Pence targets ‘cancel culture,’ ‘woke America’ in UVa speech
Former Vice President Mike Pence in a speech at the University of Virginia on Tuesday derided Democrats for “woke-ism,” adding that “cancel culture” is the enemy of freedom.
“We live in a time when many on the radical left routinely demean the American founding. Today radical progressives seek to rewrite our Constitution and erode the liberties enshrined in our Bill of Rights,” Pence said at the event sponsored by Young America’s Foundation.
“Every day we see efforts to silence, or cancel, those that dare to disagree with the progressive orthodoxy,” continued the former vice president, touching on an issue that has resonated with many conservatives.
Pence, a possible 2024 GOP White House contender, also told the U.Va. crowd, “The antidote to ‘cancel culture’ is freedom. The antidote to ‘woke America’ is freedom.” He told students to hold onto the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in a stand against “cancel culture.”
Pence criticized President Biden for what he called a track record of “woke-ism.” He encouraged conservative students to speak up about their beliefs and to not allow themselves to be censored while on college and university campuses.
The event was met with criticism and protest by a number of students at the Charlottesville, Va., university, according to The Washington Post.
A number of students protested Pence speaking on their campus, while some counterprotesters called the demonstrations against Pence an attempt to “cancel” free speech, the Post reports.
The Cavalier Daily, the campus newspaper, wrote, according to the Post, that Pence’s “speech that threatens the lives of those on Grounds is unjustifiable,” and referenced the nearby white supremacy march in 2017 that left one person dead.
A conservative publication on the campus countered The Cavalier Daily and criticized the attempts to bar the former vice president from visiting and speaking, the Post reported.