Leslie Jones: Victimized by Hate

To hate someone because they are a different race or sex shows a serious inability to find noteworthy value in yourself. But you don’t have to like people. You are entitled to be a racist, misogynistic asshole if you want to be. But to intentionally target, publicly demean and orchestrate a conduct of aggravated hate against an individual is not freedom of speech, it is not a freedom of expression. Saying you do not like Black people or you think women should stay in the kitchen, that is freedom of speech.  But to, without merit,  attack an individual as if they are subhuman and orchestrate a mass of attacks against that individual, is not freedom of speech. It is harassment. If anyone is subhuman, it is the people taking part in this type of attack because they have failed to evolve. People who harass others based on broad generalities, such as race, sex, sexual identity, religion, etc.,  suffer from an extreme inferiority complex, where the only way they can feel value in themselves is by labeling others as worthless. Leslie Jones did nothing wrong. Her only crime for these hateful people is that she is a successful black woman. So, while you have the right to be as big a bigot as you want, you do not have the right to attack innocent people who have done nothing to you. If you take part in this kind of hate, you are a disgusting excuse for a human being.
Some research into Jones’ life and career suggest nothing to make her a specific target for hate. She was born to a military family which moved frequently, as military families often do, before settling in California. She played basketball in High School and College and, like so many other people, had difficulty deciding what she wanted to do with her life. Her aspirations varied from becoming an attorney to playing professional basketball overseas. According to her Wikipedia page she became a comedian after a friend entered her in a college campus contest. She left college to pursue a career in comedy. Jones’ success came from many years of hard work and refusing to give up. She was not spoon fed success. She earned it.
There is no indication that she has ever been the center of activism, just someone who enjoys making people laugh. So why attack her?
Milo Yiannopoulos, a Conservative Blogger, brought a hailstorm of hate against Leslie Jones on the popular social media outlet, Twitter.  He was banned from the site for his activity. Milo believes his freedom of speech is being violated by the ban. His initial comments were based in a review of Jones’ new movie remake of Ghostbusters. While he would have been perfectly within Twitter policies and decorum to give the movie a poor review and even criticize Jones’ acting or role in the movie, even appropriate casting, Milo took it a step further to blast her with racist remarks. He attacked her not because of her ability, but because she is a black woman. It is reported that he allegedly orchestrated encouraging his fan base to bombard Leslie Jones with hate tweets for her audacity to not be ashamed of being black and successful. More successful than the conservative blogger.  I had literally never heard of him until today. I had heard of Breitbart, but not Milo, in particular.
So, here is a question, does your freedom of speech give you the right to harass people or orchestrate and encourage the harassment of someone? Does it allow you to hate target individuals for the crime of being a particular race, sex or for merely existing?  Is it freedom of speech when you single one person out to continuously fling hatred at?
Or, we can even go further, Twitter is a company used by people all around the world. What does that have to do with your first amendment right to spew hatred and bigotry? He is welcome to say whatever he likes on his personal blog, on his own website or on someone else’s site which doesn’t have a problem with his radical racism. But does that mean he has the right to go to the website of another company and violate its user agreements to use it to harass and belittle someone? No.  that is not protected. Just like if he came here to my blog site and spewed a hateful message, I have the right to delete it. I have the right to block him from making comments because, guess what, this is my space. Not his. I paid for this site so I can control its contents. This is my freedom of speech. Since he is a blogger, he should be quite familiar with that concept.
I am sure that Leslie Jones will survive. She is a survivor and a fighter with far more poise than most would have shown in her shoes. She is not a political activist, just a woman enjoying success at a career she worked long and hard to attain. If you happen to be among those taking part in the horrible, racist and misogynistic harassment levied against her, then you are the ugly person who failed to evolve from being a simple minded animal. Oh, and Milo, you can enjoy your fame as he-who-would-be-king of the bigots and racists, but you may have to fire the reality star currently standing on that dais.
It is so sad that people think we are supposed to just accept this type of brutality as if it is a protected right. It is even more discouraging to see how common it is becoming to hear hatred rattled off in public.
Leslie may not be a political activist, but I am. So I will say the obvious thing that sane people have been noticing. The Trump campaign has lifted a curtain. It has exposed and empowered racism and misogyny (along with many other realms of hatred) in our country. Many of us knew it still existed.  Many of us have experienced one or more instances in the course of our lives and careers. But the true extent of hatred  still coursing through the veins of our nation is appalling. People have begun rebelling against “political correctness.” But what they are terming as politically correct is not. Political correctness is calling someone vertically challenged instead of short. They are not challenging political correctness by spewing hate speech. They are challenging courtesy, polite interaction, respect and freedom. They are pissed off their white or male, or heterosexual, or white male heterosexual evangelical privilege didn’t give them more and see other races, religions, lifestyles, orientations and/or genders as inferior and less deserving of success. Basically, once again, they can’t find value in themselves and their achievements without disparaging others. They feel powerless without someone to control, someone inferior, someone to point to and say, “I’m better than you.”
Well, now you are exposed. You aren’t hiding behind political correctness.  What will you do if Trump doesn’t win in November? Do you think you will fall back into obscurity and no one will recall your racist rants? What will you do when the movement to Make America Hate Again is over and your opinions aren’t being perpetuated or legitimized by a major political party? Do you think we won’t remember you? We will. And your claim to fame, your lasting impression on this planet will not be your good works and contributions, but your eagerness to incite hate and the simplicity of your basic, primitive instinct to reject and fear anything unlike you; your inability to evolve from an animal into a thinking being capable of reason and self control.  That is racism. That is misogyny. That is bigotry. That is homophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitic and all those labels we give to hate. These haters are throwbacks to primitive instincts of huddling together, afraid of anything different from themselves because they don’t understand it. They live in perpetual fear. They are failures in human evolution, incapable of basic reasoning skills.
To Leslie Jones: Sorry, I have not actually seen the new Ghostbusters, so I can’t comment on your performance in the movie. However, I can say that I admire your work ethic and dedication. Everyone faces jerks in life and it sucks. I believe you handled yourself well and I can respect stepping back from social media so you can breathe. Don’t let people harass you, in addition, for making that decision. You did not ask to be shoved into a racial twitter war. I appreciate that you called them out on their actions but I also appreciate that when it became too much, you said no more and stepped away. I wish you the very best and continued success.
We are One Woman, One World.

Published by


Ann Lavendar is an author of Children's books, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction. She lives in Southern California with her family and fur babies and enjoys the mountain views from her writing habitat. She is a Texas Tech Alumni. Guns up! Ann has worked in the industry more than two decades with publications in magazines, newspapers, and textbooks world wide and multiple books available in print and eBook formats. She organized youth writing programs and conferences in West Texas and was the third director of the Write Right Critique Group, located in Lubbock, Texas, an organization recognized by and featured in Writers' Digest. She has also worked as an editor, including presently with LeeLoo Publishing. She has been the Literacy Day featured author for Sam's Club and Walmart and has been an invited speaker and taught workshops at multiple writers' conventions. Ann taught creative writing for adults as part of the community outreach program. Check out her work day blog Daily Write! right here on goodreads! Ann Lavendar also is an avid supporter of equal and civil rights, pushing awareness, calls to action, and encouraging legislative development in the United States and abroad. Her blog, Lavendar Thoughts, tackles issues which have direct impact on the progress of civil and human rights. She believes every person has the right to grow to their full and best potential.

Comments are closed.