguin Random House Canada Staff Want Jordan Peterson’s New Book Cancelled, LEGAL INSURRECTION (November 24, 2020).

William A. Jacobson, MIT Cancels Lecture By U. Chicago Geophysicist Dorian Abbot Under Pressure From Campus Mob (Update), LEGAL INSURRECTION (October 3, 2021).

Mike LaChance, Breaking: Princeton University Fires Professor Joshua Katz, LEGAL INSURRECTION (May 23, 2022).

Mike LaChance, Conservative Academics are Abandoning Higher Education, LEGAL INSURRECTION (August 19, 2022).

A sampling of LIF coverage of cancel culture in the broader society beyond academia includes:

Bryan Jacoutot, Widespread Cancel Culture Gives Everyone a Reason to Take Bitcoin Seriously, LEGAL INSURRECTION (February 22, 2021).

Mary Chastain, GoFundMe Pauses Canadian Freedom Convoy After Hitting the $10 Million Mark, LEGAL INSURRECTION (February 3, 2022).

Fuzzy Slippers, PayPal, Venmo, Google Purging Wrongthink: Daily Sceptic and Gays Against Groomers the Latest Targets, LEGAL INSURRECTION (September 21, 2022).