For those who don’t know of Hasan Piker, he’s considered one of the greats on Twitch, the live-streaming platform for gamers, commentators, and girls in bikinis. Piker is the nephew of Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, and as you can probably imagine, his ideological stance is so far left it drifts into ludicrousness.
But lo and behold, Piker has received a seven-day ban from Twitch for using the racial slur against white people, “cracker.” The issue apparently started when two of Piker’s mods were banned over the use of the term, causing Piker to get angry and double down on their behalf, and call a commenter a “dumb cracker b***h.”
This resulted in a temporary ban. A surprising move from Twitch given its definite leftist leanings, but a fair one to be sure.
This caused Piker to throw a temper tantrum on Twitter, further buckling down on word not being a big deal and retweeting one Twitter user who said that the outrage over “cracker” was just “fragile manchildren” who were “feigning outrage over nothing.”
The argument floating around is that while “cracker” is technically a slur against white people, it’s a slur directed toward a race that has never been oppressed in America and therefore shouldn’t matter. For all its faults, Twitch is holding strong to its terms of service which dictate that racial slurs just aren’t allowed.
Piker and his followers can get mad all they want but a slur is a slur, no matter how they justify its weight, but the point isn’t the slur it’s the racism behind them. It’s racism they say our society is trying to eliminate, and hurtful words directed toward another race from a place of prejudice are racism, no matter the melanin level.
What Piker and his followers are throwing fits about is that they’re not able to throw these slurs around at white people and that says more about them than it does anyone else.
But, this is where I’m going to seem like I’m countering my own point.
I think that short of actually encouraging violence, I think that banning people for saying racial slurs is kind of stupid. We’re all grown adults who can choose not to watch something or someone and if one of those reasons is that they use a word you don’t like then tune them out.
In the end, sticks and stones break bones, not words. Words tossed around with prejudice can be hurtful, but even they can be shrugged off and oftentimes dismissed as the ramblings of easily led people like Piker and his followers.
But, regardless, Twitch’s rules are that no slur can exist on their platform, and being the nephew of an established media figure with a large following doesn’t make you special enough to get away with throwing those slurs around.
But, then again, I wouldn’t expect much out of Piker in terms of introspection.