Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Fall of Milo Yiannopoulos

Did you hear the news? One of the alt-right's worst trolls, Milo Yiannopoulos, is finally getting his comeuppance! For years he libeled people, gaslighted people, sent his fans to harass people on Twitter.

He ran a start-up called the Kernel from 2011 until 2013, and during his time as owner he was the subject of a lawsuit by several employees he allegedly refused to pay. In 2013, the blog closed down when Milo couldn't pay off his debts.

In 2014, he exploited the GamerGate movement in order to launch his defamation campaigns on various people he didn't like. He defamed Ian Miles Cheong, published a hit piece on Shanley Kane, and spread libel about Sarah Nyberg. He also libeled Shaun King, and wrote a disgusting article on the 2015 Umpqua Community College shootings:

In January of 2016, he lost his verification badge on his Twitter account. In July, he encouraged his followers to harass black actress Leslie Jones, which resulted in him being banned from Twitter entirely. He also ran an affirmative action grant called the "Privilege Grant" for young white men. $250,000 were raised through various live-streams and charities for this grant. The donations were routed through a company called Caligula Limited. The company was owned by Milo, and was dissolved in May of 2016. By August of that year, no one had received any money from Milo's grant, and it was discovered that he had wired it into his personal account at Silicon Valley Bank. Essentially, he scammed young men out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I already wrote about an incident where he outed a trans person at Milwaukee University for shits and giggles. At the time I said we needed to stop appeasing people like him and giving him platforms in our Universities. I didn't think it would ever end, but it seems like it finally will given the most recent scandal involving him. 

The interesting thing about this scandal is that it actually comes from thing he said on the Joe Rogan podcast back in 2015. In a discussion about the various molestation scandals involving Catholic priests, Milo described himself as a "very mature fourteen-year-old." Apparently, a priest molested him. But Milo didn't consider it molestation because he was "enthusiastic about it." He described his fourteen-year-old self as a "predator," "aggressively seeking out the sexual company of adults." A conservative organization calling itself the Reagan Battalion also uncovered a five minute clip from a podcast Milo did with the Drunken Peasants, dated January 4, 2016. During this clip, Milo accuses the Left of having an "arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent," that attraction to 13-year-olds is not "pedophilia" but "hebephilia." 

One hour into the video I've linked, Milo and the Drunken Peasants start talking about whether or not 13-year-old boys are ready for sex with adults or not. It goes on for what feels like an eternity and it's just super creepy. Milo thinks the definition of consent is "arbitrary and oppressive" because it "ignores the complexities of human relationships." Milo also claims that "particularly in the homosexual world," the relationships between older men and younger boys, "help those young boys discover who they are." 

Milo tries to explain that "pedophilia is not sexual attraction to someone who is 13-years-old who is sexually mature." That's not going to go over well with the rest of society. And it didn't, because Milo was disinvited from CPAC (he was going to be a featured speaker), and his book deal with Simon & Schuster was cancelled. When several Breitbart staff members threatened to resign if Milo wasn't fired, Milo decided to resign himself to spare himself the embarrassment of being fired from the position that brought him fame and notoriety. 

At first, I was euphoric after hearing the news. He's finally getting punished for all the bad things he's done. Then it occurred to me that he was really being punished for saying things that even the alt-right couldn't defend, not for his history of doxing, harassing, and gas-lighting vulnerable people in society. A lot has been written about Milo since this scandal broke out, and one such piece by Laurie Penny made me rethink a lot of my opinions on the man and the strange cult following he'd established over the years.

The piece is not really about Milo specifically, but about his fans and the alt-right in general. That will be the topic of my next blog post.

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