my theory on death threats
This seems to happen every time some major figure gets into a controversy over racism, sexism, ableism, etc. it’s usually a small group versus a larger fandom or base of supporters to begin with. but eventually a few people suddenly decide that death threats and threats of violence are okay.
So then the community at large decides to piggyback on the malicious actions of a few and they use it as an excuse to write off ALL criticism, most of which is usually legitimate. Most of the energy goes to defend the original offender who is now a victim, and people who try to condemn the threats while simultaneously saying “but it’s still not okay to be racist/sexist/whatever” get attacked anyway.
Besides how incredibly prejudiced it is to deem one or a few people in the group the representative of everyone in it, there’s also the fact that 95% of the time, the people who made the threats were totally anonymous or barely even associated with the minority group in question, if at all. But the blame is always pinned instantly and permanently to the group who dared to speak up for themselves.
Does anyone else notice this? I mean it’s such an obvious diversion from the issue at hand. And also, how the fuck would, for example, a broke ass Black woman who has never ever had the law on her side even once in her life, suddenly feel confident and safe enough to send threats like this? Or a disabled person whose life consists of living from day to day and managing their condition? Or a woman who is a survivor of sexual abuse/rape who struggles just to survive tomorrow? Or a trans* person who could get fired from their job, no questions asked, just for being trans*?
Most of these threats are bullshit. I bet they’re almost all from people in the majority group in question— a few rogue individuals who know exactly how this works, have seen it before, and want to repeat it. It’s a simple formula: make the offender a victim, and all of the problems magically go away. If these threats are legitimate, then it’s always an outlier. But for some reason, most people lack enough nuance to be able to tell an outright threat from a legit criticism, so when people defend their critiques, they get categorized under “creepy person who threatens people online” automatically.
It’s like even a little negative energy directed towards your idol is suddenly HOLY SHIT YOU’RE THE WORST SCUM IN THE WORLD. ALL OF YOU. EVEN IF I DON’T KNOW YOU ALL PERSONALLY NAH I’M NOT MAKING BLANKET STEREOTYPED ASSUMPTIONS. It’s this completely absurd view of the world where if someone does something you like, then they are automatically 100% perfect.
And let’s also remember that when this happens in reverse (people of the majority group threatening people in the minority), no one makes a big deal about it. Or if people in the majority group do, they are totally ignored except by a few people.
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