If ever a human being was the poster child for provocateur, that would be Milo Yiannopoulos. Known simply as Milo to both his supporters and detractors, he is the sort of person who, when given a stage, is impossible to ignore.
Tonight on HBO’s Bill Maher show, Real Time, Milo will heat up the screen and it is likely many who would ordinarily not even know Maher was on will watch at 10 pm (ET).
Maher has come under fire for inviting Milo, and at least one panelist who was supposed to participate will not be there. In 2013 the same panelist refused to participate in a ‘Stop the War’ rally in 2013 because a nun was also included on the roster.
Milo is, for many who hold views that are ideologically inflexible, a conundrum. Some describe him as a “gay conservative.” His detractors describe him in terms you’d expect. An editor at Breitbart News, a right of center Website familiar to many small-government proponents, Milo Yiannopoulos defies pigeonholing. If I had to point to one major factor in his platform, it would be that he is a sworn enemy of political correctness and a staunch supporter of the First Amendment. On those two matters, I wholeheartedly applaud him.
Milo summed himself up in an interview with Business Insider in response to a question about the alt-right:
“There are some fringe factions of the alt-right that have demonstrated genuinely racist, anti-Semitic, and prejudiced leanings. They clearly don’t want a Jewish, homosexual, black-d— supremacist as a spokesman. And I don’t want to be associated with them, either. I like the free-speech stuff, the political-correctness stuff. And I believe in and love the populist, nationalist, antiglobalist rebellion happening all over the West.”
Banned by Twitter for political reasons, Milo has a book coming out in March, 2017. The book, Dangerous, is already topping the bestseller list based on pre-orders.
Targeted by the extreme left controlling today’s Democrat Party, Milo’s appearances as part of his ‘Dangerous Faggot Tour’ have led to sometimes violent protests at college campuses where the First Amendment has virtually been nullified by the left.
Maher has had to defend his decision to invite the celebrity on his show, but this shouldn’t surprise. Maher and I have at least one thing in common—an obsession with free expression. If I had to point to one thing that completely sets the US apart from every other nation on Earth, it would be the longevity of First Amendment limits on government’s power over speech. We may not like what you say but we will passionately defend your right to say it.
The panelist who cancelled his own appearance because of Milo said the show would provide him “with a large, important platform to openly advocate his racist, anti-immigrant campaign.”
Milo is neither racist nor anti-immigrant. It is unfortunate when individuals misapply those terms purely for political purposes. The same panelist threatened to withdraw from the 2013 anti-war rally because the nun who was also on the agenda was, he suggested, a tool of the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria.
Americans have lost privacy and rights to free expression on a grand scale since September 11, 2001. If anything, we need more provocateurs like Milo on both sides of the political aisle and in between. After all, if something offends you, you can always hit the mute button.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Feb. 17, 2017)
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