Milo Yiannopoulos’ Alternative Facts regarding Transgender People
A recent segment on Overtime with Bill Maher featured Milo Yiannopoulos, Larry Wilmore, Malcolm Nance and Jack Kingston. Depending on who you read, Milo was either exposed as an intellectual fraud or exposed liberals as such. In short, Milo shared several alternative facts, while his contrarian guests placed too much emphasis on personal attacks.
Milo Yiannopoulos’ alternative facts
“Transgender people are vastly disproportionately involved in sex crimes”
Technically he’s right: because transgender people are more likely to the VICTIM of such a crime.
Trans people are ‘disordered.’
The American Psychological Association does not consider being transgender a disorder. Rather, they DO classify gender gender dysphoria as a disorder (which some transgender people have). It’s worth noting that Yiannopoulos’ constant negative focus on transgender issues is at odds with suggested treatment of gender dysphoria.
He’s protecting women and children from men who are confused about their sexual identity
The story of a transgender man preying on women and little girls is a common scare tactic. However, there’s been no evidence of this happening with transgender bathroom situations. These stories from conservative sources use are never in areas where laws have allowed for transgender bathroom use. These are simply instances of men committing these acts under typical laws.
Leslie Jones is “barely literate” (because of grammar/spelling errors on her tweets)
But of course, typos, misspellings and grammar errors are common in Tweets among people of varying degrees of literacy. If this is Yiannopoulos’ measurement for “literacy” than he has spent the last few months supporting a barely-literate man for president.
Is it even worth fact checking Milo Yiannopoulos?
Here’s the thing: Milo most likely KNOWS he’s wrong or at least making claims he’s unsure of. However, his followers DO think he’s correct. This reminds me of the lose-lose scenario scientists faced with debating creation ‘scientists.’ The latter would simply shotgun a list of false claims much faster than the scientists could address them, and in many cases the scientists couldn't debunk them because the claim was outside their realm of expertise (a Paleontologist will likely have no knowledge of molecular biology, and so a creationist can simply make a false claim (ie “The second law of dynamics disproves evolution”) unchallenged, with many of the audience simply believing the claim since it went unrefuted).
“Go Fuck yourself” is not an argument/rebuttal
At some point in the panel discussion, Larry Wilmore says “You can go fuck yourself.” Much of the internet backlash has revolved around regarding this as if it were intended as a rebuttal to an actual argument. In reality it was in response to Yiannopoulos referring to Wilmore and Nance as “stupid” and “low IQ.” It was an insult in response to an insult. That said, while Yiannopoulos’ seemed to deal in alternative facts, the comments coming from Larry Wilmore and Malcolm Nance were arguably too laden with personal attacks.
In any case, listening to right wing belly aching on this segment, you would think Milo made intellectually honest points, only to be responded to with a “fuck yourself.” Here are the points Wilmore and Nance made.
- Scare tactics used to marginalize trans people mirror tactics used against gays and blacks in the past
- You can always find an extreme example as an object of an attack and assign their faults to everyone in their group
- There have been few instances of voter fraud, most of which were actually Trump voters trying to ‘prove’ there was voter fraud
- The only voter fraud was people making a false equivalency between Trump and Clinton’s faults
- Trump’s ties to Russian spies is worse than Clinton’s ties to Saudi Arabia
- Comedians should not turn down an opportunity to perform at the Trump dinner
- Wikileaks is a laundromat for Russian intelligence
- Russian intelligence had committed massive resources to specifically target the DNC and were therefore we ‘working for’ the RNC
Whether one agrees with these points is another matter. The point is that salient points were made.
Worth noting is that Jeremy Scahill was invited to the show and subsequently declined due to Milo Yiannopoulos’ scheduled appearance on the show. And while often disagree with Kyle of Secular Talk, I find him to be on point here.