I had a rather interesting livestream this past Wednesday afternoon.
Yesterday, a piece over at The Mary Sue was run declaring Comicsgate and the “I Stand with Vic” (Mignogna) crowds are “alt-right”. Being the rabble rouser that I like to be on occasion, I wanted to do a lengthy livestream discussing the contents of the article. I even called it “Monetize the Lies” given that my channel on YouTube is monetized and there are quite a few lies within the so-called article. All in all, it was a fun little livestream where I got to discuss the ins and outs of why the article was so incorrect.
There were two key points that I made at the start of the show that needed to be considered, and I’m going to rehash them for you here.
Truthful claims still need citations or arguments.
Whenever you make a claim, the burden of proof is upon the person making the claim. One who makes the claim must present the reason for that claim happening. For example, you can’t say that people have wished death upon you without showing someone doing it. I’ll expand on that a little bit later. Another example is in the claim of the article itself. If someone was to call Richard Spencer or Vox Day “alt-right”, it would still behoove those making the claims to have something to back up their accusation. At that point, an accuser could simply point to the Spencer’s presence in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us” or the Vox Day’s support of Anders Breivik or things along those lines. Argument made.
Calling Richard C. Meyer or Ethan Van Sciver “alt-right” is something that also would need to be proven. For the sake of disclosure, I’m friendly with both men. Friendly enough to know that they’re not racists and none of their criticisms of modern comics have been racially charged. There’s insufficient proof in the article for such a claim to be validated as well.
Onward to the second point, which ties into the first.
2. If you use a defined term, a burden of proof is on you to back up the claim.
This is about the use of language. If the article had stated in its title “Conservative Creators go to war with Progressives” then you’d have a clickbait title, but one with some level of truth to it. Many creators in Comicsgate, myself included, are politically conservative. This by no means covers everyone though. To use the term “alt-right,” which has specific definition (someone who is a white nationalist or white separatist), means that you have to show the audience why that term applies. You have to show that people like Ethan Van Sciver or Richard C. Meyer believe that the “white race” is superior to all others and desire some sort of an ethnostate. During the course of the article, no such thing was ever proven. Not even a handy hyperlink to source their claims. The term was thrown around like it was the opposite of Tim Doyle’s waistline -- something with no weight.
From a recent Mary Sue article; “Start with Bounding Into Comics or Bleeding Fool, then blockchain all the followers to the core individuals mentioned in this article.” Let me point out the obvious here: a “news” site recommending readers block another “news site” is, well… /1
— Perch (@ComicPerch) August 29, 2019
This led me to an interesting moment in my stream (embedded below). During the course of it, Marzgurl (real name ‘Kaylyn Saucedo’, who like me was part of Channel Awesome at one point) admitted to calling on her twelve thousand plus followers to mass flag the video of YouTuber YellowFlash. She claimed that YF was spreading false information, but did not provide anything to counter his statements. Given the video in question was showing a Facebook group who was calling to photoshop photos of Vic Mignogna to make it look like he was groping girls, a debunking would need to be done.
It never came.
Again, if you’re going to make a claim that someone is a liar you have to provide evidence. Mass flagging someone’s video doesn’t show a concern for truth. Even YouTuber Projared (who I personally find morally appalling) took the time to make a video debunking some of the claims made about him. Saucedo has been a video producer longer than I have. It was within her power to do so. She chose censorship instead.
It was during this course of my livestream as I was outlining these issues that something happened. Someone in the chat became angry with me and effectively wished death upon me. If you jump to 1:11:11 I actually show it on the screen (knowing my mods would ban the offender and it wouldn’t show up in replays). Personally, I’m tickled by those types of statements. These folks don’t know where I live, and even if they did manage to dox me, I’d get the receipts of the action and take it straight to the police. The reason I don’t take them seriously is because these sorts of things happen all the time. Even going back to my time at Blistered Thumbs, I had a fellow colleague wish death upon me. These sorts of statements are generally nothing more someone lashing-out because they’re not adult enough to deal with someone saying something they disagree with or don’t like.
Which brings me to my final point. Many of the angry words and all-caps posts from angry people aren’t things that we should take seriously on either side of these debates. If someone like a Runfamous or a Kaylyn Saucedo took these statements as harassment or legitimate threats upon their lives, I hope they would call the police. These are the facts though. I’m not in danger by some weirdo in a live chat, and I’m not in danger from any goofball on social media either.
By the bye, I would encourage people who do think these are serious to call the police and inform them. I’d also encourage anyone who thinks their life may be threatened to learn how to use a firearm in case there is an emergency situation, not simply run block chains on the followers of competing geek culture websites. How petty and ridiculous can you be, Mary Sue?
To conclude, let’s not pretend that these people in the Mary Sue article were ever at any point in any danger or that the content within it this so called article is even valid. People like this are merely afraid of criticism, and pushback from those who don’t like to be called “racists,” “misogynists,” or alt-righters” without proof or facts.
You can still back Micah’s first comic, Englewood on Indiegogo!