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Discord—a massive communications platform geared toward gamers—has come out in full support of the far-left’s social justice campaign following the death of George Floyd. The company’s CEO, Jason Citron, shared a Medium post on Friday that laid out the company’s strategy in combating racism and hate on the platform.
Citron wrote that “all of us at Discord” were horrified by the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the “countless other Black people across America.” He added that he was “disgusted” by the police brutality that has been enacted against the protesters.
The issue from the start is that Citron does not substantiate these hyperbolic claims. The idea that there are literally countless murders against black people in the US in 2020 at the hands of police officers is not factually accurate. While the deaths of unarmed black Americans at the hands of police receive vastly more attention than those white unarmed person who die from altercations with police, there are not more of them.
There were a total of nine unarmed black people shot by police in 2019, while 20 unarmed white people were shot that same year. Nine is not "countless," and while any death should be mourned, for injustice to truly be addressed, the facts of police violence need to be honestly discussed, in full light of fact.
It would be hard to find anyone who disputes former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's flagrant guilt in the death of George Floyd. His horrific act of killing Floyd is indisputable. As such, and in light of the outcry from protestors in communities across the country, Chauvin and the other ex-officers involved in Floyd's death have been taken into custody and charged. Justice, from here on, must be allowed to follow the course of due process.
Police brutality is a fatal problem that needs to be prevented. Lawmakers from local levels up to the highest levels of federal government agree that widespread reforms are necessary. Congress is taking action to curb the trend of brutality, as are many city councils in our nation's biggest cities.
However, Discord's contention is not based in fact, reason, or logic, but is an emotional response to a problem that requires thoughtful solutions that will not leave communities in a state of lawlessness.
What we are hearing from the radical left, and from those who wish to court their favour, is the generalizing of whole groups of people, either by identity factors, or by profession, or by identity expression. These generalizations are, in the case of police, based on the actions of a few.
In the absence of officers, as protestors try to police themselves, there have been shootings and death within the Seattle autonomous zone, which raises the death toll of the protests, riots, and ongoing unrest to at least 18. This means at least twice as many lives have been taken by rioters than unarmed black men being shot by police in the entirety of 2019. Is it justice to take the lives of many to decry the death of one?
Discord's Citron continues by saying that racism is “baked into our institutions and way of life.” But these far-left talking points are made without substantiating those claims with anything concrete, which gives the impression that Citron hasn't thought these things through, but is instead repeating what he thinks his platform's users want to hear.
There are racist individuals of every race, color, and creed, and it's a problem that can only be solved through education and an understanding of the various factors that give rise to racial discrimination. But the idea of racism being baked into US institutions, and not a product of individuals' bias, is now being used to incite and justify violence against police and everyone else who gets caught in the crossfire.
The definition of racism is itself being changed to suit the narrative that everything in US culture, society, law, jurisprudence, politics, and education is racist. What this means in practice is that what racism is keeps shifting definitions.
And this is strategic. Racism is in the eye of the beholder. Michael Malice, in his book The New Right, draws out the many contradictory things that have been deemed racist by the media: “engaging with other cultures, not engaging with other cultures; noticing other races, not noticing other races; moving out of minority neighborhoods, moving into minority neighborhoods; repeating what a racist said, ignoring what a racist said; expecting people to show up on time; milk; brownies; picnics; peanut butter and jelly; barbecue; soul food; certain dinosaurs; crime surveillance videos; the Walt Disney statue; marble; believing in hard work; the term ‘marijuana’; automated soap dispensers; grammar; math; and ‘reason itself.’”
Citron added that “we have been monitoring our platform very closely to find and remove anyone seeking to use Discord to organize around violent extremism or disrupt protests.” Citron's next promise is also near verbatim from far-left talking point. He announced an affirmative action plan for Discord hiring.
To help with this, Citron announced that Discord would have a talk from Dr. Robin DiAngelo on the topic of her book White Fragility which would discuss why it is so hard for white people to talk about racism.
What is being missed is that it's not difficult to talk about racism so much as it is hard to navigate the treacherous waters of talking about racism when your view doesn't adhere to far-left talking points. If you wish to be anything other than a nodding head, it is hard to talk about racism because your view is immediately discounted as, well, racist. And as the definition morphs and changes and becomes nonsensical, it's hard for a person to keep up.
Disagreement is good. Debate is good. But these are not possible when one side is consistently shutting out the opposition’s voice and views on the matter. Discord doesn't care. The mere fact that being labeled a racist is enough to lose work, friends, or family means that while many may not agree with the new definitions and practices, they are unwilling to speak up lest they lose everything. Citron has just made Discord yet another platform where people who wish to oppose radical race theory are at risk of being deplatformed unless they give in, shut up, and nod along.