The rising star of #Milo Yiannopolous has taken a sudden downward trend, plummeting from the heavens with great speed, force, and I’m sure Milo would like me to include, style. The Breitbart senior editor announced just yesterday that he would be resigning from the company, after a conservative group rallied together to resurface footage of Milo defending sexual relations with “sexually mature” 13 year old boys. He also had his new book from Simon and Schuster cancelled as well as a speaking slot at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference)

It’s a wonder the right didn’t drop him long ago. But not so much a wonder if we look at his brand.

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He goes on a speaking tour named “Dangerous Fagoot.” He wears gaudy jewelry, bulletproof vests, and wears hair that can only be described as “Boy band-esque.” He bills himself as “The World’s Most Fabulous Supervillain.” And that last one might be right on the money.

Harley Quinn

The thing to know about #harley quinn, the Joker’s most notorious ally, is that she is simultaneously two things - #Victim and aggressor. Long ago, Harley was a doctor who cared for The Joker in Arkham, until she fell in love with him. Throughout the comics, Joker keeps her with him with an abusive combination of violence and affection.

And yet, however pitiable a victim Harley is, what with being coerced by the Joker to act in his shenanigans, Harley is 100% deadly. With her sexual allure, her addled brain, and psychopathic tendencies, she is at once seductress, victim, and vicious aggressor.

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Doesn't that sound like someone we know? Hey, Milo....

Empathy

Harley is an apt metaphor for someone like Milo, because it helps us ask the larger question: How do we treat someone like that? Milo is a purveyor of what author Laurie Penny brands, “weaponized insincerity,” meaning that your sympathy or empathy with someone like him might get you killed, just as taking pity on Harley Quinn might result in a bat to the back of the neck.

My solution is to speak the truth. Do not equivocate on what you know to be wrong. There are some, even now, who continue to justify Milo’s comments, but it’s important that we not abandon reason along with them. Continuing to engage with their arguments, even if not with them will ensure that even if they don’t change, we will build a better world without them, that they’re welcome to join when they would like.