Saturday, August 2, 2008

YouTube And Racist Videos

I came across this video at a social media site.  As I watched the video I got angrier and angrier.  It is patently racist and beyond offensive.  I understand that YouTube gives power to the masses because it allows society to freely express itself, but there should be some sort of limit in place. I find it beyond hypocritical of YouTube to take down videos for copyright infringement and allow this kind of shit to remain up for public view.  What they are essentially saying is that a video is only problematic when it interferes with someone's ability to make a profit, however if a video demeans a race of people, or creates them as other it is just fine.

This video cannot even be justified by saying that it is an example of "historical racism" like the racist cartons that were created by Warner Brothers (BTW removed for copyright infringement) How is it that a whole race of people are entitled to less respect than a social construction like money? Can we not recognize the social imbalance in this? 

Now I know that some people will say that this is freedom of speech, but should hate speech really be given the same kind of freedom that we apply to everything else?  This video is not something that can be considered debatably racist, it is patently racist. Referring to blacks as nigger can be understood in no other light.  Making reference to niggers dying in this manner is at the very least genocidal. At a time when the US is actively engaged in conversation about racial inequality and white privilege, how do these videos broaden the social conversation, or lead to any kind cohesion?

Normally I would firmly speak against censorship, but if you cannot yell fire in a building that is not burning, you should not be able to incite racial hatred to this degree.  Clearly YouTube only cares about being sued, and not about the damage to the psyche of the black population that videos like this cause.  As long as money continues to be valued over people, we will continue to have such negative racial imagery and ideology promoted.  The only way to stop things like this, is to stand firmly and say this is not acceptable. Giving these racists a platform to push their agenda only supports their drive to maintain white supremacy through the marginalization of bodies of colour.


7 comments:

Dangron said...

That is terrible!

Dr. Jay SW said...

good god...I just hope the neighbors didn't hear that song playing on my computer....
As for free speech, that just means that the government can't arrest the idiots who made this. It doesn't mean that youtube has to give it space, and it certainly doesn't mean people can't threaten youtube with a boycott if they don't stop allowing this stuff on their site.

Larry Geater said...

The video is now down. Perhaps YouTube is does not tollerate racist material after all.

Renee said...

The video was up for sometime before they decided to take it down. It probably has more to do with a blogger or two writing up about this. For the record this is not the first racist video that has been on youtube.

Larry Geater said...

It probably has more to do with a blogger or two writing up about this.

It had to be pointed out to them before they could take it down. They are not responsible for what is on the site untill they have been made aware of it. If they are made aware and still do not take it down then it is their bad. Untill then it is only the person who posted it who is resposnsible.

Maria said...

Larry's correct. YouTube's system works by viewer or company report/complaint.

Anonymous said...

Youtube is a bad example as they will take down racist material usually. However, they MUST take down copywritten material by law or else they will lose the site. However, racist comments are not illegal and if they were to be too strict they would actually be attacked for not allowing free speech. They can't censor everything on the site and a hands-off "people own their own material we just host it" is the best they can do.