March 24th, 2017

Hermione not amused

Words hurt

Having an argument with someone on Quora about PewDiePie being booted from YouTube for his disgusting racist jokes, and they said something that I am going to repeat here, along with my response.

Them: Humour is humour, jokes mean nothing.

Me: If you really believe that, you are an idiot.

Them: I'm a firm believer of. “Words mean nothing.” why trivialise something so… intangible and dumb? They are so subjective that does it really matter?

Me: Clearly you were never bullied growing up, nor experienced any kind of verbal abuse from anyone. Words mean things; if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be words. And words can hurt. Words can leave scars that never fade, deep emotional scars. Words can even kill; people can be bullied so badly, even with “just” words that they commit suicide. And slurs and racist/oppressive words have hundreds or even thousands of years of pain and hatred and death behind them. When you joke about something like “kill all Jews,” you’re declaring to the world that you’re siding with a very long history of pain and death. Whether you mean to or not, you are hurting people with words like that. Trivializing those words trivializes the pain they cause. You might as well be pointing and laughing at someone as they’re being beaten bloody by a dozen people at once when you say shit like “words mean nothing” or “it’s just a joke.”

If you can say “words mean nothing” with a straight face, you’re either really stupid or you’re emotionally/verbally abusive yourself. If the former, that’s sad and I’m not in the mood to waste further time trying to educate you. If the latter, I want nothing to do with you ever again for what I feel should be obvious reasons, given what I’ve already said.

This was cross-posted from
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