News & Politics

Remember When Defending Kevin Hart Was Good and Attacking Him Was Bad?

Kevin Hart arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Last month, in quick succession, actor/comedian Kevin Hart and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray both got in trouble for stuff they said years ago that somebody dug up to be angry about. We all watched as a bunch of white people harassed two black men for exercising their right to free speech. But those white people didn’t consider themselves racist, because they thought they were standing up for yet another marginalized group.

In the hierarchy of victimhood that now determines our daily discourse, a gay person is more of a victim than a black person and therefore has higher status. It can get pretty confusing: If a white guy says “You stink” to a black guy, that’s racist. That is, unless the black guy has ever said “You stink” to a gay guy, in which case the black guy is no longer protected from criticism. The white guy can say whatever he wants without needing to “stay in his lane” or “check his privilege,” because the black guy’s bad opinion has stripped away that layer of protection. And if the gay guy and the black guy both turn to the white guy and say “You stink,” it’s not bigoted in any way, because the white guy is the one with all the power.

Is it any wonder the Woke Brigade is so angry and miserable all the time? How is anybody supposed to keep track of all this crap?

Identity politics, intersectionality, political correctness, being an “ally,” whatever. It’s all insane nonsense, and it’s making everybody even dumber than they were to begin with.

But let’s get back to the important thing: Me. In response to this assault on Hart and Murray last month, I sent the following message on the popular social media platform Twitter Dot Com:

The idea being that no matter what you accomplish in life, whether it’s hosting the Oscars or winning the Heisman Trophy or anything else, you can still be humbled and humiliated for anything you’ve ever said online. Your achievements mean nothing. You’re just another piñata to hit (apologies to the Latino community). And if you’re a black man who has ever offended gay people, you’re on your own.

In response to this, one of those angry white guys started yelling at me, and I responded:

And then I really screwed up. Then I said this:

All that was a month ago. This morning, when I tried to access my Twitter account, this is what I saw:

That’s right. In my zeal to defend a couple of black men, I was suspended for sarcastically tweeting the phrase “Take down the black man.” Making a bigot live by his own rules was flagged as “hateful conduct.”

Now that I’m unsuspended (thanks to Amber Athey for the assist), I know better than to use the phrase “take down the black man,” even when I’m taunting a white guy for his zeal to take down a black man. Context doesn’t matter. An algorithm doesn’t even know what a conversation is, let alone how a particular phrase fits into it.

Yes, I’m just an obscure blogger whining about a Twitter suspension. But Twitter is the new public square. It can put somebody in the White House, and it can ruin people’s careers. It’s the forum Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses to “own the haters,” even when they haven’t hated on her. I don’t think this is a good thing for society, and I know my Twitter addiction isn’t good for me personally. But that’s the way it is in 2018 America. And in order to keep participating, you have to watch every single thing you say. You can be locked out at any moment, for any reason. What fun.

I get offended by stuff every single day, and I complain about it too much, but I’m not arrogant enough to think everybody else needs to work around my precious feelings. I think you should say what you want. I think Kyler Murray and Kevin Hart and Louis C.K. and Tiffany Haddish and everybody else should say what they want. If it offends somebody, that’s their problem.

Nobody is responsible for your emotional well-being but you. That’s the way it used to be, at least, but now that’s becoming the minority viewpoint.

Wait… am I still allowed to say “minority”?