March 3, 2017
By Jacqueline Souza
Earlier this week, Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from his position as the editor of Breitbart News after a series of horrific comments regarding statutory rape and pedophilia. Yiannopoulos, an outspoken and self-righteous neo-Nazi, has a painfully long history of deceitful, inflammatory comments. His most recent remarks seemed to be the final straw for many; he was uninvited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 23rd and had the release of his upcoming book, Dangerous, cancelled by publisher Simon & Schuster.
Yiannopoulos has finally faced some tough repercussions for his most recent comments, and rightfully so; but why now? For years, Yiannopoulos has condemned Muslims, members of the LGBTQIA community, women, and people of color in order to appeal to his substantial online following. Many have turned a blind eye to his derogatory and offensive outcries, perhaps hoping that his voice will fade into the background. Perhaps we’ve collectively reached a breaking point with Yiannopoulos, but why now? Why wasn’t his racism the final straw? His sexism? His homophobia?
Unfortunately, he isn’t going anywhere. In the recent months, we have been inundated with Trump’s derogatory and offensive statements. More often than not, he gets a pass, and is never made to apologize or retract his statements. After all, he’s “just speaking his mind,” or just “says what everyone else is thinking.” If this kind of behavior is exhibited time and time again by our own president, trashy “journalists” like Milo Yiannopoulos will never be held accountable; as a people, we need to hold ourselves accountable and call out prejudice and discrimination when we see it. We cannot be bystanders.
Click here to learn more about Yiannopoulos’s past controversies and here to read about the incident.
Jacqueline Souza is an intern for New People and also studies sociology and journalism at the University of Pittsburgh. She is interested in racial justice, social movements, and U.S. politics.