NPR writer doubles down, says he's 'proud' of panned piece urging Tom Hanks to be an 'anti-racist'

Hanks has made a career out of playing 'righteous white men,' NPR's Eric Deggans argued

An NPR TV critic appeared to be the latest media figure to engage in cancel culture by demanding that actor Tom Hanks become an "anti-racist" in a piece that was panned by social media users.

"Tom Hanks is a non-racist. It's time for him to be an anti-racist," the title of Eric Deggans' opinion piece read on Sunday. 

Deggans begins with the disclaimer that he admires Hanks as an actor and considers him to be a "stand-up guy." 

But he gets to his point a few breaths later, arguing that Hanks did not do a thorough enough analysis in his guest essay for The New York Times calling for more teaching about the Tulsa Race Massacre, when a White mob destroyed a wealthy Black community in Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, killing between 100 and 300 people, from May 31 and June 1, 1921.

"The truth about Tulsa, and the repeated violence by some white Americans against Black Americans, was systematically ignored, perhaps because it was regarded as too honest, too painful a lesson for our young white ears," Hanks wrote, urging schools to teach the lessons of Tulsa as early as elementary school. 

Deggans believes Hanks didn't go far enough.  

"These are wise words. And it's wonderful that Hanks stepped forward to advocate for teaching about a race-based massacre – indirectly pushing back against all the hyperventilating about critical race theory that's too often more about silencing such lessons on America's darkest chapters.

"But," Deggans lamented, "it is not enough." 

Hanks has made a career out of playing "righteous white men" in films that "often leave out Black contribution," Deggans argued.

Several users observed that this is another example of the left "eating its own."

"No good deed goes unpunished," observed RealClearPolitics co-founder and President Tom Bevan.

"Exhausting," tweeted Fox News contributor and Townhall Political Editor Guy Benson.

Deggans, however, said he wasn't deterred by the backlash and defended his piece.

"The insults and bullying are already piling up in my Twitter timeline," he wrote in response. "But I'm proud of my column today on Tom Hanks' op-ed about teaching the Tulsa Race Massacre; I'm a fan, but what he said is not enough. It's time for Tom Hanks to be antiracist." 

ELLIE KEMPER FACES CALLS TO BE CANCELED ON SOCIAL MEDIA OVER PARTICIPATION IN ‘RACIST’ BALL

Some readers called again for NPR to be defunded after a recent string of seemingly biased reports. Last week, the outlet hit at Republicans for opposing critical race theory, which critics have described as an initiative that only serves to further divide students by teaching them to judge one another by the color of their skin. 

Gold Institute for International Strategy senior fellow Matthew Brodsky was among the social media users who accused NPR of engaging in "revisionist history" in their promotion of CRT.

"It’s not ‘an academic approach.’ It’s a revisionist history viewed through a selective prism that colors everything. When you wear red lenses in your sunglasses, everything looks red. When you view everything through critical race lenses, everyone is a racist," he tweeted.

On Thursday NPR was under fire again for appearing to mock capitalism in a tweet that was laced with snark.

"You wouldn't exist without capitalism, clown who is tweeting on behalf of NPR," conservative comedian Tim Young noted.

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Several other Hollywood actors have been at risk of being "canceled" for past associations. Ellie Kemper, who starred in "The Office" and Netflix's "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," was ripped by some left-leaning media for having been crowned the "Queen of Love and Beauty" at the "Veiled Prophet" ball in St. Louis, in 1999. While the ball banned Blacks and Jewish Americans from participating when it was founded in 1878, it had welcomed its first Black members in 1979, 20 years before Kemper's participation at age 19, and a year before she was born.

"A journalism industry that gleefully participates in this pile-on of Kemper without grace or context deserves to suffer," RealClearInvestigation's Mark Hemingway said of the coverage, which seemed to summarize the media's tendency to promote cancel culture.