Yes -- I was "canceled" . . . .
By Brad Smith
Ever since I wrote and published the article about Talent Elementary special education teaching assistant Cassie Dutra posting transphobic remarks on social media, there have been accusations of "cancel culture."
Cassie Dutra isn't being canceled. She posted something highly inappropriate on social media and is now facing the consequences of those actions. It's possible she's in serious trouble at the school -- and, well, she should be.
If some wish to push the claims of Dutra being canceled . . . . Well, it happened to me.
Very recently too.
Starting in 2011, I was a freelancer or stringer for The Rogue River Press. I was never an employee. I never had an issue over an article I'd written but some locals took issue with my social media posts. It all came to a head last summer.
In late July 2020, I received a brief text message from the publisher, Teresa Pearson. She said advertisers and subscribers were threatening to drop the paper because I was, as they said, "racist."
Let me be clear: WHITE men and women said I was racist because I was very vocal in my support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Antifa and their resistance against alt-right extremists, because I was vocal about transparency, accountability and civilian oversight of law enforcement . . . because I supported Colin Kaepernick and his protests and denounced Trump's crackdown on left-wing groups as well as police brutality.
For all of that, the people of Rogue River and the surrounding area called me a "racist."
And, via a text message from someone I once considered a friend, I was told my services as a contractor were no longer required.
I was . . . canceled.
What did I do?
Within a few days, I got new press credentials and I started The Rogue Free Press. It's a modest website with, so far, 59,000-plus views (way more than the RV Saltshakers, I think) and a fairly small but I'd have to say loyal following. They say I broke the story about the Trophy Club's racist electronic sign; I exposed the racist views abounding in the Rogue River area; I helped exposed some shady dealings in Talent and a transphobic baker in Medford; now, I'm covering some apparent issues with former Talent city staffers in the wake of the Almeda Fire.
And, well, I've pissed off a lot of people. They tell me there's a Facebook group dedicated to hating me.
For being "canceled" . . . . I think I'm doing okay.
Not bad for someone who's been canceled.
So. Yes. I've been canceled, canceled by a bunch of white people calling a white journalist a "racist" just because he supported BLM and other sociopolitical views.
There you have it.
Be seeing you.