Society

Hate Speech Apologists (HSAs)

If you search YouTube for “SJW”, you’ll find a seemingly infinite number of videos with titles like:

  • “SJW TRIGGERED – SJW CELEBRITIES GOT OWNED”
  • “SJW SNOWFLAKES ARRESTED – SJWS OWNED #62”
  • “Comedian DESTROYS 3 SJWS with facts and logic”

SJW stands for Social Justice Warrior and is a pejorative term for someone who fights for the principles of human equality and solidarity. Online conservatives like to make videos and memes using BOLD titles and declarations of OWNING people with differing political views.

(Sidenote: If I were to point out that the verb “own” when used towards other people can mean both to metaphorical have a superior opinion, and to physically have a person as property (e.g. slavery), I would likely be called an SJW. Conservatives would say I’m just “pretending” to care about people of colour. However, that accusation would need to ignore the issue of racist dog whistles and the fact that people love flying the Confederate flag.)

What these Youtube videos are trying to do is invalidate Leftist arguments for human equality and solidarity, arguments like racial and gender equity, or LGBT rights. If these same people were around in the 1960s, they would be mocking MLK as a SJW, even though he literally was assassinated for fighting (warrior) for racial justice (social justice).

Where does this animosity come from?

Conservatives, especially straight white men, don’t like to be told that the world in unequal and that they might be part of the problem. They don’t want to entertain counterarguments against sexism and racism. Instead they like to attack leftists as SJWs.

What they’re really doing is shielding the powerful from accountability.

Conservatives like Ben Shapiro are notorious for supposedly “OWNING SJWs” and have a large fan base that are told that “facts don’t care about your feelings”. As if conservatives don’t appeal to emotions:

Ben likes to defend the powerful (Israel) and stereotype the oppressed (Palestinians).

Anti-SJW conservatives can be as emotional as leftists. Unlike SJWs who are angry at unfair systems, conservatives expel emotional anger when their privilege is challenged. When a conservative says something racist, or sexist, or homophobic, they don’t want to defend their opinion, they want to attack.

So, I’d like to give conservatives their own three-letter label: Hate Speech Apologists, or HSAs.

An apologist is someone who “offers an argument in defence of something controversial.” So, a HSA is someone who makes arguments in defence of hate speech. See: sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, etc.

Despite conservatives crying about censorship and the media limiting their free speech, they seem to have a lot of media platforms available. Even when Donald Trump was kicked off of Twitter for inciting an insurrection, he was always able to hold a press briefing at home, in the White House, but chose not to.

There are two types of Hate Speech Apologists: the professionals and the amateurs.

The professionals are found in government and in various forms of media — print, TV, and online. Sometimes, they’re both., like Boris Johnson who gets to be Prime Minister and a newspaper contributor at the same time, somehow.

Words have consequences, unless you’re a conservative.

Professional HSAs are allowed to spew hate because it distracts people from the monopolization of media that’s happening behind the curtain.

In 1950, 90% of American media was owned by 50 companies. Now, it’s owned by 6!

These companies have censored leftist voices for decades. Whenever they support progressive causes, it’s because it’s good for business.

Fans of Ben Shapiro and Boris Johnston then become amateur HSAs. They counter-protest Black Lives Matter, saying that “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter” as if those are rebuttals. They make videos on YouTube that take discussions out of context so that they can “OWN” leftists.

Powerful people have always done this: silence their opponents. And one trick they often use is DARVO.

Conservatives DENY that their comments are racist or sexist. Then then ATTACK and shout about SJWs. Lastly, they REVERSE VICTIM and OFFENDER roles.

As we’ve seen with the recent conservative attacks on social media. Free market conservatives seem to really hate private business when it turns off their accounts. When they write hate speech, they deny that is was hateful, attack the platform, and claim to be the real victim.

Whenever two sides debate an issue, we need to question what their motives are. When one side is fighting for civil rights, while the other side is proudly waving a Confederate flag, I think we know which side has the stronger argument.

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Society

The Pitiful

I feel pity for the hateful. How sad must your life be to derive satisfaction from hating other people.

UX design and empathy: are we doing it right? | by Elizabeth Alli | UX  Collective

How pathetic must your god be to hide behind him when you hate homosexuals?

How little self-worth must you have to not be able to agree that black lives matter, unconditionally?

How heart-breaking must it be to be in a relationship with someone who see your gender as less than theirs? And then agree with their evaluation of your worthlessness!

As someone who tries to empathise with (or at least understand) the plight of others, I am starting to feel sad for those tortured souls who hate everything that they are not:

  • The whites who hate people of colour.
  • The straights (and closeted gays) who are homophobic.
  • The misogynistic men and women who are afraid to see women’s equality.
  • And new to 2020, the anti-maskers who won’t listen to public health concerns.

In recent years, videos abound of conservatives filled with rage spewing hateful words (and sometimes premeditated violence) on people who aren’t straight white men and overt Christians.

Spitting-mad Trump supporters are not going away - Macleans.ca
What 2020 looked like.

I truly believe the first emotion we need to feel for these people is PITY. We should pity their inability to feel compassion to their neighbours and become most Christlike. We should pity their inability to love their own children who come out of the closet; they will ultimately regret their homophobia but internalize it. We should pity their fear of a woman or person of colour rising to any position of power.

How do we solve this problem? How do we make our fellow humans whole?

First, and foremost, by showing love to our fellow (broken) humans. We can’t solve hate through our own hate. We must show compassion.

We then need to listen to one another. I believe that all the hate felt by poor whites has more to do with their ‘poor-ness’ than their ‘white-ness’. The ruling class does not want the majority–white and black, men and women, straight and gay–to solve poverty in all it’s forms: economic poverty, housing poverty, healthcare poverty, educational poverty, etc. The ruling class want to divide and conquer; they have been doing an amazing job so far.

This isn’t about ‘identity politics’. It’s about power, especially economic and political power. Elites–politicians, capitalists–distract people by making issues about identity, so that we don’t see when they have their hands in our pockets. They want us to fight each other, so that we don’t fight together against THEM. Together, we are the most powerful thing there is and we can do anything. Apart, we will never reach our potential.

We must fight together, all people, towards liberty and justice for all.

LOCASH - “DARKNESS cannot drive out DARKNESS; only LIGHT... | Facebook

Solidarity forever.

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Podcasts, Society

Podcast Picks 2018

Another year of great podcasts!

Below are a dozen new podcasts I’ve enjoyed in 2018, split equally into three common themes. Some podcasts have an open-ended structure, while others take on a single issue. I found that each podcast helped me to understand our complex world a bit better.

For more suggestions, check out my podcasts lists for 2016 and 2017.

Power Corrupts

These four podcasts show how corruption across political, economic and cultural spheres of society and, mostly, in the hands of powerful men can have tremendously bad outcomes for the rest of us.

  • Swindled from “A Concerned Citizen”
    • A true-crime podcast (and my favourite of the year) about white-collar criminals, con artists, and corporate evil. Dow Chemical, McDonald’s and Nestlé each have their part to play. From costly to deadly, Swindled puts these culprits on notice.
  • Bikram from Julia Lowrie Henderson of ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcasts
    • This five-part series explores Bikram Choudhury’s fitness revolution, how it brought a yoga boom to America and how his guru status enabled increasingly dark behavior. No one should have all that power!
  • Slow Burn from Leon Neyfakh of Slate
    • A historic podcast that focuses on the neglected aspects of well known events. Nobody knew how Watergate was going to end. The first season of Slow Burn tells the story of what it felt like to watch a president fall.
  • Trump, Inc. from WNYC and ProPublica
    • Who’s profiting from the Trump administration and at what cost? This is the question at the heart of this ongoing investigative series, which looks at Trump’s business connections and the grey areas that his family deals in.

 

(Y)our Fanatics

These four podcasts—each a single series—look at two aspects of religious extremists: Middle Eastern and American. Together, they make us question the propaganda receive and the framing of Us vs Them.

  • Caliphate from Rukmini Callimachi of The New York Times
    • From recruiting fighters to paying the bills to when the fighting stops, each of the ten episodes helps explain the rise of the Islamic State and the challenges that lay ahead for the fighters coming from around the globe. Stunning investigative journalism!
  • The Assassination from Owen Bennett Jones of the BBC
    • A ten-part investigation into the death of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. This series asks: what role did Pakistan’s government and intelligence service have in Bhutto’s death at the hand of a suicide bomber?
  • Bundyville from Leah Sottile of Oregon Public Broadcasting
    • A seven-part series chronicling the rise, fall and resurgence of the Bundy family, who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016 to assert their belief that the federal government shouldn’t control any land, undergirded by radical Mormon mythology.
  • Standoff from Ruth Graham of Slate
    • Graham explores the tragedy of Ruby Ridge—when hundreds of armed federal agents surrounded a family of white separatists in 1992, leaving three people dead—that’s become a foundational myth for the modern right, and finds some frightening lessons about power and paranoia.

 

Regular Reflections

These final four podcasts try to understand modern society and current events by examining how we got us to this point.

  • Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan of The Intercept
    • Hasan unpacks the most consequential news event of the week, while challenging the mainstream media’s tired takes. Focusing largely on American and global politics, Hasan challenges narratives from both the Left and the Right.
  • Anthropocene Reviewed with Josh Green from WNYC Studios
    • Eleven episodes and counting! Each month, Green rates two facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale. Cholera rates low (★) while Halley’s Comet rates high (★★★★★). Canada Geese are a bit more complicated and rate somewhere in between.
  • The Foreign Desk with ​Andrew Mueller of Monocle 24
    • The Foreign Desk is a global-affairs show, featuring​ guests ​and in-depth analysis of the big issues of the week, such as the ongoing war in Yemen and the recent election in Brazil. Their 5-minute Explainers are also a great way to get caught up on global news.
  • Alberta Advantage
    • Finally, something closer to home—a podcast about the past and present situation in Alberta, Canada. From Alberta’s farms to its big cities, Alberta Advantage provides commentary and analysis on local and provincial politics from a left perspective.
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Self, Society

My Political, Economic and Religious Self-Education

“The general population doesn’t know what’s happening. And it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.” -Noam Chomsky


Unknown Unknowns

My politicization began roughly a decade ago and has steadily developed since then. When I moved from rural Alberta to Edmonton, I knew little to nothing about the world and how it operated. I didn’t have a political affiliation and was clueless about the fundamental differences between the Conservative and Liberal parties, whether federal or provincial. To complicate the matter, Canadian politics consists of three levels of jurisdiction: Continue reading

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Documentaries, Self, Society

Who’s Infringing Upon Men’s Rights?

My target audience for this blog post is men. I share my thoughts and questions so that other men can question their role in society and how to create a better world. For far too long, women have spoken out. It’s time for men to listen and act.

As a white man, I live a privileged life. I grew up without the fear of being persecuted for my gender or race. Society in Western counties (such as Canada, where I’m from) is shaped around white supremacy and male supremacy.

If you look at the people in power–politicians, judges, religious leaders, CEOs–you find that they are almost exclusively white and male. They look like me more than they look like you (if you’re a gender other than male and/or a person of color). Why is this? Continue reading

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