Ninja Thinks Parents Should Parent Their Kids
The popular streamer said it's "not [his] job" to teach kids about racism and White Privilege.
Popular Twitch streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins has some choice words for parents in an interview with The New York Times: Listen to, and more importantly, teach your kids.
Ninja was asked several questions by the publication about a number of things in his life, from his plans to transition to voice acting to his comments a few years ago about not playing games with women. One question, in particular, was centered around the behavior of the kids who frequent his livestreams. When asked what could be done to mitigate the oftentimes infantile and inflammatory comments made in the chat, which inevitably tend to devolve into some form of derogatory or racial slurs, Ninja said it "all comes down to parenting."
"But it all comes down to parenting," Ninja said. "You want to know who your kid is? Listen to him when he's playing video games when he thinks you're not. Here's another thing: How does a white kid know he has white privilege if his parents never teach him or don’t talk about racism?"
Ninja went on to say it's not his job to teach kids about culture or topics related to race because his first instinct is to assume he's being trolled in the chat.
"If they're gaming and their first interaction with racism is one of their friends saying the N-word and they have no idea what it is--what if it was on my stream?" Ninja asked. "Is it my job to have this conversation with this kid? No, because the first thing that's going on in my head is, This kid is doing this on purpose to troll me. If someone says a racial slur on someone else's stream, it can potentially get that streamer banned. It's awful, but that's the first thing I think of."
At the same time, however, Ninja noted that the internet's illusion of anonymity does embolden people to "say what they want." Ninja still think parents should get involved, though.
"I don’t think it's gaming. I think it's internet culture. People are behind the screen. They say what they want and can get away with it. You have complete anonymity. Your information and data are precious and should remain private, but it sucks that there are kids who can say racist things and be incredibly aggressive and threatening to women online and have zero repercussions. It would be awesome if when someone said something threatening, you could be like, 'Let me look up this dude's gamer tag on this website'--if the law could do this, not a normal person--and then boom: 'It's Jimmy. He said this. Let's call his parents.'"
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