Done With Amos Yee
NOTE: This statement was originally written in 2017 in response to my earlier stated support for Amos Yee.
Given that I had previously supported Singapore’s dissident blogger Amos Yee, I feel a responsibility to comment on the revelations that he has endorsed the legalization of child pornography and sexual relations between adults and minors. As free speech advocate, I not only believe in the right of people to speak, even people we detest, without undue interference, but that the righteous must use our speech to counter the poisonous ideas others wish to spread. To think that one who’s unjust imprisonment violated the UN Convention’s Rights of the Child, would then endorse the violation of the rights of other children. Yee has rightfully gained asylum in the United States, but I recommend that all those who supported his release, utilize their own free speech to condemn his filth in the strongest possible terms.
In a series of tweets, Yee decided to extrapolate on his views of child pornography, which sound like the ramblings of a disgruntled NAMBLA member, “Child porn is not rape, children can give consent to fucking. If you can provide evidence that all child porn is non-consensual, show it.” He also said, “Children should have the rights to fuck, the high possibility of them making a regrettable decision is not enough to take away their rights.” When confronted, Yee tends to weasel his way out of this position, saying that he only advocated for sex between adults and thirteen or fourteen year olds. This is wrong on so many fronts. The first is that this still counts as statutory rape in many regions. The second is that statutory rape laws tend to differentiate between teens having sex with one another, and teens having sex with adults. The third is that he routinely referred to “children”, not teens, in his arguments, and has himself tweeted, “If you’re fucking a baby and he moves away in fear, that’s rape don’t do it. If he likes it continue possibility is low but still.” Yee, thinking that he had eloquently rebutted any arguments against child pornography, then proceeded to prove Godwin’s Law and refer to his critics as a “bunch of bloody fascists.” Talk like this is disgusting, and reveals him less provocative intellectual, and more churlish edgelord.
Some will argue that he’s only eighteen, and many adolescents tend to carry reactionary and ill-informed viewpoints. This is true, but I knew no one, and I mean no one, in middle school or high school, even the worst of them, who would’ve advocated for child pornography in the slightest. I couldn’t imagine being friends with such a kid. I’d argue that, given he’s still young, it’s all the more important that he be held to account for his regressive views, lest he keep them into adulthood. In this respect, Yee’s critics are doing him a good favor in the long run. If Yee fancies himself smart enough to criticize religion and government, then he’d better be damn well smart enough to know that child pornography is among the most grotesque forms of rape.
To Singaporean critics of the government, you have lost an activist. Yee had certainly brought up important points of debate regarding free speech laws and the legacy of Lee Kuan Yew, but his inconsistency on human rights have destroyed his credibility. You don’t need cretins like him in the fight for more equal rights, indeed, you’re probably better off. To the skeptic community, I ask that we look in the mirror, and decide whether or not critiquing religion and liberalism is sufficient criteria to overlook reprehensible behavior. While the skeptic convention, Mythicist Milwaukee, disinvited Yee for standing by his child pornography comments, they saw little issue with inviting a “rational skeptic” who subsequently boasted of taunting a sexual assault victim, and received applause.
Amos Yee fought for his free speech and won it, but even in America, free speech comes with consequences. Here, we do not imprison or fine those who hold views we despise. Instead, we expose, critique, and alienate their positions, depriving them of oxygen, until those holding them are left dishonored and ashamed.
Originally published at http://sansuthecat.blogspot.com on October 12, 2017.