Last week, Twitch slapped super-streamer Hasan Piker, known on the platform as HasanAbi, with a seven-day ban for apparently using the word “cracker” as a racial slur. Wearing a tropical button-down, red “Trump/Pence 2020” hat, plastic choker necklace, and chipped black nail polish, the leftist commentator celebrated his return yesterday — Tuesday, Dec. 21 — with a new video addressing the situation.
“Seven days ago, I was banned for the most egregious, most unacceptable action that anyone on any platform could’ve ever engaged in,” he says deadpan, while running his fingers through his hair. He then proceeds to offer his fans a sarcastic “trigger warning” before rehashing things: Piker says that two of his moderators were banned “out of nowhere” for using the word. “I ride or die for my fucking community,” he says. “So, I — of course in the most hard-headed way possible — considered this to be an unacceptable thing and pushed Twitch’s buttons… I do not believe that any white person, in all sincerity, is genuinely upset, frustrated, angry, or offended by this term.” (Twitch has not yet provided a public statement on why they banned Piker, and the company did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.)
Piker says that many of his “naysayers” — presumably referring to strongly opinionated, white conservatives — who “whipped up themselves in a frenzy over the past week” were “doing touchdown end-zone dances” when he got kicked off. He says these unnamed individuals were far from hurt by the word, and were instead “joking about how not-severe the term cracker was” and calling Twitch “a bunch of fucking idiots for following through on such a pathetic, idiotic capitulation to white fragility — oftentimes pushed by some of the most insanely racist individuals… and other times pushed by people who were maybe whipped up into a frenzy because they themselves were being agitated and talked to by those who were interested pushing for white-identity politics.”
Piker jokes, visibly annoyed, that he is now filled with “white pride” for his heritage. “I’ve learned my lesson not to ever offend white people ever again,” he says. “In looking at the online discourse around this — especially on Reddit — I’ve learned that ‘the c-word’ is just as severe as the n-word, if not worse. Because everyone knows not to say the n-word, but nobody will stop and think about the white man.”
He also highlighted all the other words he shouldn’t say, according to his understanding of Twitch’s guidelines: “I can’t say cracker, but I can say hillbilly, hick, mayonnaise monkey, vanilla gorilla, honky, whitey, redneck, and numerous other words that are used the same!”
To tease the new video, Piker tweeted a fake screenshot of him doing an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson — with “THE WOKE CANCELLING THE WOKE” as the headline in the ticker. “I have learned from my mistakes and believe the white race needs to be defended thank you Twitch,” he wrote on Twitter.
When Piker called whiteness “a made up concept by slavers who wanted to maintain arbitrary purity standards” in a different tweet immediately following the ban, his tone was more serious: “This is why the entire argument is stupid — and you’re upset about the wrong thing.” In the comments, Black streamer Bruce Ray — who was banned from Twitch, allegedly for using the word “cracker” and supporting Piker — wrote that he wishes Twitch “was this consistent protecting people of color.” He shared screenshots of the comments he believes Twitch deemed inappropriate. In those, his handle, BruceDropEmOff, is seen writing the following: “You a black man reincarnated into a white body I love you,” “You can’t be racist towards white people!!!!!,” “Tellem hassannnn,” “You did nothing wrong,” “Black people go through actual racism idiot,” and “Why do white people want to be oppressed so bad.”
Piker quickly retweeted Ray’s screenshots. “Twitch needs to stop capitulating to white supremacists and those doing white identity politics,” he wrote. “You are making the platform a worse place aoverall.” #FreeDEO — a reference to the “DropEmOff” part of Ray’s handle — is now trending on Twitter.
From Rolling Stone US