The caricature of Milo Y.
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Milo Yiannopoulos finally had to pay the piper when statements he made on multiple occasions in support of young boys and adult males engaging in romantic relationships. The British professional provocateur officially resigned from his position of senior editor at Breitbart News Tuesday, Feb. 21 in a live press conference where he admitted he misspoke, and he let his own personal experience as a victim of child sex abuse become an excuse to speak carelessly.
Yiannopoulos stirred up headline after headline for speaking out on social topics and conservative issues. He is known for outlandish phrases such as: “Feminism is cancer,” “Stop being poor” and “Fat shaming works” and he markets most of these online at his merchandise store.
Yiannopoulos would constantly remark that he is the Kanye West of the political rhetoric sphere, and I agree. I always find Kanye’s music entertaining as much as it is outlandish. This outlandishness is all part of the act — and it sells. Even when Kanye seems to say or do something in the media that puts his personal character in a negative light, I still see people get excited for teased G.O.O.D. Fridays (Kanye’s free music giveaways).
Liberals and left leaning media outlets hate Yiannopoulos not only for his controversial catchphrases, but also his overt use of identity politics against them. Often claiming to be invincible, Yiannopoulos constantly reminded audiences that he is a Jewish, Catholic, gay man; he frequently boasts about choosing black men as partners, so as to discredit any claims to homophobia and racism.
Perhaps Yiannapoulos’s most controversial statements were about LGBT* issues. I believe he took the opportunity to say provocative things about LGBT* issues mostly for the sake of being identifiably “qualified” to say it, rather then for discussing policy differences. From Breitbart headlines on June 17, “Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet” to Dec. 11 “Dear straight people: I’m officially giving you permission to say gay, f—t and queer.” To what end do those assertions promote conservative ideals and the expansion of American citizens’ individual freedoms? I’d say none.
Yiannopoulos took his caricature to far extremes to further pander to social ideas that needn’t have been reinforced to argue against the liberal policies in consideration. One of the rather underplayed incidents of un-necessary liberal bating occurred on Yiannopoulos’s Snapchat account, which I witnessed myself.
In a late January Snapchat story post, Yiannopoulos shared a picture of a restaurant receipt for a $139.81 and wrote boldly, “No Tip Crew,” and on the bottom line wrote, “God hates f-gs sorry about it.”
According to KRQE Albuquerque channel 13 news, Yiannopoulos had stopped late at Buffalo Wild Wings after giving a talk at the University of New Mexico (UNM) on Friday, Jan. 27. The servers quickly went to management about the tip, and KRQE reported that someone from the group did leave a cash tip before leaving the establishment.
The heavily protested UNM event preceding that incident also had its own low point, when Yiannopoulos remarked: “You’re wearing a hijab in the United States of America what’s wrong with you,” to a protestor. Differences in ideology set aside, the comment does not embrace the First Amendment rights for which Yiannopoulos is always lauding America.
Yiannopolous’s defeat has not left him without support from other political commentators on the same anti political correctness spectrum of left and right. People have offered support without condoning any of the language used by Yiannopoulos leading to this resignation.
Baked Alaska, rapper and former manager to Yiannopolous, stated in a Feb. 10 tweet after the press resignation press conference, “I have defended Milo for standing up for free speech on many occasions. Today, I cannot defend Milo anymore.”
“I don’t agree with what Milo said, but I also don’t like to see a friend suffer,” continued Alaska in series of tweets. “Love or hate Milo; you can’t deny he had done good for our movement. He’s the one who first got me into politics and I am grateful for that.”
This brings me to a vital point — people do not need to support every single idea of a public figure or conversely reject them all.
The binary politicization of every area in life seeks to force people to choose constantly. Right or left? Support or protest? President Trump or #NotMyPresident? Yiannopoulos: fascist neo-Nazi or alt-right conservative? Some would claim those are one in the same, but I wouldn’t. The truth is not found in one side or the other, but in the spaces where the facts convene.
The facts are these: Yiannopoulos was a conservative journalist-turned-columnist, turned speaker, turned professional provocateur and mistakes were made along the way. If you’re interested in the progression of these things, watch his controversial interviews and more. Watch his earlier interviews before he dyed his hair bleach blonde. You still may find a man you disagree with, but you won’t find a progression to white nationalism or neo-Nazi ideas. You will find that pride comes before the fall.