Youtube video promotes hate and should be dumped, with apologies
Asafe and healthy society can only be achie ved through the joint efforts of concerned citizens and social media. Freedom of speech, without the protection of laws and regulations, is an illusion.
Although all media companies pledge that they prohibit and will combat promotion of content that promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on attributes like race or religion, their “notice-and-takedown” approach doesn’t seem always work.
What is hate speech? Advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status and violence or threats of violence against people or animals.
Don’t assume hate speech is irrelevant to you. It can take place anywhere, anytime in the disguise of anything, including a so-called artistic creation or simply a song.
Here’s a vivid example of what hate content can look like.
Meet the Flockers, a hip hop song by African-American singer YG that was posted on Youtube two years ago and drew about 150,000 views and more than 700 thumbs up, encourages robbing a specific ethnic group — Chinese Americans.
Depicting armed, masked black robbers breaking into a house in a Chinese neighborhood, the song goes, “First, you find a house and scope it out. Find a Chinese neighborhood ’ cause they don’t believe in bank accounts.”
The lyrics continued, “Go take the jewelry box (instead of plasma and laptop) to the Slauson they’ll give you cash back in the same day.”
I have to confess that I was stunned to read the lyrics and watch the video. Isn’t it outrageous? I can’t help but wonder how a video with such a malicious intent and promotion of racism and crime can go live on Youtube in the first place.
I’m not the only one who felt offended and irritated. Actually, the entire Chinese community across America in recent weeks signed a petition to ask Youtube to have the video removed, and apologize.
The petition, circulated through Wechat groups — a popular social network among Chinese people — asked the public to take action, flag the video, file an abuse report, and make Youtube feel their frustration and outrage.
“Crimes against Chinese communities are on the rise in recent years,” said Luo Ping, a Fremont resident. “We are stereotyped as rich, weak and easy victims. This video of hate speech should be taken away immediately.”
Dozens of Chinese-American business owners on the East Coast visited the FBI and the US Attorneys’ Office last week to voice their concerns that the video has provoked robberies and violence against Chinese Americans.
“Between coasts, and from South to North, we keep hearing bad news about random robberies in our community, home invasions, injuries and killings of our people,” said Dong Liming, president of Henan Association in California. “Videos targeting the Chinese community like this may incite crimes against a specific minority and should be banned.”
The video also caused a backlash on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. “Sickening and distasteful,” said one tweet.
“Meet the Flockers is a rap song that targets the Chinese community. Black Lives Matter wants to be respected? Respect others first.”
Here is my favorite comment: “Google and Youtube, so it’s OK to promote violence against Asian Americans? Is this your ‘Don’t be evil’ motto?”