We told you! You didn’t believe us but we told you!

Here, at long last, is proof sufficient to most systems of jurisprudence that I am not PZ’s alter ego.

It’s the video from the #FtBCON panel Science, Skepticism, and Environmental Activism, held Saturday evening California time, also featuring Madhu Katti and Jennifer Campbell-Smith, my colleagues from the Coyot.es Network. The panel also featured Piasa the European starling.

Reddit kills free speech again

Reddit finally took action and shut down an incredibly racist forum. How racist? It was called “r/niggers”.

As the offensive name implies, r/niggers was a place for users to bond over their disdain for black people. While Reddit itself boasts 69.9 million monthly users, r/niggers had only 6,000 members. On the other hand, on a percentage basis, it was one of Reddit’s fastest growing online communities this year.

Visiting r/niggers was a mental chore. Emblazoned with icons like watermelons and fried chicken legs, the site maintained a rotating roster of photographs of whites who have presumably been the victims of violence by blacks, as if no white person has ever committed a violent crime. Most of the community’s content was about what you’d expect: news stories about crimes committed by blacks, pseudoscience about black inferiority, and personal anecdotes about troublesome interactions with black people.

But it wasn’t just some dead eddy, a backwater full of inbred ignorant haters slapping each other on the back and telling each other how smart they were to hate black people — no, they proudly intruded on other groups, especially groups frequented by people of the color they hated, to spew out slurs and ignorance. They remind me of a certain other group that will be doing their damnedest to intrude on FtBCON this weekend (and are already dumping crap on the twitter feed).

They also remind me of that group by another attribute: the fetishization of free speech.

Much like posters on r/creepshots and r/jailbait before it, r/niggers subscribers maintain that theirs is firmly a free speech issue; they see themselves as “the last bastion of free speech on Reddit.” They argue that despite their calls for racialized violence and liberal use of slurs, r/niggers is a legitimate “venue for discussing racial relations without censorship or political correctness.”

r/niggers users even see their shadow-bans as “dying” for the cause of free speech. When their accounts are banned, the community’s moderators add their names to r/RedditMartyrs, a kind of online graveyard that honors former r/niggers subscribers with names like CatchANiggerByTheToe and CoonShine. Its sidebar proclaims that they died for their cause, noting, “In 2013, Reddit declared war on freethinking subscribers of an uncensored community known as r/niggers. These martyrs were shadow-banned by reddit admins and turned into ghosts. Gone but not forgotten, we honor their memory and their sacrifice.”

Right — every word plopped out of the mouths of bigots is precious and must be protected.

No, that’s wrong: you get to say it, no one should have any power to reach out and stitch your mouth closed or break your typing fingers, but no one is under any obligation to host bigotry, and free speech shouldn’t mean you are completely free of responsibility for what you say. I’d be more sympathetic to the cause of their free speech if they actually owned their hatred instead of hiding behind demeaning pseudonyms, the internet equivalent of white sheets and hoods, and actually had something intelligent to say.

Here’s one of the milder racist whines posted in that article.

Here’s what anti-whites need to understand. It’s not the skin color that we hate. I mean we hate that too because it looks like the color of shit. But really what we care about is the genetics underneath. Unless you show me a study showing black labs are more likely to murder and rape than golden labs. I’m going to assume they’re the same. That’s the difference between you and us. We look at facts. You think the demise of civilization is something to laugh about.

I really care about the mind underneath. And even if your skin is the same lovely pale shade as mine, the density of your melanocytes says nothing about the quality of your thoughts.

(By the way, a certain word used with high frequency in the linked article — guess which one? — is also on the blocked word list here. Take that into account in your comments.)