Ah, the pre-CPAC speaker termination. A tradition unlike any other.
When I saw the following tweet I thought, “Wait, do they mean Trump?”
Spoiler: They do not mean Trump.
We have just learned that someone we invited to CPAC has expressed reprehensible views that have no home with our conference or our organization. The individual will not be participating at our conference.
— CPAC 2021 (@CPAC) February 22, 2021
I think they mean Mike Pence, for not being willing to stage a coup on Trump’s behalf at Biden’s certification.
No, actually, the speaker who ended up canceled is Young Pharaoh, whom I’d never heard of before 4 p.m. this afternoon. Media Matters went sniffing around his social media when they found out he was scheduled to participate in a panel next Sunday just an hour before Trump takes the stage. They didn’t have to sniff hard; the stench was overpowering.
Young Pharaoh is an online commentator who has told followers that Judaism is a “complete lie” and “made up for political gain,” said that Jewish people are “thieving fake Jews,” tweeted that “all the censorship & pedophilia on social media is being done by Israeli Jews,” and claimed that “all of these big tech [companies], media, & social media platforms are controlled by CCP & Israel through Jewish CEO & corrupt Democrats.” Young Pharaoh has also attacked conservative commentator Ben Shapiro for being Jewish. He’s additionally promoted the QAnon and Pizzagate conspiracy theories and falsely claimed that coronavirus vaccines will “alter your DNA.”
They have a long series of his tweets screencapped, which is impressive both in the length and breadth of its obnoxious takes. (One tweet accuses African-Americans of having extraterrestrial DNA.) He’s still going this afternoon:
He’s right about one thing, the fact that he’s been canceled. The theme of this year’s conference, by the way:
the irony… pic.twitter.com/Y8pmJyxQp9
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) February 22, 2021
A Twitter pal half-jokes, “it’s not cancel culture if they say something really really REALLY bad.” But that actually is the standard. Whether a cancellation is proper or improper, and therefore an example of “cancel culture,” depends on whether what the speaker said offends one’s own sense of propriety. Trying to cancel J.K. Rowling because she thinks gender depends on more than an individual’s say-so is cancel culture. Canceling Young Pharaoh because he thinks Israeli Jews are to blame for all of the pedophilia on social media is, well, just an act of basic civic hygiene.
What I want to know is this: How did this guy land on CPAC’s radar? Am I alone in not having heard of him before? He has 58,000 Twitter followers, which is even less than I have. The CPAC discussion he was supposed to participate in is being hosted by a black gun-rights advocate and was to consist of an all-minority panel, which makes me wonder if someone behind the scenes said, “We need another African-American guest for this panel. Do you know anyone?” And somehow Young Pharaoh’s name came up, probably because he’s said some flattering things about Trump on YouTube. That may be all the qualification one needs to speak at CPAC anymore. “What’s that? He likes Trump? Well, get him an invitation and a microphone, then. No need to spend five minutes checking his Twitter feed.”
Exit question via Matt Glassman: How do you cancel a guy for embracing conspiracy theories when virtually every speaker scheduled believes, or pretends to believe, that the election was rigged?