What’s the real agenda behind the rash of recent ‘walking while’ YouTube videos causing contrived offense and outrage?
Recently we’ve seen a rash of videos featuring people walking through the streets to document the “harassment” they receive.
Walking while female, walking while male, walking while homosexual, walking while Muslim and now walking while Jewish.
Journalist Zvika Klein walked through the streets of Paris for 10 hours while wearing a Jewish skullcap.
Perpetually offended social justice warriors and Twitter hashtag hysterics exploded in outrage after the media picked up on the horrifying torment Klein was subjected to. The BBC said Klein received “significant abuse”. The Daily Mail reported that the video illustrated how “antisemitism is rife” in the French capital. One Daily Mail reader even compared Klein’s treatment to the Kristallnacht, the violent Nazi pogram that led to the deaths of hundreds of Jews and thousands being kidnapped and taken to concentration camps.
So this video must be pretty shocking right? Wrong. From 10 hours of walking through mostly Muslim areas of Paris, Klein gets 90 seconds of material. About 30 seconds of which could be called harassment. Someone calls him a Jew, someone calls him a dog. One woman says “viva Palestine”. It’s hardly Kristallnacht 2015. And I’m sure a Palestinian walking through a Jewish settlement in the West Bank would get far worse, as would an Israeli walking through the Gaza Strip.
In fact the footage was even less offensive than the ‘woman walking through NYC’ video, which caused acrimony amongst feminists yet mainly consisted of Shoshana Roberts receiving mild compliments on her appearance as she walked through poor areas of the city.
Indeed, when Model Pranksters repeated the stunt with a man, he received even more “harassment” than Roberts did.
I’m struggling to figure out how all this is supposed to be some kind of major revelation? These videos have received millions and millions of views and a deluge of outraged media coverage. And for what? Have any of these perpetually offended morons ever left the house?
Newsflash; Everyone gets harassed in the streets. Muslims walking in Jewish areas get harassed. White people walking in black areas get harassed. Women walking past construction sites get harassed. Men walking past girls out on a hen night get harassed. Everyone gets harassed. If you walk through any impoverished and dangerous district in any city, no matter who you are, occasionally you’re going to get harassed.
Is it unpleasant? Yes. But there’s a clear difference between what we see in these videos and actual hate crimes, which are already illegal. And no matter how much faux outrage you generate, it’s never going to change the fact that there are morons everywhere who enjoy harassing people who are different to them. The world is full of morons. Deal with it. No amount of trendies retweeting sappy YouTube videos is ever going to change that. You can’t change the fundamental tribalist behavior of the human race with a hashtag.
But what’s this really about? What’s the cultural narrative being promoted here?
Well on the surface these phony outrage ‘walking while whatever’ videos are just a way of political agitators, be they feminists, zionists, or Muslim activists, exploiting the jaw-dropping stupidity of perpetually offended social media users to score cheap political points against each other. This does nothing whatsoever to create better understanding and just causes more division and more one-upsmanship.
But at a deeper level, this is about pushing censorious proclivities geared towards weaponizing contrived outrage as a tool via which to chill free speech. This is about introducing the idea that offensive opinions should be treated as hate crimes. We’re already seeing it with Twitter and Facebook, moves to censor comments and posts because, God forbid, someone, somewhere might be offended. This is about cementing the notion of perennial victimhood. This is about contriving the myth that people have a right not to be offended.
Our grandfather’s generation dealt with Nazi bombs being dropped on their cities. I’m sure our generation can cope with someone saying something mean about them on Twitter or someone making an off-hand comment on the street, without it turning everyone into a blubbering crybaby and prompting a tortured hand-wringing national debate, and an ultimately authoritarian lurch towards more self censorship simply to appease oversensitive hipsters who are permanently on the lookout for the next thing to be offended by.