By Dylan R.N. Crabb
Renowned, online provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from his position as Breitbart’s tech editor yesterday over comments he made over a year ago. In January of 2016, Milo appeared on the Drunken Peasants (DP), a comedic podcast boasting over 138,000 subscribers on YouTube. During that DP episode, the talk show hosts pressured Milo to confront some of the apparent inconsistencies in his personal politics and Milo eventually wandered onto the subject of an experience he lived through as a teenager regarding his church. Today, more than a year later, a conservative group known as the Reagan Battalion tweeted a video of Milo with clips from his appearance on the DP. CNN found the video and made a televised report of Milo’s comments on the DP.
The CNN report on Milo’s comments set off a media firestorm with Salon, Buzzfeed, Mediaite jumping on the clip to write hit pieces about Milo “defending pedophilia” over comments that were made more than a year ago. If these writers are so concerned about these comments, where were they when the comments were initially made? After the video clip and the CNN news report went viral online, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) disinvited Milo from speaking at their event later this year. The publishing company Simon & Schuster also cancelled their book deal with Milo. After these two personal setbacks, Milo decided to resign from his senior editing position at Breitbart News Network.
Milo has been a controversial figure in American political discourse for some time now. Throughout 2016, he toured American college campuses across the country (the “Dangerous Faggot Tour”) utilizing his usual inflammatory rhetoric while speaking out against liberal immigration policies, advocating for unconditional free speech, and campaigning for Donald Trump. Milo’s tour across American colleges also drew hordes of protesters at his events attempting to shut them down in the name of silencing “hate speech.” This backlash against Milo from the political Left proves that the Left is no longer liberal. A core value of liberalism is individual liberty, the ability to live your life in accordance with your own desires as long as you are not physically harming anyone else. Today, psuedo-liberals often claim that “hateful speech” does harm them physically in the form of mental stress. However; what constitutes hate speech? Who determines and declares hate speech? Merriam-Webster defines “hate speech” as “speech expressing hatred of a particular group of people.” This defintion could literally apply to any group of people, it is subjective. Any person can claim “hate speech” against any other person, which make laws against “hate speech” too easily abused.
Free speech is only effective if it applies to every individual in the society If you support free speech, you should also support the speech of those with whom you disagree. Censorship may only work in your favor for as long as your representatives are in positions of power or influence.
How can I end this blog post any other way? In the words of Milo Yiannopoulos, “with all due respect, kindly fuck your feelings!”