This Fucking Guy

So, since the launch of The Orbit, the usual subjects have been chittering away about nonsense. Since I’m a relative unknown, I don’t get most of that nonsense, so I can’t and won’t comment for now.

But then I got this screenshot:

Calling you on your bullshit isn't an "attack", Mark.
Calling you on your bullshit isn’t an “attack”, Mark.

Oh bother.  I’m going to have to rehash this shit again for those new to me and new to what this guy’s problem is.  Again, because I’ve already talked about it last November and since then, I’ve been updated by the awesome Diana B of Kansas City Freethinkers about his case against the professor who assaulted his precious camera, all caught on edited film (would love to see the full 22 minutes, instead of the 6 that got shown on Fox News and Breitbart).

Such updates include offering to drop the case if she sat down for a recorded talk with him about free speech, for example. Between that and the fuckery that was at Skepticon, it seems that he really does seem more interested in himself than anything resembling the issue of racism at Mizzou.

Mr. Schierbecker, it’s past time to let this shit go. If you actually gave half a damn about your fellow students of color, you should really quit whining about being “attacked” and actually show some support. Stop making this about you, and about the freedom of the press/typical misunderstanding of free speech (which by your own admission was more of your freedom to not wait until an official press conference to get your fucking photos).

You weren’t being attacked when blog posts, including mine, were written to point out what an ass you were being. You were being criticized, and I really wish people would learn the fucking difference already. It makes you sound entitled as hell and if you can’t see the irony of a white guy complaining about not being able to shove his way into the privacy of black folks, then you never will. Your claim to being “attacked” is about as strong as your claim that a little camera shove and a call for “muscle” (who didn’t even touch you, or I’m sure you would have mentioned it) is “assault”.

For those just tuning in and wondering when all of this started, behold the video of his supposed Q and A at Skepticon 8:

And that’s all I have to say about it.  For now.

 

(And before you comment, please do have a gander at my comment policy, lest you find your comment not even seen.  My blog, my rules.)

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This Fucking Guy
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19 thoughts on “This Fucking Guy

  1. 1

    I see no malice in Mark Schierbecker’s actions or words. Yes, some very terrible individuals have latched on to him and held his situation up because it makes their ideological opponents look bad, but this does not mean that Mark’s intentions were bad.

    The full length video that Mark filmed when he was confronted by Melissa Click is readily available on youtube on several channels, including his own.

    Melissa Click was charged with 3rd degree assault, and was fired for her actions. It was a minor incident, and the term “assault” does seem a bit harsh for what she did, but it does meet the legal definitions of such. Regardless, Mark was wronged to some degree by Melissa Click and by extension, the CS1950 protestors on that day.

    Mark’s talk at Skepticon was a disaster, and he did make a few awkwardly worded cringeworthy statements. As has been widely stated, he is on the autism spectrum and struggles mightily at public speaking and human interaction in general. His “pro-bono publicist” Danielle Muscato did a horrendous job of formatting the interview and ended up making Mark look bad. Mark was essentially put in a position where he had to repeatedly deny being racist and acknowledge his own privilege due to the questioning from Muscato, who apparently thought this would make him more palatable to the Skepticon crowd. The result was making the whole controversy about Mark, when the topic should have been a forum for people to discuss the intersection of freedom of the press, rights to privacy when demonstrating on public grounds, and whether or not what happened to Mark was OK. It was also not Mark’s fault that there were no representatives of CS1950 on this panel or any other at skepticon.

    Mark has expressed solidarity with the Concerned Student 1950’s demands, but he has documented via video some potentially misguided actions they have undertaken with regards to dealing with media.

    My entire point here is that Mark is not a villain, and FTB actually WAS quite uncharitable towards him. I think the criticism from FTB should have been targeted at the right wing media who sensationalized Mark’s video and used it as an excuse to attack BLM/CS1950 etc..

    1. 1.1

      So, none of what happen is his fault? He shouldn’t take any responsibility at all? He’s just a victim of circumstance?

      Get the entire fuck out of here with that noise.

      He’s an adult, and autism doesn’t make you an attention seeking hypocrite and fuck you very much for even trying that tack. There were people on the spectrum in the audience who were just as pissed as a lot of us were, and even more so when he attempted to use his diagnosis as an excuse.

      Being “uncharitable” isn’t an attack either. Y’all really need a refresher course in what words actually mean.

  2. 2

    He actually HAS taken some responsibility for how poorly the talk went, and has apologized in a rather emotional video. Danielle Muscato has also apologized both to Skepticon, CS1950 and to Mark.

    My point isn’t that he isn’t completely blameless, as he has clearly made some missteps since the Click incident. However, much of the criticism levied his way has been very unfair.

    I don’t believe Mark is an “attention seeking hypocrite”, but would agree that being on the autism spectrum would not excuse him if he was. He mentioned his autism on stage as he was clearly feeling overwhelmed, but he did not use it to in anyway “excuse” anything other than his awkward phrasing, nervousness, or unclear expression of thoughts.

    Mark is a socially awkward guy, thrust into the spotlight by poor decisions on the part of Melissa Click and bad advice on the part of Danielle Muscato, both of whom have admitted wrongdoing and apologized to Mark.

    Many people rushed to criticize Mark, when the right wing groups that have exploited him are actually the problem.

    If your problem with Mark is that he is “making this about himself”, that’s some pretty weak criticism in the age of social media attention seeking in which we all seem to operate. He has done very little at all to draw attention to himself; again it is the right wing media which has sought to exploit him and sensationalize the story.

    I honestly think your anger is misdirected in this case, although I understand the frustration over the distraction this incident caused.

    1. 2.1

      *sigh*
      You know what? I’m not having this conversation yet AGAIN. I give no fucks about where you think my anger is directed, and I’m damn tired of folks trying to ‘splain to me how ‘exploited’ he was. I had enough of that nonsense when I posted my original comment and my opinion has only worsened at this bullshit “attack” accusation.

      Do yourself a favor and write your own damn blog post. Elsewhere. Shoo.

    2. 2.2

      Mark is a socially awkward guy, thrust into the spotlight by poor decisions on the part of Melissa Click

      Wait what?
      Melissa Click may have made some poor decisions, but “thrusting Mark into the spotlight” wasn’t one of them. She didn’t make that video. She didn’t upload that video. She didn’t give it to Breitbart et al. She didn’t make him take a stage at Skepticon. She didn’t force him to tweet bullshit. She isn’t the one who forces him to just go on and on and on about this. Whatever she did, she clearly did not do any of these things.
      Actually, I’m pretty sure she’d be more than happy if she’d been able to resolve this whole thing privately over a cup of coffee.

      1. But discussing it over a cup of coffee isn’t nearly as public enough for Mark. Nope. In front of a camera, admitting how wrong she is would only do.

        Yup, he’s totally being exploited *spits*

  3. 4

    …and for anyone else who’s primed to give me that “he’s austic” excuse, here’s an article from someone who is on the spectrum AND attended the convention in question. Read it and go away:

    http://skeptability.com/2015/11/20/autism-is-no-excuse-for-racist-priorities/

    “So, to those posting “gotcha” tweets and blog comments – no, you haven’t caught the Skepticon crowd throwing an “autistic kid” under the bus. We’re criticising an aspiring journalist for putting his personal desires before the safety and lives of black students at his school. We’re assuming that as a person who has made himself a public figure he is competent to handle the pushback that he is getting. I believe that autism does not mean that Schierbecker is not capable of being better.”

  4. 5

    As someone on the spectrum I find Mark to be an asshole looking for 15 more minutes of internet fame. I wonder who made him post that tweet about The Orbit? If I had to guess between ego and right wing forces …….

    I have a son who is on the other side of the spectrum from me and if he had the ability to participate in life the way Mark has there would have been a very big sit down indeed. I follow these sites because they help keep my rigidity to a minimum . Mark would be well served to read here and read here often.

    Also Mark is making it about himself by bringing it up at the announcement for a new website that has nothing to do with him.

  5. Nat
    7

    I had a look at his Twitter when this blew up, and there seemed to be some contradictions there.
    While his overall worldview seemed to be fairly liberal (he told any racists following him he didn’t want their company), he did express excitement at Ben Shapiro giving a talk, which is the last thing you’d hear normally from a liberal.
    It seems that MS has a fairly one-dimensional and solipsistic attitude: Agree with Mark Schierbecker — good person; Disagree with Mark Schierbecker — bad person.

  6. 8

    Focusing on him seems misguided. He didn’t really do anything but film a public rally and get threatened by a teacher. Teachers can’t physically threaten their students (obviously). He has every right to be upset about it. It’s unfortunate that this situation was grasped as a distraction from the movement, but that isn’t his fault. It’s Melissa Click’s fault.

    1. 8.1

      Look, I’m not going to go over this crap again. He wasn’t threatened, the assault was a shove of the camera, and his own words at Skepticon damn him about making this a distraction from the movement. I’m not discussing this further AGAIN.

      Also, I decide where my focus is, not you. If you can’t deal with that, go elsewhere.

  7. 10

    Whenever I see someone like Mark say they were attacked on the internet one of the first things that I do is to get them to show me what they mean. Show me the attack. Let me see it for myself while they tell me what parts constitute an attack and why.

    I’ve had to do this because I’ve been profoundly disappointed about what they think constitutes an attack. I’ve discovered that a great many of my fellow white people simply think that criticism is an attack. This dovetails quite nicely with recent research showing that we are more sensitive to the claims that other groups make about hardship. I guess “being top dog” socially speaking makes us rather weak over time.

    I lost Xenu the moment they limited their words to characterizations of what happened and gave no reasons or logic for anything. Someone was in a position where they had to repeatedly deny that they were racist and had unexamined privilige? Well were they and did they? I’ve discovered that a great many genuine racists simply act like they were slapped in the face and do everything they can to prevent themselves and others from actually examining the claim. That is a huge social problem, and one I refuse to ignore.

    I also do not see much of an effort to actually show how Mark’s autism functionally removes the right of others to complain about his behavior, and I’m saying that as a person with Tourette’s Syndrome. In fact I’ve found these social justice communities extremely valuable in understanding the best ways to behave and even be a decent ally from time to time (as well as when I should choose to act in a way some will perceive as antisocial, such as calling out xenophobia and bigotry).

    In short too many of us who have been used to being in a more socially dominant position have no idea how to take criticism or even identify it and that is a huge personal weakness. And too many of us are willing to run to their defense in a purely group-based sensitivity.

  8. 11

    Thank you for writing this.  I wish that privileged white dudebro Schierbecker would just go away.  When I am reminded of that horiffic, racist, and discursively violent fiasco at Skepticon last year, I get angry Whenever I see the video of the event, where two entitled white men were whitesplaining and minimizing black pain, oppression, and suffering, I begin to shake as I feel the sorrow and rage overcome me.  Although I wasn’t able to be there in person, watched the live stream of Mark’s interview (propaganda piece) and I still have not recovered and healed from the pain that he and that other white man inflicted with their rhetorical violence.

    I am so tired of seeing Schierbeckee in the news over what happened at #Mizzou.  That white journalist, blinded by his privrlege, insisted that what happened had something to do with his rights, and delusionslly claimed that he was assaulted.  The uncomfortable truth is that what POC and their allies did was self defense.  He illegally and forcibly,entered a POC only healing space in a blatant terroristic attack on our narrative.  After we defended ourselves without physically injuring him, he attempted to highjack the spotlight and steal the media narrative that was built upon the labor and suffering of POC.  The night after it all happened you had groups of KKK terrorist mobs storming the #Mizzou campus and terrorizing POC, yet this guy wanted to keep crying about his “first amendment”

    I was thrilled to see a small group of brave POC fight back against these bullies at #skeoticon, but saddened when the sheer trauma of the discursive violence, marginalization of suffering, and narrative manipulation terrorism forced these brave POC to leave.  It is sad to see the entrenched systemic racism of Skepticon and the atheist community.  They have a long way to becoming a welcoming and safe space for POC.

    It is good to see that Skepticon organizers apologized, but that is not enough and does little to ameliorate the very real harm and suffering caused by those two men at that Skepticon panel. I know that the people behind #Skepticon are good people who don’t want a repeat off last year’s debacle.  I think a training workshop on racial and gender inclusivity, sensitivity, privilege, and ally skills should be mandatory for all people attending Skepticon.  This can’t be just an optional session, and proof of completion must be required before enering the event.  It is clear that the larger atheist community desperately needs such training.

    Let us not forget the real damage that Schierbecker has done to our ally Melissa Click.  Prof. Click was simply, doing her duty as a journalism professor, and keeping interlopers out of a POC only safe space that she had invited them to.  She was doing the most important work of a journalism professor, which is maintaining the narrative at all costs.  It is so sad that she was fired, and it is the young minds at Mizzou who will suffer the most.  How will are future leaders learn about whiteness in Martha Stewart, or gender roles in Twilight?  Never forget the damage that Schierbecker has caused.

    I hope that our white allies will stop focusing on white journalists and return the focus to the harsh and brutal realities facing POC at #Mizzou.  Allies who want to learn about the extent of their privilege should learn more about Jonathan Butler, the brave man behind the protests.  Growing up in utter poverty, trapped in the ghetto, with a broken family. Jonathan has fought horrific oppression and overcome obstacles more enormous than privileged Americans can even imagine. Let’s forget about whiny white journalists crying about their rights and return the focus to brave heroes like Jonathan Butler snd their fight against systemic oppression and injustice.

  9. 12

    #11

    Exactly.

    The public park was not a public place open to all. It was a safe space for Melissa Click and the black studends, and racist dudebro Schierbecker waltzed in there, trying to oppress people with the bullshit excuse of ‘freedom of the press’. The same goes for that privileged Asian dudebro with the camera.

    I hope that Melissa Click wins her appeal, what the university is doing to her is a travesty. More white dudebros are trying to shut an oppressed person up. Fuck that shit.

  10. 13

    I owe an apology, Davoin Shower Handle has brought up a very good point. I should be focusing on the students of Mizzou and what they are doing and I will read more about Jonathan Butler like they suggested. I am sorry for highlighting Mark and especially inviting him here.

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