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Weighing in on a controversial book deal

by Ben Fraser January 17, 2017
Weighing in on a controversial book deal

Conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos gets major publishing deal

Outspoken media figure Milo Yiannopoulos has once again found himself at the center of a controversy, as he signed a lucrative publishing deal.

Yiannopoulos is a right-wing journalist for Breitbart News. According to several sources, including the Los Angeles Times and The Guardian, he signed a new book deal with Threshold, a conservative subsidiary of the Simon & Schuster publishing house, worth a reported $250,000 USD.

Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter a few months prior for allegedly harassing Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones, tweeting that she was “barely literate,” and should tolerate the racist online abuse she was enduring at the time.

He has said many things that are considered offensive; has openly criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and has voiced his utter distaste for feminism. While I personally don’t agree with everything Yiannopoulos says, I do admire his gall and his confidence to stand up for what he believes in.

I myself tend to lean right and, in this day and age, being a conservative is often viewed in a negative light.

Especially in a time of political correctness, it’s difficult to have an open and honest discussion without being silenced for stating our own thoughts.

I applaud the publishing house Simon & Schuster for standing up for free speech, standing by Milo Yiannopoulos and giving a conservative a platform to voice his opinions.

As for the Twitter ban, it seems the conservatives are the only targets. For example, Laci Green, a notable feminist, tweeted “We are now under total Republican rule. Textbook fascism. Fuck you, white America. Fuck you, you racist, misogynist pieces of shit,” after Donald Trump won the presidency. Sounds pretty hateful to me, so why isn’t Lacy Green banned from social media?

Let’s turn our attention MTV now. The channel recently produced a video called “2017 Resolutions for White Guys” that targeted white men and explained how they can “improve” in the new year. The video was later deleted by MTV, but it was one of the most offensive videos I have ever seen. Yet, this is seen as okay because of political correctness—because if you’re white, it’s fair game. Can you imagine what would happen if I, a white male, made a video called “2017 Resolutions for Black Guys”?

Free speech is a symbol of Western values—values that millions have died protecting. It disappoints me that we forget how the world was nearly destroyed when we fought against fascism and the silencing of free speech in Germany, Italy and Japan more than 70 years ago.

Political correctness is killing us. It kills our society and it prevents the free flow of ideas. It needs to stop and it needs to stop now. English crime writer Phyllis Dorothy James put it best: “I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.”

Yiannopoulos is a character, that much is true. And as a person who enjoys political discourse, and discourse in general, I will be buying his book when it comes out in March. Free speech can never be silenced. As political commentator Ben Shapiro said, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”

Graphic by Florence Yee

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