Even critics of Donald Trump aren’t being spared the fury of the thought police. Noted Trump critic Bishop Talbert Swan has found his Twitter account suspended because he used a racial slur. An interesting twist in Twitter’s latest silencing of those who are deemed to have violated the new speech codes is that the target this time is a black man.
For those keeping score at home, a white man named Jack Dorsey silenced a black man because the white man didn’t approve of the black man’s speech. And who are the racists? But I digress.
After he was encouraged to follow another Twitter user, Bishop Swan tweeted, “No thanks I’m on a no coon diet”
Other Twitter users took screenshots of the tweet and began reporting Swan for violating Twitter’s rules. It didn’t take long before Swan received a notice from Twitter telling him, “Your account has been suspended and will not be restored because it was found to be violating Twitter’s Terms of Service, specifically the Twitter Rules against hateful conduct.”
Religion News Service explains:
Swan, who said he had more than 70,000 followers, suspects the specific cause of the suspension is his use of the word “coon,” a term the website etymonline.com says is sometimes used as an insult about a black person. The word in this sense stems from the word “barracoon” and is based on the Portuguese word “barraca” that refers to an enclosure for slaves who were transported in West Africa, Cuba and Brazil.
But Swan says the meaning of the word depends on the context.
“I think Twitter needs to be educated culturally to understand that when black people use that term they mean it in the context of someone who’s African-American that they consider to be a traitor or a sellout or someone who is speaking or doing things that is not in the best interest of the African-American community,” he said. “And, in my instance, those who parrot alt-right, racist ideology.”
Regardless of the validity of Bishop Swan’s thoughts and opinions on the appropriateness of using the word, I think that Twitter should stop policing people’s speech. Sure, it’s a private company, and technically they have the right to do so. But, combined with other social media giants’ crackdowns on speech deemed hateful, the larger principle of freedom of expression is being upended.
What makes Bishop Swan’s Twitter suspension even more frustrating is that many of those who reported him profess to be conservative. Whether a person claims to be a Democrat or a Republican, being a member of the thought police is not only childish but is detrimental to the freedoms we have left.
Professing conservatives who call for the censorship of others are demonstrating that they are really just leftists in disguise.