In light of Jar Jar's return, so did the anger and resentment over his use of the N-word. This led to this e-mail being sent:
Now, everyone has an opinion about this matter. Some people are very bothered by what was said, some people aren't all that bothered by 40K radio going away, and some people have even tried to explain away the threat that Spencer saw in this e-mail. Don't think so? Just go to any forum or site where people are opining this news.
Thanks for bringing the racist asshole back. Just so you know I have chatted with your sponsors regarding this and am trying to get them to drop you. I have a few others online doing the same. We have started a following and will try to topple and undermine you. I also hope that your affairs are all in order.
Ever think that your wife’s miscarriage is due to your actions? I say good riddance, one less racist to be raised in the world. Its Instant Karma in my mind.Again, I hope your affairs are in order. Seriously.
The fact of the matter is, you can't explain it away. You can't explain away the emotions over the racial slur, you can't explain away the emotions in that e-mail, and you can't explain away the emotions Spencer and his wife are going through after losing a child. Nor can you explain away that no matter what you say the accepted meaning in "I also hope that your affairs are all in order" is to make sure you are prepared for your passing. And that makes this whole thing stink.
Don Imus is sober and calls women's basketball players "nappy headed ho's" on his paid job and he gets a second chance, but Jar Jar is drunk and says the N-word during a podcast he does on the side and he's never allowed to talk about his hobby publicly again? Spencer loses his child, and it's okay for this person to anonymously make callous comments about it and not suffer any punishment or sanction? This person is allowed to make implied threats and he's defended?
40K Radio was never known for being politically correct. It was a bunch of guys talking about a hobby, often times drinking at the same time. They often said things that were, well, stupid. But the N-word crossed the line. The ban was right, the ban was appropriate, the ban was needed. Jar Jar screwed up and he needed to be punished. People are very sensitive about that kind of language, and you have to tread lightly. There's no way we could see this happen again. But time and again when a public figure is censured for doing something stupid we hear that this is a country that allows second chances (yes the internet is international, but 40K Radio was made in America...which happens to be where I live). Sports figures cheat, and we forgive them. Famous spouses cheat, and we overlook their indiscretion and continue to be fans. So when a guy gets drunk and slips up, yes he needs to be punished, but doesn't he deserve forgiveness when he apologizes and shows contrition?
Instead, we get hate. Apologies were made. Punishment was enacted. But forgiveness by some was drowned in their vitriol. And instead of dialogue and hobby talk we got threats and crassness. And someone uses anonymity to spread their own brand of hate. And the internet and the gaming community suffer for it.
Is this where we stand as a community? Is this what it comes to? Be bland in your opinions, do not offend anyone or else you too could be threatened? I don't partake in hateful writings here on this site. But what if I have an opinion that isn't liked? Am I open to being threatened? Is my family open to attacks? I recently finished "Flight of the Eisenstein", and have written and rewritten a blog post about religion in science fiction and gaming. I'm not as big as 40K Radio, but if I post it and someone's beliefs are offended is it okay for them to send letters like that?
I would even be willing to forgive the sender of that e-mail if he or she came forward, accepted their punishment, and showed some sort of contrition for what they said. Unfortunately the internet doesn't work this way, and instead the community suffers a loss as a popular podcast is shut down. Where there other circumstances leading to the podcast shutting down? Yes, but that doesn't soften the blow of what that e-mail said, and it doesn't make sending something as baseless and crass as that okay. Seriously, read that e-mail again. Everything he said was okay, maybe not anything I agreed with but at least acceptable, right up until the "affairs in order" comment. That's when the sender crossed the line, and when the sender voluntarily participated in hate. This is an e-mail. This is a written correspondence. This person had the chance to hit the delete button, something Jar Jar didn't. And some people think it's okay? No, it's not okay, it's hypocrisy, and it's cyber bullying, and it's illegal.
I love 40K, and so far I've had nothing but good dealings with the community. I believe this person represents a very small minority in our fraternity. But we need to police ourselves, and we need to recognize that if one form of hate is bad, so is every other form. We have a bond that we share, and when we argue over our differences, let's not forget what we have in common: A love for the coolest game I've ever played.
40K Radio is sadly gone, but 40K itself is still here. Let's not ruin that by ruining our community.