I was listening to a radio station this morning as the hosts were discussing a recent altercation that took place between gossip writer Perez Hilton and Will.i.am from the music group Black Eyed Peas. The audio from Perez’s video blog was being played, and he kept calling himself a victim.
For those who are not aware of what happened, the short story is Will.i.am confronted Perez at a nightclub; Perez insulted Will.i.am with a derogatory remark, and then Perez was apparently assaulted by Will.i.am’s road manager.
First, I want to say upfront that I have only been to Perez’s website once; I was curious to see what his website looked like about a month ago since I have heard his name mentioned numerous times on television lately. Originally, I thought Perez was a guy who typed on a computer at a coffee shop, commenting on the celebrities standing in line. As I glanced at a few of his posts, I quickly became tired of seeing him refer to himself as “we,” “our,” and “us” instead of “I,” “my” and “me” in his writings. A majority of his gossip and news were mainly insults directed at the celebrities he was writing about, not gossip and news. The insults continued as quite a few celebrity pictures posted on his website had drawings of a certain male body part and/or words.
Second, I want to say that I will always defend the freedom of speech. Whether I agree or disagree with what is being said, the freedom of speech is one of the things that makes the United States of America the greatest country in the world.
Third, I want to say that I do not condone violence, especially unprovoked. Please note that when I use the term violence, I am referring to the the type that can be considered a crime (such as assault with or without a weapon).
With that said, every action has a reaction; a negative action could have a negative consequence. For example, if I went to a busy street corner and started calling people the “N” word or “F” word, there will obviously be a reaction. Of the many reactions possible in this scenario, three come to my mind immediately: people will ignore me for being ignorant; people will attempt to have a civil conversation with me and tell me to stop; people will physically hurt me. Whether I deserve to be physically harmed for my action is in the eye of the beholder; even though I do not condone the violent reaction, I must understand that it is still likely to happen before I begin my verbal attack. Since I am not innocent in this scenario, I would have no right to call myself a victim.
If I used my website to insult one hundred people (celebrity or not), I must understand that all one hundred people (not including the additional readers) will each have a reaction. Increasing the number of people I insult only increases the chance of a terrible reaction.
Finally, Perez, a publicly-known gay man, said in his video blog that he used the “F” word as an attempt to verbally hurt Will.i.am. Even though I am straight, I feel his remark actually hurt and insulted the gay community more than it did Will.i.am.