On this day 75 years ago, some of the bravest men the world has ever known stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, in order to free Western Europe from German occupation. They fought for freedom. They put their lives on the line because it was the right thing to do, to stand up against an oppressive force that looked to cause nothing but destruction, dehumanization, and ultimately mayhem at the hands of a murderous aggressor.
Those men fought and died so we could one day sit and slapfight with one another on Twitter.
The latest dumpster fire comes in the form of Vox writer Carlos Maza who is ceremoniously leading the charge against YouTube comedian Steven Crowder. Crowder is no stranger to controversy and has been on the cringeservatism scale for sometimes. Maza has, in recent days, accused him of homophobia and “hate speech” over what amounts to a bunch of “lol ur gay” jokes from Crowder. This week-long tirade from Maza has essentially launched the YouTube Adpocalypse part 3, this time demonetizing any and all channels with even a whiff of “wrongthink.”
— Dr. Sinatra 🥃 (@Sinatra_Says) June 5, 2019
— Lore Star (@lorestaryt) June 4, 2019
Even channels that depict historical evidence of nazism are being demonetized:
YouTube have banned me for 'hate speech', I think due to clips on Nazi policy featuring propaganda speeches by Nazi leaders. I'm devastated to have this claim levelled against me, and frustrated 15yrs of materials for #HistoryTeacher community have ended so abruptly.@TeamYouTube
— Mr Allsop History (@MrAllsopHistory) June 5, 2019
So, one clod with backing from a news organization cries boo and everyone else suffers. I’d be more inclined to be on Maza’s side if he provided actual evidence of hate speech and didn’t shove his victim card in the face of everyone who peers over the rim of the dumpster fire to get a closer look.
From my viewpoint, Crowder’s content is nothing but jokes. Cringey jokes at someone else’s expense, yes. But it’s his attempt at humor. It’s lame and unfunny humor in my opinion, but as we know, humor is subjective. I will defend his right to say what he wants to say during his own show, and I will defend Maza’s right to be offended by what Crowder says. That doesn’t mean I defend someone trying to silence or deplatform another person simply because they don’t like what’s being said about them.
Free speech is a conversation that pops up on the internet from time to time. We’re left defining it, adding to it, attempting to take away from the fact that we’re given the right, in this country, to say what we feel without the government stepping in to silence us. So that means if someone wants to stand up and crack a gay joke, they have every right to do so. And you have the right to push back and tell him or her why he or she’s being a dickhead for doing so. It doesn’t mean you get to oust them or take away their livelihood over hurt feelings. We’re wading into dangerous precedent waters with this.
People are making the argument that because YouTube is a private company, they can enforce the rules as they please. Okay, fair enough. But it’s a platform that markets itself as a social media site, where the rules of expression and free speech are supposedly at play. If Crowder went on his show and had a weekly segment he called “Let’s Kill the Lispy Queer Carlos Maza” and actively called for his death, then no, that’s absolutely unacceptable and warrants removal. But that’s not what’s happening here, and false equivalencies never solved any problems.
Another thing that’s bothering me is how quick conservatives are to go ahead and defend Crowder’s jokes, but do not extend that courtesy to people on ‘the other side’ of things. Here’s a perfect example from obscure blue checkmark Zachary Fox.
Do I find this meme funny? No. I think it’s dumb. And I think it’s dumb how much Fox is milking how much he “tRiGgErEd tHa RiGhT.” But the conservarage over this makes no sense when they fling the “you’re too sensitive” card at Maza for what amounts to a dumb joke online.
If you’re living your life on principles, then I believe you should hold everyone in your scope to them. That’s everyone, even those you disagree with. And that is no easy task. At this point, we’re going to be slapping each other into oblivion until literally no one has a platform and we all exist as singular entities riding a wave of internet made up of cat content and porn.
I have to believe people are better than this. Huge, sweeping changes in the morality of the world are underway. We’re in the midst of a chaotic break where what we once got away with, we can no longer do so. And I always believe from chaos comes resolve. We can bounce around and run ragged like chickens with our heads cut off, but our steam runs out eventually. Soon, there won’t be anyone left to pin our problems on but ourselves. And holding up that mirror to take a good, hard look can be the most daunting task of them all.
You want everyone else to raise their standards? Start with raising your own first.