If I went into a Williams Sonoma and peacefully harassed all of the white customers there, eventually the proprietors of the business would ask me to leave. You simply cannot run a Williams Sonoma without white consumers. White men would implicitly understand that Williams Sonoma is running a business and they have a business need to do whatever they can to prevent me from shouting “CRACKER ASS CRACKERS” as white people bought stained glass chip-and-dips.
Twitter can’t run it’s business without women and minority customers.
For some white men, that statement is mind-blowing. It’s an inversion of everything they’ve been raised to believe. A company that is not specifically geared towards women or minorities might still need women and minority customers to be successful? “Dude, we’re talking about Twitter, not Tampax.”
The Republican party is holding a week-long hoedown aimed at convincing America that you don’t need women or minorities to make this country great, again. That entire slogan is predicated upon the idea that this country was awesome when women and minorities didn’t have a voice (it wasn’t), and it can get back to that if it just stopped paying lip service to the concerns of historically disadvantaged groups. It’s a vision that America is strongest when only one voice, the white male voice, can be heard above the din.
Business people know better. If you want to survive and grow in modern America, and in the global economy, your service cannot be openly hostile to diverse groups. Women click on ads too. Minorities also train Pokémon. If you are closed off to these groups, your business model is already dead. American business is strongest when it can conceive of the hopes and dreams of as many groups of people as possible, and make them all want the same cheeseburger.
When Twitter banned notorious troll Milo Yiannopoulos, it wasn’t making a stand for racial sensitivity, and it wasn’t making a statement about free speech. If it was unfair to Milo, it wasn’t because it squelched his free expression, it’s because they hit Milo for what he represented as much as for what he said.
But Twitter wasn’t living in a land of ideal theory. It was making a cold business decision, a smart one that was long overdue. Twitter as a business cannot survive if women nope out. It’s not going to be culturally relevant if black people are like “screw this noise, it’s back to MySpace y’all.” Every time Rihanna puts a half-naked picture of herself on Instagram, somebody at Twitter should be ritualistically slapped with a bell.
Twitter needs us. It needs to have an entire protest movement named after a goddamn Twitter hashtag. #BlackLivesMatter is the kind of thing that makes people think “I should download Twitter and see what all the fuss is about.”
Alt-Right racist dickheads are the kind of thing that makes people think “I should delete my Twitter account and SnapChat a picture of a frog drinking tea.”
I know this is going to be hard for some white men to hear, but Twitter needs women, minorities, the LGBT community, Muslims, and some Sherpas Tweeting about carrying white people up K2 way, way more than it needs some Alt-Right assholes. It’s not even close. The economics and demographics of this country have done changed, son. You best recognize that. It would be a ludicrous business decision for Twitter to pull a GOP and play only to its white male base. It has to find a way to be inclusive to the global community, and if that means losing some white guys who get their rocks off by Tweeting horrible stuff at famous black women, it’s an easy trade.
And because Twitter is a private company and not a government agency, it is perfectly free to do what it needs to do to position itself in the market. I doubt there are still Alt-Right people reading this, but if you are let me help you out: nothing makes you sound more stupid than when you bitch about your “free speech” rights to say what you want on a corporate message board. Like, actual gorillas are all like “damn, I’m on private property, I don’t have the right to say ‘ape.’” White neocons might think they’re a protected class, because their struggle to get back to the days of owning people is just so real, but they are most definitely not.
In a broader sense, harassment is not owed the highest class of protected speech anyway. This is another concept that is difficult for the Alt-Right to get their heads around: not all speech is equal. We live in a world of nuance. So even to the extent that some people want to assign a quasi-government role to Twitter, protecting threats and harassment is not something that the First Amendment requires.
But don’t worry, sniveling rumps who have nothing better to do than harass women online. Twitter cannot silence you! You are still free to stand on a street corner and shout whatever you want, wearing whatever brand of tin-foil makes sense to you. Nobody will force you to see Kate McKinnon being hilarious if you don’t want to. Vote for Trump! Join the police force in your town! There are still so, so many ways for you to express your power.
You just can’t force a business to serve you and only people willing to put up with you. Sorry. There just aren’t enough racist white American males anymore to support a competitive global business. You might win the White House, but you’ve already lost the boardroom.
I’ll leave you with the unsolicited advice that you so often share with non-white males: stop whining about it and go start your own thing. Prove me wrong. Go start “Whiter,” and just sit back and watch the profits roll in.