“Alt-right” media troll Milo Yiannopoulos, a senior editor at Breitbart News got caught out advocating older men having sex with young boys, saying such relationships could be a “coming-of-age relationship … in which those older men help those younger boys discover who they are.”
Here is a clip of the conversation:
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) February 20, 2017
And there have, unsurprisingly, been consequences for that.
According to CPAC, Milo Yiannopoulos will not now be attending, saying “there is no disagreement among our attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children.”
You will remember the reaction of people at Berkeley to Yiannopoulos’ invitation and Trump’s reaction to that supposed attack on the First Amendment: he threatened to cut off federal funding for Berkeley.
Yiannopoulos likes to present himself as a provocateur but he didn’t mean to provoke this much, you can be certain. The problem is that he is not really apologetic.
What he posted to Facebook in response to the criticism he titled it “a note for idiots” and what he said was that he “deeply regret[s]” the way his comments were interpreted. Critically, he did not regret what he said.
“I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim. My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, ‘advocacy.’”
This is all too typical a right wing response to be forgiven.
And don’t expect Trump to make any threats against CPAC, or for him to acknowledge that perhaps Berkeley students were right about Yiannopoulos.
CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski made a pointed comment about the decision to dis-invite
about 16 hours between these tweets. Worth noting, the Milo video had been floating around for most of day when that tweet was sent. pic.twitter.com/f9w2Bevl6q
— andrew kaczynski 🤔 (@KFILE) February 20, 2017
Matt Schlapp is chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), the group that sponsors CPAC, and what he said before these revelations came out was that Milo was a champion of free speech:
“An epidemic of speech suppression has taken over college campuses. Milo has exposed their liberal thuggery and we think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective.”
He still is, in some respects. As Jack Jenkins of Think Progress observed,
For those keeping score, Milo’s comments on trans people, Jews, Muslims, women and others didn’t disqualify him.
CPAC bailed at pedophilia. https://t.co/C4nBhDamHe
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) February 20, 2017
Conservative critic of Trumpism Charlie Sykes agrees, calling this the “Milo Test”:
“Anti-Semitism, ok. Racism, ok. Alt Right, ok. Advocacy of pedophilia? Is THAT the bridge too far?”
It’s great that CPAC disinvited Yiannopoulos. They were certainly right to do that.
It’s just a shame that this act only exposes their greater hypocrisy. That they don’t have the same reaction to his attacks on, as these critics point out, anti-Semitism, racism, Muslims, and the “alt-right’s” neo-Nazism.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.