Saturday, March 25, 2017

With the JonTron Debate, YouTuber Boogie2988 Just Doesn't Get It.

Let me preface this article with some words on Boogie2988, a face on the gaming side of YouTube that made himself somewhat popular with his "Francis" character. He tries to appear as a nice guy on both his YouTube channel and on Twitter. One of his defining characteristics is to keep a centrist approach and not enjoying conflict within the community. However, recent events have made Boogie look less than enlightened and almost opportunistic.

Recently, YouTuber JonTron said some very unsavory comments towards other races as well as immigrants in an online video. The text of some of his comments is written out here. Following that was a lot of fallout with his voice work in the upcoming game from Playtonic, Yooka-Laylee being taken out in response.

Boogie has said he didn't want to lose viewers by taking sides, yet he went ahead and not only made a video, but monetized the hell out of it. If someone wanted to stay out of something, then why put themselves directly into the storm? In doing so, he took the nice guy "both sides" approach as seen in this comment:
"Maybe I'll learn from them, maybe they'll from me, and we'll land somewhere in the middle. Wouldn't that be swell? Because the middle is a great place to be!"
This is a nice idea, but it doesn't work here. The middle ground is "a great place to be" works in a debate about choosing what movie you want to watch with your date at a movie theater. She wants to watch a romantic comedy. You want an action movie. Why not meet in the middle and watch an action comedy with some romance, then? That is indeed swell. ...Well, not if it's a matinee of Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, but I'm getting off track here.

But, really, what is the middle ground between "we should have an White-ethnocentric country" that JonTron uttered (yet in our post-truth world there's even those who disagree that that was even said) and "no, that's racism?" How does one get a middle ground between a viewpoint that's racist and one that condemns racism? Is the middle ground simply being "partly racist" then? That's still awful and shouldn't be condoned. It's essentially saying "Hey. Dude. Why don't you be a little less racist, huh?" And then the other side going, "Okay, other dude. Why don't you try to be a little less black, huh?" That's idiocy and it's intellectually dishonest and dangerous at best, as just because there's an argument it doesn't mean that there's needs to be a middle ground to move to.

But there's more. You can look at his Twitter feed for this gem.

Boogie uses so many intellectually dishonest arguments that it's simply maddening. For one, there's a difference between disagreeing with someone for their views like being a conservative or a liberal and disagreeing with someone for saying racist gems like saying the wealthiest blacks commit more crime than the poorest whites or thinking we should purify the gene pool. So yeah, that's not a good look right from the beginning, and it's a pure unequivocal comparison there.

Another, which is even more ridiculous, is comparing JonTron's views with Anita Sarkeesian's. Both, to Boogie, are "extreme views." Maybe in the gaming world where any time calls for inclusion are desired, many gamers go "get your politics out of my gaming!" But in the real world, both of these views are hardly extreme; only one is. Instead, it's a flimsy argument that JonTron and Sarkeesian's views should be compared as one argues FOR racist ideas and one argues AGAINST sexism. One advocates those that don't possess white genes are somehow inferior (JonTron) while the other advocates against norms in gaming media deemed harmful towards women (Sakeesian).

How is wanting less sexualized women in gaming extreme? How does that even compare to the dilution of the gene pool? What?! Where is the sense in this totally false equivalency?! In the real world, equality isn't an extreme idea, sort of showing how much Boogie here doesn't get it. He's stuck in his own world, like many who have grown up and stayed behind computer screens, and not in actual reality, and that's unfortunate!

People are very much allowed to share their views no matter how bigoted they are (like JonTron did). People are also very much allowed to share their views on defending these bigoted views (like Boogie currently is). However, the nice thing is that people are allowed to share their views on both whether it's positive or not. If people want to call out racism as bad, they're more than enough to do. They can also defend racism like Boogie is doing yet either is too naive to understand that or is just playing us all like fiddles.

You're certainly free to cower behind the victim card when your views of racism or your views not calling out racism are argued and debated. Feel free to say "woe is me", feel free to be "surprised" when your monetized video saying we should meet in the middle with racists isn't taken with all sunshine and happiness by everyone. In Boogie's reality or the one he divulges online, being in the middle with racists is rational. In the real world, not fighting racism and instead flippantly letting it slide is, in fact, being okay with racism. You deserve to have your ignorance argued against, and you can't just play the victim and wonder why you're under attack when you defend someone spouting pure bigotry. Though constantly playing the victim card in general gets annoying...

Boogie's right, though. We shouldn't try to ruin JonTron's career. Jon's own words and beliefs might do that himself. And why would we want to anyway? It's not like JonTron is a racist with harmful views (but they're just opinions, bro!) who has a whole slew of young, impressionable kids as his audience. What could possibly go wrong with JonTron's views being read and heard by the young'ins anyway?

Perhaps instead of saying "the middle" is the great place to be, Boogie saying "tolerance" could be the great place to be. he wouldn't be under fire such right now. He wouldn't seem to be a coward, afraid to upset one side of the argument or the other.

It's not about SJWs or liberals. It's also not about being politically correct unless we no longer think tolerance is just the decent, humane thing to have. Boogie continues to portray himself as a nice guy, and many of his followers share that view, but how can one be a nice guy and defend or at least try to normalize hatred and bigotry? Not only that, but when one has a sizable amount of followers (a reason I'm even talking about this subject to begin with), especially young and impressionable ones like JonTron and Boogie do, who listen to what that YouTuber says, if one legitimizes bigotry and racism, this rubs off to their followers. How can one possibly be okay with that and still think they're a nice guy?

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