Gay Man Banned From Facebook For Saying “Faggot”

Man…  Things have gotten strange in this world…

It seems that a guy on Facebook has been banned for 30 days for using the word faggot.  That’s not really the interesting part, of course, otherwise it would be just another day on social media.  No, this dude was banned for using the word faggot and he just happens to be a gay man who literally identifies himself as a faggot.

That’s right, a man who’s taken ownership of a slur (much the way black people have taken over the word nigger to the point where they use it more than the terrified white people who won’t dare mutter it) is now banned from Facebook for using the slur he’s taking ownership of.  Of course, he’s outraged, and if you ask me he has every right to be because Facebook is being a bunch of jerks and, I hate to say it, he can turn to his nearest LGBT advocacy group and thank them for his ban.

For years, LGBT groups and advocates have sought out and aimed to destroy anyone who dared mutter the slur that this guy used.  If someone mutters it on TV, their career is over.  If someone says it in comedy, they get blackballed.  If it’s said by an athlete, there are calls for suspension and sensitivity training.  We have so turned words into a witch hunt that any utterance that might be considered out of line sets off a mental timer in the heads of the people who hear it before the inevitable and truly sincere “apology” hits.  Then sensitivity training, weeks of discussion, and occasionally even government intervention.  No, we can’t get enough of beating people down for using a word any more, so congratulations Mr. Sunderland, you’re simply living in an environment that you and your friends helped create.

We have a country that believes that words are as dangerous as actions, and for years we’ve simply allowed every aggrieved group to run roughshod over the mushy-brained scared to speak-up populace so when a touchy feely company that prides itself on nursing at the teet of political correctness and “diversity” decides you crossed a line, you’re done.  Most of the time it’s your enemy.  Sometimes?  It’s you.  And, much like when the offenderati rally around some hapless schmuck who said a mean word, there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it.

Sucks, doesn’t it?

This politically correct witch hunt nonsense is so pervasive, we don’t even bat an eye at it any more, so here’s an interesting story that started circulating this past weekend.  A Doctor who was spearheading the effort to curb a budding AIDS epidemic in Belize was called as a witness in a case before the Belize Supreme Court.  In his testimony, he discussed the medically indisputable fact that men who engage in sex with other men have the highest rate of HIV and AIDS amongst all demographic groups.  For his testimony, this pioneer in fighting AIDS was removed.  Their argument was that his statement supported the continued criminalization of male sodomy in Belize and that was inappropriate for his position.

Notice, he didn’t actually take a position on homosexual sex, he merely stated a medically verifiable fact, but since that medically verifiable fact was uncomfortable for people, he was removed and now the fight to curtail AIDS in Belize has suffered a major loss from a man who dedicated his life to it and while there have been protests, there’s no indication that Dr. Bain will be getting his job back any time soon.

The interesting part of this is that he didn’t use a slur, say something untoward, or even stretch facts.  The fact that HIV/AIDS is not an equal opportunity offender as far as diseases go is common knowledge.  In fact, according to this chart from the CDC, not only was Brendan Bain probably right, he’s one of very few in this world not allowing “being nice” to cloud reality.

PowerPoint Presentation

 

Yet Dr. Bain was fired for saying something people felt uncomfortable with, mainly because he dared to point out something we don’t want to hear.

That’s the kind of language and thought police witch hunting going on in society today and what Mr. Sunderland is going through is simply a side effect of the years of conditioning that when we’re uncomfortable with things we don’t want to hear we don’t react like adults and ignore it or simply counter it with more speech.  We go on a mission to get them fired, ostracized, and taken out of the public eye to the point where we casually ruin lives because “they deserve it.”  That kind of zero tolerance nonsense is what gets people removed from Facebook, taken off the radio, fired from television, voted out of office, withdrawn from elections and on and on and on.

Merely showing everyone the extent and depth to which the problem exists doesn’t solve it.  The only way to solve the problem is to confront it head-on and change our behavior.

We need to stop the witch hunts, speech policing and gotcha crap that has so permeated our discourse that we seek to destroy the lives of every person who disagrees with us.  As it stands right now, one “incorrect” phrase or slur can mean the end of a career and we need to stop allowing that to happen.

Secondly, we need to be adults, not spiteful children when people say things we don’t like.  Adults counter speech with more speech.  They don’t go after sponsors, political supporters, family members, careers, associates, or other relations as a means to get revenge on the person whose words we don’t like.

Thirdly, we need to accept that, like in the case of Brendan Bain, sometimes things don’t fit into our politically correct mindset and reality.  Sometimes there is a higher illegitimacy rate in the black community.  Sometimes AIDS does affect homosexual men or intravenous drug users more.  Sometimes women can be the aggressors in a sexual assault.  All of these things have, in one way or another, been stuffed back down the throats of people who said them because they didn’t feel comfortable saying such things.

Fourth, we need to defend people who say things we don’t like.  Not because they say things we agree with but because they have a right to say those things.  We have an obligation, as citizens in an ostensibly free country, to defend the rights of everyone to say what they want when they want and how they want, a right that Bill Maher recently called “the right to be an Asshole

Sunderland notes in his piece for Vice:

As my case illustrates, Facebook’s system for reporting and blocking users is deeply flawed. Facebook created their community standards to protect gays and other minority groups who are routinely censored, restricted, and rejected in the workplace and at school. Instead, we find ourselves looking over our shoulders as we type, worried that someone will misunderstand a word or a phrase and, instead of talking to us, report us to a ban-happy administrator. It turns out Facebook is another place we can’t be free.

The bolded part represents exactly the problem.  Facebook created a speech code because they believe that speech is dangerous and hurtful instead of allowing adults to self-regulate.  Ironically, that never got any attention and if you did dare to say that you thought they were being too strict with their speech rules, you were framed as a lunatic, a bigot, and so on.  It’s a shame that the only reason we’re even talking about it right now is that the system backfired and turned on those it was supposed to “protect.”

It should be noted, of course, that even after all this, Sunderland says that “I can understand why Facebook would block a heterosexual who said the word faggot.”

You would think that after all of this, he would’ve learned his lesson.  Back to the drawing board, I guess.


Header Image via Soumyadeep Paul on Flickr

 

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