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PewDiePie takes another crack at racism

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We all say things out of anger that we eventually and inevitably live to regret. Simple things like “I hate you” are shouted by angsty teens on a daily basis. Most things people say in the heat of the moment can be forgiven based on the people involved and the overall situation. Unless it’s a racial slur.

Just when you thought the barrage of passive racism via the internet was slowly coming to a halt, YouTuber Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg went full steam ahead last Sunday during a heated game of “Playerunknown’s: Battle Grounds.”

The video, which has since gone viral, features Kjellberg getting frustrated at an opponent and yelling the n-word. After using the slur he began to laugh it off and said, “I don’t mean that in a bad way.”

The YouTuber was met with swift opposition from his fan base, which is composed mainly of 12-year-olds and white apologists. This isn’t all that surprising, considering they ran to his aid during the last scandal he was involved in, which took place in February after a sign saying “Death to all Jews” was featured in one of his videos.

Kjellberg’s words and actions on Sunday aren’t all that surprising, if I’m being honest.

He’s been a prime example of scum of the earth since he first started on YouTube. Y’know, back when he made simple jokes about rape and mental illness, little baby things. People defended him then, and they’re defending him now, their rhetoric, unchanging.

“It’s just a joke,” “words are only words,” and “he didn’t mean it like that.” When do the excuses for mediocre, racist white men like him end? I’m almost more angry about the fact that I have to keep writing about PewDiePie and his little “slip ups.”

How hard is it to understand that words actually have power behind them? That the words that come out of somebody’s mouth really do define who they are as a person?

If you get mad at your racist uncle Cletus when he starts running his mouth at Thanksgiving, you should be getting mad about this as well. This form of dark humor isn’t humor at all. It is the normalization of hateful values that hasn’t been able to dissolve from society specifically because of humor like this. The fact that people are constantly defending actions like these doesn’t help the situation either;it just puts a shield around these values, and ensures that they’re here to stay.

The main excuse circling his fanbase is “it was the heat of the moment, he was angry. People say terrible things when they’re angry.” Yes, I’ll admit, when I get frustrated during a game, I yell too. But not slurs. Usually it’s just stuff like “I hate this game!” or a simple curse word.

Words that have been engrained into my vocabulary due to how much I use them, which is probably the same reason Kjellberg used that slur in the first place. A word like that doesn’t just pop into your head when you’re angry unless it’s something you use on a daily basis rather than once in a blue moon.

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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University
PewDiePie takes another crack at racism