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Transgender Professor Backs Out of Debate Against Daily Wire's Michael Knowles

Transgender professor Deidre McCloskey has backed out of a debate against the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles that was scheduled to take place at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) on April 18.

McCloskey, a biological male who self-identifies as a woman, claimed the debate would be a “Fascist rally.”

The professor originally spoke out against the people who had signed a petition to get the debate cancelled — but soon caved to pressure from the mob.

“A thousand people have signed a petition against Michael Knowles ‘debating’ me on transgender matters on April 18 at Pittsburgh,” McCloskey tweeted on March 11. “They should be ashamed. True, Knowles is an anti-Jesus Catholic, a fascist advocating state power over ideas. But we live in a free country.”

However, in response to a tweet saying that you should not debate “Fascists,” McCloskey wrote, “I understand. I waver, but in the end it seemed irresponsible for a safely old and well positioned person like me to not reply to him. He does not believe in anyone’s liberty.”

McCloskey transitioned in the 1990s and is a free-market economist and economic historian with the Cato Institute.

Knowles responded to McCloskey backing out on Twitter, writing, “I’ve just learned that Prof. McCloskey has dropped out of our debate scheduled for next week. For weeks, he’s baselessly smeared me as a ‘fascist’ but nonetheless insisted upon the importance of debating ideas rather than running from them. Apparently he’s changed his mind.”

“Perhaps he has learned that I’m not the loose cannon that the liberal media have dishonestly portrayed,” Knowles continued. “Perhaps he’s learned that my opposition to transgenderism derives, not from hatred, but from love of the truth, in this case regarding epistemology and anthropology.”

The tweet thread concluded, “I’m happy to take a victory by default. But it’s telling that even a distinguished scholar with three Harvard degrees and half a dozen honorary doctorates cannot defend transgenderism. Of course: the ideology is indefensible.”

McCloskey told Campus Reform they were backing out because Knowles is “utterly uninterested in finding the truth.”

“[H]e is interested in stirring up hatred and violence towards people who do not fit his extremely conservative Catholic beliefs, beliefs quite contrary to those of, for example, Pope Francis,” McCloskey said. “I decided not to participate in giving [Knowles] a platform.”

McCloskey also told Campus Reform that they were “dismayed by the anti-free-speech petition against allowing him to speak,” but that, “Both are wrong, the hate-mongering Mr. Knowles and the speech-suppressing signatories of the petition. The result would be not a rational debate but a fascist rally.”

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