“John Green, while death threats to Laci Green are bad, no arguing wtih that, Laci’s done a lot more negative things than casually use the word “tranny”. She has videos up about her islamophobia as well as several that border on fat shaming.”
I have a lot of messages like this.
1. We can’t have constructive conversations about how to talk with each in respectful ways when we threaten people, because then the threatened are forcibly removed from the conversation.
2. I’m not attempting to defend transphobia or fat-shaming or islamophobia or islamophilia or anything else. I’m just saying that we literally cannot have productive conversations when voices are silenced by threats. So you can not say to Laci, “Hey, I don’t think Islam is inherently misogynistic, because of A, B, and C,” because Laci is not here, because she is staying away from the Internet for fear that further participation in it will lead to her murder. That’s not a good way to change the discourse about islamophobia or anything else.
MARGINALIZED PEOPLE ARE ALREADY FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM CONVERSATION BECAUSE ADDRESSING SAID ISSUES IS ALREADY A RISK.
OPPRESSION IS A THREAT.
YOU ARE REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS, AND IT IS MAKING ME SAD THAT YOU CAN BE SO SMART BUT SO DAMN IGNORANT.
YOU ARE PART OF THE CONVERSATION. NOW WE ARE YELLING, THOUGH. I’M NOT SURE THIS IS THE BEST WAY FOR US TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER.
You’re right that marginalized people are consistently removed from conversations, but in fact on tumblr and on YouTube there are strong and vibrant communities who feel comfortable addressing issues related to gender and race and sexuality and a wide variety of other topics that are often considered taboo, which is why you and I are here, having this discussion in public.
I’m not denying the reality of privilege. I just don’t think death threats improve the quality of discourse, and I don’t think threatening or harassing or scaring anyone is ever okay.
If all someone does is throw bile, hate, and threats at a person in order to change their mind, it’s not going to actually change their mind. It’s going to continue to reinforce the negative stereotypes they’ve come to expect from that group. And that’s the opposite of what anyone really wants to happen.
We need to work together to overcome challenges, and in this case, accept when someone has made a mistake, apologized for their mistake, and tried to make amends for their mistakes. Not stalk and threaten a person with physical violence for a past mistake they’ve tried to make amends for.
Threatening a person doesn’t help them learn and change and accept others as individuals and others as cultures. It just keeps them scared and tells that person that they were right to hate and they were right to be scared.