There is something relevant to The Discourse when it comes to Milo Y., A. Jones, and S. Chowder: they’re trash. Completely. They’re the Flat Earth Theory of political discussion. It’s not a crime against humanity when the American Astronomical Society neglects to invite even a single flat-Earther to one of its conferences; so, too, when media platforms relegate these clowns to the garbage bin.
Don’t give me the ‘both sides’ arguments either, even if you’re not a bigot yourself and mean well. These guys spout bigoted rhetoric. The other side to that is anti-bigotry. Are we going to act like we should have a neutral viewpoint about these opposing sides? Do we want to protect bigotry out of some misguided principles because we want to protect anti-bigotry and we think this accomplishes that? I don’t. I am perfectly willing to advocate for the platforming of anti-bigotry and the deplatforming of bigotry. I don’t think hate should be able to participate in shaping our societies. The further we push bigotry to the margins, the less influence bigots will have.
Or maybe this call to protect and platform bigots stems from the fear that if we crush bigotry today then someone will crush anti-bigotry in the future by employing the same tactics? The argument, then, is that we throw the targets of bigotry under the bus in the here and now purely out of the fear of some future threat, which logic suggests would not emerge. How, exactly, does it make sense that if we use all means at our disposal to eradicate bigotry today that bigots in the future will somehow use the structures we implemented to undermine anti-bigotry? Would crushing bigotry today not make it less likely that these threats emerge in the future? How will these future minds be incubated into bigotry in a world where bigotry has been pushed to the fringes instead of being platformed far and wide?
In fact, the opposite is true. The more we tolerate bigots in our spaces or on our airwaves, the more widespread and deeply rooted bigotry becomes. Can we expect these bigots to play by the rules of viewpoint neutrality that they try to use to hamstring us today? Absolutely not. Empowered bigots are among the most censorious people in the history of the world, because by censoring their critics they can carry out their acts of hatred unfettered. If we play nice with them today, they will thrive and grow and absolutely try to silence us tomorrow. I am under no illusion that they will adopt a live-and-let-live attitude, because that is in diametric opposition to bigotry. To believe otherwise is an act of pure faith, not reason. I could say that history has shown us this repeatedly, but in fact the present still shows it to us everyday.
So I say shut them down. They had their chance to not be trash and they missed it. I seriously do not care what they have to say or if they feel bad that decent human beings do not want to hear their tired, repeatedly-debunked arguments anymore. Pressure anyone who platforms them. Boycott anyone who monetizes them. Applaud anyone who exposes them. Laugh at them when they cry about being shown the door. Don’t pretend like you’re protecting the interests of the targets of bigotry by advocating for bigots in the name of free speech. You’re not. You’re just afraid.