This past week I’ve been getting some pretty harsh backlash in regards to some statements I made on Facebook. I was accused of certain things which are absolutely not true.
So before I try and further explain my thoughts, let me reassure everyone of my “neutral, and impartial” stance on this controversial and sensitive matter….Since everyone is so hurt by what I said….
So, here are some facts.
I am not a racist. I do not sympathize with radical parties. Never have. Never will. I am a proponent of equality. Pay, opportunity, justice. To me it’s all circumstantial. Race, religion, color, gender, none of that matters to me. Everyone is equal. Once again, I DO NOT SYMPATHIZE WITH RADICAL HATE GROUPS.
Ok, now that I’ve made that clear. Let’s really dig into what is going on here, and what has me concerned.
Following the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, many of tech’s biggest players have taken action by swiftly banning groups and individuals considered to be aligned with white supremacy.
Apple cut off Apple Pay for 3 Nazi and white-nationalist apparel sites. Airbnb deactivated accounts and blocked Charlottesville bookings from individuals they believed to be hosting white supremacy gatherings. OkCupid permanently banned a prominent alt-right personality from their dating platform.
Add to the mix similar initiatives by Uber, Paypal, Spotify, GoFundMe, Google, MailChimp and GoDaddy, and we’re seeing a movement of tech companies becoming arbiters of morality.
A socially-conscious brotherhood
In the wake of a tumultuous, politically divisive year, companies have increasingly decided to take a strong stance, often working collectively to dispel subject matter they deem to be unsavory.
For instance, after Neo-Nazi site, The Daily Stormer, posted an inflammatory article, GoDaddy booted them from its servers. Several hours later, Google followed suit, issuing a temporary “Client Hold” which barred the site’s owner from moving the domain to another service. Subsequently, Facebook removed all links to the site, and web security provider, Cloudflare, terminated their service.
The collective effort virtually scrubbed The Daily Stormer from the clearnet, and they are now looking to subsist in the depths of the dark web.
But who watches the watchmen?
Despite widespread public condemnation of the hateful content promoted by such groups, I believe corporations now wield too much power over the parameters of free speech. AND YOU SHOULD TOO!
We as a people, and their consumers of product, should not give businesses this right. Because once you allow them to pick and choose reasons for not doing business with you, it will never stop. Who is to decide what is right or wrong? Not corporations! That’s for sure. History assures us of this. We have laws for that.
By allowing companies like Google, and GoDaddy to choose who they do business with gives me serious concerns about our future as a society. We can all agree that “hate speech” is wrong. But this is America. You can SAY WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT without repercussions. Once you take that away, our entire civil liberty is at stake.
As a business owner who hosts sites online, I am extremely worried about this specific freedom. What if one day, my hate towards PURPLE DINOSAURS comes to light at my hosting company. Then what? They have the right to shut me down? Because they don’t believe in my view. Oh, but it’s ok, because hating purple dinosaurs isn’t a big issue right? Not enough people care. I can’t hate the purples, but the greens are ok? Who the fuck is allowed to make that decision? Certainly not a business! Just service my damn account, and if the”terms of service” are breached, then they must be enforced, across the board. They simply cannot just pick and choose! I mean GoDaddy and Google hosted Natzi and KKK accounts for years before this rally, but as soon as it becomes a PR issue, they’re allowed to make social decision?
The Right Solution
Rather than continuing to harp on the issue, I want to leave this article with some positive thoughts on how I believe we should handle similar future events.
- Let The Protesters Protest – The moment we start telling people they can’t protest something is the moment we’re all fucked. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. If you don’t like it. Stay your ass at home. No one invited you to a rally. And if you really don’t like it, and think you can restrain yourself from punching some asshole in the face after he calls you a racial slur, then best of luck. The problem with the Charlottesville protesters was that the anti-protesters did not like what was being said, and they reacted. These NeoNatzi did not break any laws, (well maybe some of them, at times….). They got their permits and permission. Which is everyone’s right… They then stood around and chanted. Boooo hooooo… Let them do it. Just as we all have that same right to bitch about anything else…
- Identify The Culprits – Instead of standing around chanting back at the KKK protesters, people should have been actively taking photos of everyone attending. Posting them to social media. Letting the world know who these people were. I loved hearing the stories of these sympathizers getting fired. That’s the greatest solution. Those actions left an impact, making them question their allegiance. Let the market settle the score.
- Win With Love – I say this in hope of taking the same action myself. It’s easy to get upset at someone you don’t agree with. Someone who yells, or says racist thing. Trust me, I know. I get all sorts of pissed when someone talks shit to me. But when it comes to this matter, some people will just never let it go. People are entitled to their opinions, plain and simple. You can try to change it, but most often it won’t work, so let them be. Continue to do the right thing, hopefully majority prevails, I mean, that is how our democracy is setup to work isn’t it? Majority instills change. So if we focus on showing the love, promoting positive things, change, movements, then majority will prevail. Maybe not as fast as one would like, but man, that’s fucking history….
I hope that these companies taking sides on social issues is a short term thing. GoDaddy and Google may not be Natzi or KKK sympathizers, but I’m sure they screw people in their own right….GoDaddy more than Google…. Most companies do. And for them to pick sides is a slippery slope to walk on.
So the next time someone wants to jump on my case, about a statement I make, remember I’m fighting for the common man, for your voice, even if it differs than mine, for all voices. Because that’s important. Law and order must prevail above all. And people may not agree with me now, but when the government, and more companies, start taking a stance on what you can and cannot say, we’re in trouble as a society.