Professional instigator Milo Yiannopoulos launched his "Gays for Trump" party last night near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland by stripping off a bulletproof vest to reveal a tank top depicting a rainbow colored machine gun. The t-shirt read "we shoot back."
His party also featured Trump surrogate and GOProud founder Chris Baron; anti-Islamic fundamentalist Pamela Geller (her opening joke: "A jihadi walks into a gay bar. What does he order? Shots for everyone"); and racist Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
The Washington Blade's Chris Johnson was at the event, and reported: "The estimated 500 attendees at the event, billed as the 'most fab party at the RNC,' were predominately young white men, many of whom were wearing "Make America Great Again" hats in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump."
While there, Yiannopoulos denounced Islan, the left, the media, and announced his plans to hold a Pride parade in a "Muslim ghetto" in Stockholm. The remarks are true to form for a man who designed a scholarship exclusivly for white male recipients, and who posted on Facebook that it should be legal to hunt men with greater than 20% body fat. ("But only with tranquilizer darts--I'm not a monster!")
But that event was not the most vile thing Ann Coulter's identical cousin did this week.
Others would have to tweet photos of the party for Yiannopoulos ("Milo" to his fans), because just shortly into the event Tuesday night, Twitter permanently banned the tweeter formerly known as @Nero for targeted abuse.
Yiannopoulos had been suspended from Twitter multiple times in the past (in 2015 for changing his profile to include a description of himself as Buzzfeed's "social justice editor," and in 2016 for criticizing Islam in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre). But each time he was reinstated after his fans cried foul--and they do that really well. But his time, the ban appears to be for good.
Yiannopoulos, a 32-year-old Greek-British tech editor for Breitbart.com, had just incited a wave of unbelievably disgusting racist and sexist messages on the Twitter account of Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live actor and comedian Leslie Jones, prompting her to quit Twitter. Her final tweet read: "I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie. A Twitter spokesman, describing Yiannopoulos' ban, said in a statement: "People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others."
In the event you haven't been lurking in Twitter's darkest, nastiest corners, a little explanation as to how Jones landed in the crosshairs of a Twitter mob may be in order. (But it's really gross. You've been warned.)
Sexist invectives have been running rampant on social media since the first announcements of the all-female cast of the Ghostbusters remake, now out in theaters--and Yiannopoulos was right there to capitalize on the misplaced rage of butt-hurt, basement-dwelling, misogynist, middle-aged fanboys.
Yiannopoulos, a critic of third wave feminism and Islam, and a self-described "free speech fundamentalist" and "dangerous faggot," has certainly earned his following among sexist and anti-feminist audiences, particularly as spokesman for the "alt-right" in the misogynist Gamergate movement. Gamergaters would rather women not play video games, or hear complaints about the rape and murder of female characters in games. When challenged, Gametgaters threaten, doxx, and abuse female gamers. In 2014, Yiannopoulos published the first of a number of pro-Gamergate columns titled "Feminist Bullies Are Tearing the Videogame Industry Apart," in which he described "An army of sociopathic feminist programmers and campaigners, abetted by achingly politically correct American tech bloggers... lying, bullying and manipulating their way around the internet for profit and attention." (Twitter faced criticism for it's handling of Gamergate, for not doing enough to stop the persecution of women gamers on the platform.) Fusion quotes Alex Baldwin, a 23-year-old former moderator of the Gamergate subreddit KotakuInAction, saying, "He's been the only journalist so far to give Gamergate any sort of credibility. Without Milo, it probably would have just fizzled out, in all honesty." So we can thank Yiannopoulos for that.
His review of Ghostbusters flagged the alt-right anti-feminists and anti-progressives, namechecking the reviled SJWs, or "social justice warriors": "Ghostbusters, the film acting as standard bearer for the social justice left, is full of female characters that are simply stand-ins for men plus a black character worthy of a minstrel show... Patty [played by Leslie Jones] is the worst of the lot. The actress is spectacularly unappealing, even relative to the rest of the odious cast. But it's her flat-as-a-pancake black stylings that ought to have irritated the SJWs. I don't get offended by such things, but they should."
In a statement following the ban, Yiannopoulos said: "I did nothing wrong. Twitter has suspended me without evidence of wrongdoing and without explanation while allowing the most appalling abuses to continue on its platform. This is political, plain and simple. Leslie Jones ain't afraid of no ghost--but evidently she's allergic to bad reviews."
It wasn't the reviews, Milo. Unless you mean these reviews:
Since Monday, many Twitter users have been expressing support for Jones using the hashtag #LoveforLeslieJ, including Ghostbusters director Paul Feig, and actors Reese Witherspoon and Sherri Shepherd.
Supporters of Yiannopoulos have kept #FreeMilo currently trending on Twitter. At yesterday's event, Yiannopoulos said, "What a humiliating end to a wonderful run. I thought it could at least be getting into a fight with somebody serious, but no--it was the tertiary star of a fucking terrible feminist flop." It's an unsurprising response from Yiannopoulos, and one that'll likely get him many more pageviews on Breitbart.com--and perhaps more speaking engagements.
It's all enough to make a person want to quit Twitter and never look back.
UPDATE: Jones appears to be back!