Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Modest Proposal In Response To a "Dangerous Faggot"

Milo Yiannopoulos is not the man you've been told he is. He favors regulating Twitter as a public utility (he's been banned for life), is not a leader of the alt-right, isn't racist (he's sympathetic to reparations), and is a Jewish rather than white nationalist. In short, if he's any kind of "fascist," it's of the Jewish supremacist variety that enjoys the longstanding and nearly unanimous support of political Washington. How did such a man become the scourge of the establishment?

Easy. He said that a grown man having sex with a 13-year-old wasn't pedophilia, adding that in his case it improved his fellatio skills immensely, for which he is eternally grateful. Naturally, such comments could not be received sensibly in the anally retentive USA, so the media predictably went nuts on the assumption that Yiannopoulos was justifying child molestation. He wasn't. He was merely trying to make points about terminology and the importance of not getting hysterical. The men Milo had sex with at 13 were hebephiles. Pedophilia is sex with children that have not gone through puberty yet. For the record, he’s against pedophilia and does not favor a change in the age of consent laws.

Ever eager to goose liberal sacred cows, free speech figures prominently in Yiannopoulos's political crusading, and he's particularly disgusted by the perpetually aggrieved proponents of identity politics, who seem intent on reducing university study to a four-year therapy session, and hardly a First Amendment friendly one at that. For these boundlessly fragile "snowflakes," trigger warnings must precede any presentation of controversial material, which these days can mean anything from rape to failure to use the proper gender pronouns in referring to an ever-lengthening list of sexual identities. Safe spaces are also mandatory, so students can feel confident they will not be exposed to anything fundamentally upsetting, especially ideas that "invalidate" the experience of "marginalized" groups. Such heresies must be condemned as "microaggressions" and rooted out.

That such ideas are flatly incompatible with the entire point of university gives Yiannopoulos his opportunity to be wildly popular for taking an easy position. 

“I’d prefer a world with no identity politics," he says, and that "we judged people according to reason, logic and evidence." Dreamy! Reason, of course, suggests that "if you are going to divide everyone up, you have to accept that straight white men are going to want their own special party too." Enter Donald Trump, whose election Yiannopoulos enthusiastically endorsed (he calls him "Daddy").

An improbable Mario Savio of the right, Yiannopoulos is firm in his determination that free speech must win out over every kind of political dogma.  “People like Charles Murray (author of The Bell Curve) deserve to have their voices heard, and my divinely appointed job is to toughen up these (college) kids so they can properly engage in the big debates." Fair enough, and one can only hope there are no special exceptions, as Yiannopoulos insists there aren't: “My support of dangerous memes holds," he says, "even if your desire to explode polite taboos includes taking aim at the Holocaust." Unfortunately, he embraces open-mindedness more for its entertainment value than its educational effects: “I understand why so many young people find jokes about the Second World War attractive: they drive establishment types, especially conservatives, absolutely crackers. And I will defend to the death their right to tweet jokes about gas ovens, no matter how badly their words may burn.”

But why waste time on cheap jokes? Let's get Yiannapoulos in touch with the Committee For Open Debate on the Holocaust, which has long tried to simply raise questions about the canonical Holocaust (like why there is no forensic evidence of mass homicidal gas chambers), earning not a fair hearing but near universal condemnation and persecution. With a little backbone, Yiannapoulos's campus hecklers should be able to beat him at his own game. Why the taboo on questioning the existence of homicidal gas chambers?

Perhaps because the presumed existence of mass homicidal gas chambers makes Jews a special class of victims. For all his criticism of competitive victimhood, Yiannapoulos can't resist special pleading when the topic is Jews:  “I happen to disagree, strongly, that anti-Semitism is just like racism or sexism," he says.  Jews represent "a unique case" because of "a particularly virulent history of bigotry against Jews." For as long as there have been Jews, "it has always been dangerous to be one, somewhere in the world." Aside from the frankly prejudicial stance itself, Yiannopoulos neglects to note that the most dangerous place in the world to be a Jew these days is Israel, which was created as the place Jews go to be safe. In other words, the solution to the anti-Semitism problem has created more violent hostility towards Jews than at any time since the Nazi era, and this, not because increasing numbers of people hate Jews for who they are, but because they can't stand the Jewish state for what it does. Special case, indeed.

But rather than focus on this, Yiannopoulos prefers to bait Muslims and their defenders, denouncing Islam as a source of homophobia, patriarchy, street harassment, and intolerance. He accuses "leftists" of hypocrisy for opposing these practices in the abstract while defending members of a religion that condones them. Nowhere does he note, however, that promoting LGBT rights as a kind of political battering ram against Muslim dominant countries long subject to Western and imperial brutality (and regularly culminating in mass killing of Muslim civilians), is a far more serious kind of hypocrisy. If he doesn't want to see mass migration of Muslims to the West, and he insists this is an ongoing disaster, then why doesn't he publicly condemn USrael's endless outrages against the Arab and Muslim worlds? For campus activists, criticizing him on these grounds makes a lot more sense than impotently shouting, "racist, sexist, Islamophobic."

Milo Yiannopoulos, "Dangerous," (Dangerous Books: 2017)

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