Another person has mistaken the First Amendment for umbrella coverage
against criticism. Julien Blanc
-- a self-described "international leader in dating advice -- one of several like-minded individuals employed by Real Social Dynamics
(the “World’s top dating coaching, self-actualization & social dynamics company”), a company Blanc co-founded, had footage of one of his seminars go viral thanks to writer Jenn Li, who posted the "horrifying" footage at UK news outlet, The Independent
Here's her brief description of the objectionable content contained in Blanc's/RSD's video:
When talking about how to “seduce” a Japanese woman, he is quoted as saying: “Just grab her… To take the pressure off, yell Pikachu or Pokemon or Tamagotchi or something”. He is obsessed with degrading Japanese women, and abusing his white male privilege. “At least in Tokyo, if you're a white male,” he says “you can do what you want. I'm just romping through the streets, just grabbing girls' heads, just like, head, pfft on the dick. Head, on the dick, yelling, 'pikachu'.”
In case anyone feels that this might be a misrepresentation of Blanc's views and actions, here's the video itself.
TL;DW: If you're a white male, you can pretty much do whatever you want to Japanese women, provided (a) you have one functioning arm and (b) you shout some half-assed Japanese term as a "disclaimer" or something. See also: included footage of Julien Blanc performing these actions on actual Japanese women while in Japan.
The backlash has been incredible
. In addition to tons of internet commentary and further exposure of Blanc's misogyny, governments of foreign countries are now considering taking legal action
to prevent Blanc from giving his seminars on their soil. Australia has already revoked his visa ahead of scheduled appearance, thanks to pressure from a Change.org petition. The UK and Canada are considering similar actions.
Real Social Dynamics has attempted to perform some damage control, but there are far too many fires to put out. So, it has begun doing the next best thing: issuing scattershot, baseless legal threats. One such legal threat went to the owner of InfiniteChan
(aka 8chan), a message board modeled after
the super-popular (and quite often, super-frightening
There are many mistakes made in this demand letter, written by Maurice Pilosof
, "legal counsel" for Real Social Dynamic, but perhaps none is bigger than failing to realize that everything
contained in the URL listed
. Far too many lawyers fail to understand
the protections provided by Section 230. There are also far too many lawyers who simply don't care, throwing around their letterhead and officious tone in hopes of forcing swift capitulation.
Unfortunately for Maurice Pilosof and RSD, this ignorance (presumably willful, considering Pilosof presents himself as focused on "trademarks, copyrights, intellectual property transactions and music licensing") of Section 230 wasn't
their biggest problem. Their biggest problem was the opposing force: the Randazza Legal Group. Marc Randazza and Michael Cernovich responded to RSD's stupid and baseless takedown demand with a blistering refusal loaded with colorful imagery and even more colorful language. [PDF link
] Oh, and a full-page picture of Manzinga
First, Randazza addresses the video itself, something not mentioned in the takedown demand but crucial to the understanding of what sort of person Pilosof is defending here.
Please correct me if I am wrong. This all started when your client posted a video in which Julien Blanc gives men advice on picking up Japanese women. (if you call it that)
Part of his advice is as follows: “at least in Tokyo, If you’re a white male, you can do what you want”...
I don’t know whether it is true that white men can do whatever they want in Tokyo. If that’s true, I’m moving there. I want to do whatever I want, without consequences. All I’ve been looking for my entire life is the ability to have a consequence-free existence. I thought that getting really rich was the secret to that. Imagine my delight when I learned that I don’t need to be a billionaire to do whatever the fuck I want. I’ve had the power to have a consequence free existence all along! I just had to look inside myself,and see my Caucasian DNA, look inside my pants and see my penis, and just seize it as my birthright (the power, not my penis).
After offering a bounty of $5,000 for anyone who videotapes themselves handing out a "royal ass kicking" to Blanc ("double" if it's one of the women Blanc attempts to assault), Randazza deals with Pilosof's/RSD's complaint that messages posted at InfiniteChan are "untrue, private and defamatory."
Lets go back to page one. Your client is the guy who seems to advocate sexual assault against random women, on the basis that he’s Caucasian, and they’re not. Neither Mike, nor I, are in any danger of winning the “Male Feminist of the Year Award.” But Jesus Hello Kitty Christ on a Rocket-Powered Toboggan, are you FREAKIN’ SERIOUS?
If you have the audacity to file a defamation claim on behalf of a guy who advocates sexual assault, and relies on racist bunk to justify it, then come at us, bro. Our client might just waive his CDA immunity and let the case stand on the merits of the defamation claim. I can not express how much joy I would find in watching you try and articulate how your client’s reputation has been harmed by anything other than his own asinine, racist, sexist, rapey-creep-scumbag statements.
Randazza closes by reminding RSD's lawyer that the First Amendment is double-edged. If his client wants to enjoy the privileges, he needs to learn how to deal with the downside.
Your client made some really objectionable statements. There is a price for that – it is called “criticism.” Your client acted like an ass, and people pointed at him and said “look at that asshole!” Rather than answer the criticism, your client sought to cower behind a wall of censorship. This really isn’t advisable for someone like your client, who will likely need to raise the shield of the First Amendment at some time in the near future.
Well said. The whole letter is worth a read (and a re-read). Too many people seem to feel the First Amendment guarantees a consequence-free platform for questionable and objectionable statements. That's where they're wrong. The government has no business trying to determine what can or can't be said, but the public is absolutely free to offer its opinion about the statements of others.
While some may point out that petitioning foreign governments in hopes of preventing Blanc from speaking is a violation of his rights, the fact is that Change.org petitions are also protected speech. Foreign governments are still free to ignore the more formalized hecklers' vetoes, but protecting a foreigner's domestic free speech rights isn't going to win them the adoration of the angered masses. Blanc may be forced to ply his wares in the US only -- a place where he enjoys greater speech protections, but also one where his "magical white guy powers" will be considerably more muted.