Earlier today, writer Peter David penned a blog post arguing against firing white supremacists outed for being a part of the Charlottesville gathering that ended in violence and tragedy this weekend. In the post, David wrote:
"If all he did was open his mouth or wave a sign, I'm sorry, no. He shouldn't lose his job for that. He shouldn't be prosecuted for that. I mean, obviously it didn't interfere with his ability to do his job because his employer was fine with keeping him on as long as he didn't harass others with his views. But now they're being fired because their employer knows where his sympathies lie? That's just not right. For two reasons.
First of all, all it's going to do is drive him further underground. He might indeed start wearing a hood and, cloaked in anonymity, do worse things than he was already doing. His boss and fellow employees couldn't sit him down and say, "Why do you feel this way? Have you ever considered maybe you're wrong?" Engage in conversation that might change his mind (as unlikely as that may seem.).
And second, getting him fired is simply going to galvanize his hatred of the left. Before his reasons for prejudice were all lies that were fed to him by right wing sources. Now, though, he has a genuine reason to hate those who were opposed to him: they got him fired. They wrecked his life. What's to stop him from planning revenge against his enemies? What's to stop him from hopping behind the wheel of a car and running over some of those lefty bastards and exacting some payback? Before he was just an asshole. Now he's a genuine enemy.
It is NEVER a good idea to punish somebody just because you don't like their opinions."
Richard Isanove, who has worked with David before as the artist of Marvel's Dark Tower adaptations, took to Facebook with a rebuttal, reminding David of his own words after making racist comments about Romani people at New York Comic Con:
"My ex co-worker, Dark Tower dialog writer, Peter David, just blogged an op-ed in which he expresses his outrage that Fascists are being fired after being identified in Charlottesville. Peter, to quote the apology he had to make after spouting anti-Romani comments in NYCC last year, should remember that he is someone who 'sometimes opens his mouth when it would be better to keep it shut'."
Isaonove's post has sparked a discussion amongst comics pros, with Snakebite Cortez commenting:
"Firing people for their personal philosophy is a form of fascism… irony is funny."
Prompting Isanove to respond:
"Fascism is not a personal philosophy."
And Cortez to reply:
"??? Of course it is. And that's why individual fascists are being fired. Right? For their beliefs. Which would make the people firing them fascists as well. Irony is funny."
Dave McCaig chimed in:
"Firing people for engaging in hate crime is not fascism."
To which Cortez asked:
"Shouting 'Jews will not replace us' while carrying torches, for a start."
And Marc Andreyko added:
"threatening genocide. for another."
But Cortez disagreed:
"That's not s crime. I know you fancy yourself self thought and language police but that is fascism."
At this point, things got into Fanboy Rampage territory, with McCaig responding:
"Snakebite: Debating with you is a waste of time. If you want to be known as a neo-nazi apologist, knock yourself out."
Nathan Fairbairn chimed in:
"In Canada, at least, hate speech is definitely a crime. American law is cool with it, though."
While Cortez beefed with McCaig:
"Dave. Fuck your character assassination. Coward."
And McCaig beefed with Cortez:
"Oh no, you called me a coward."
It basically continued like that for a while…
And a while longer:
Did we mention it was still going on?
Like a Big Two comic book, this one never really has an "ending." It goes on for dozens more posts, maybe hundreds. Maybe it goes on infinitely forever. No one knows for sure, but legend has it, on certain nights when the moon is full, if they listen really hard, folks can still hear them arguing to this day.
Shhh! Did you hear that?
Maybe it's just the wind.
Fanboy Rampage was a blog by Graeme "Graham" McMillan dedicated to the funniest, most ludicrous and most inappropriate comic book back-and-forths online. McMillan has moved on now, becoming a proper journalist for the likes of The Hollywood Reporter and Wired but he gave permission to Bleeding Cool to revive his great creation.