Weinstein has described himself as a “deeply progressive person,” yet his protest against racial segregation could not be afforded a proportionate response. The mob dealt only in absolutes. By dissenting, he was declared ipso facto a racist; racism warranted a harsh penalty, that’s what Weinstein got.

This kind of demagoguery is paralyzing. With the penalty for wrongdoing so consistently high and inelastic, each of us sits merely a couple of nodes away from facing the kind of moral condemnation befitting genuine evil. The fact that Wilfrid Laurier administrators failed to see a moral distinction between the words of Jordan Peterson and of Adolf Hitler is the essence of the problem here. The “one size fits all” strategy makes public conversation an exercise in walking on eggshells and no doubt stifles honest well-meaning people from speaking their minds.

Of course, the sole beneficiaries of such a system are the most fanatical proponents of “social justice.” Drawing such a thin line between the extremes of righteousness and evil places the apolitical in a position with nothing to gain and everything to lose from dissenting from the prevailing narrative. Compliance merely earns the privilege of avoiding the hefty penalty for dissent.