Some Social Justice Warriors have been targeting Magic: The Gathering artist Teresa Nielsen for being a Conservative Mormon who liked some tweets from other Right-leaning individuals and Republicans. These so-called “fans” decided to upbraid her and disavow her contributions to the Magic community due to her personal politics.
It actually started way back in 2018, when Social Justice Warriors began combing through Nielsen’s Twitter history to look for potential wrongthink after they saw some of the tweets she liked and some of the people she followed.
I’ve no doubt the others in this thread are real. It’s common for someone who’s been found out about this sort of thing to back and scrub their history. She just did a poor job. pic.twitter.com/kdawewGNz6
— Travis Allen (@wizardbumpin) August 16, 2018
The appropriate response to this isn’t “separate the art from the artist.” It’s a hard sever.
RTing how much you hate the right and everything they do is easy. The hard part is taking a stand when it’s someone you know and like. What will Magic do?
— Travis Allen (@wizardbumpin) August 16, 2018
Here are some likes from about a year ago that i screenshotted when this first came up pic.twitter.com/7lnNBueTzM
— Veronica 🦇 (@nopiewinston) August 15, 2018
There were also angry that Nielsen supported Trump, and that she had gone back to either delete likes or erase retweets related to certain kinds of politics. Nevertheless, even removing them from her timeline wasn’t enough for the foot soldiers carrying out admonishment on behalf of the Intersectional Inquisition.
This became way more popular than I thought it would, so some things:
1) I’ve muted the thread
2) she liked Trump/MAGA stuff towards the start of the year. That’s how we know. She’s been careful since after we called her out. Check her follows to see Alt right conservative “news”
— Ally🌹, Secretly a Flerken™ (@AllyEncampment) August 15, 2018
Over the months, people continued to badger and pelt invective at Nielsen for having Conservative views, this is despite the fact that Nielsen is married to another woman and has been with her for the last 25 years, even at the expense of being shunned and blackballed by close friends, and family within the Mormon community.
This swelling condemnation of her political views eventually resulted in Nielsen penning an open letter to her followers and the Magic: The Gathering community at large. She posted the letter on April 2nd, 2019 essentially thanking fans for their support and writing with the intent to put beauty, compassion, and love back into the ether of our known reality.
Treading out softly to place this here. pic.twitter.com/aHmX3Rmy23
— Terese Nielsen (@tnielsenart) April 2, 2019
The letter is rather lengthy, but the relevant part relating to Magic: The Gathering came near the bottom, where Nielsen wrote…
“The Magic community has blessed me and taught me in a myriad of ways in the past 25 years. I’ve learned generosity and gratitude from hosts of players gifting me through the mail and tipping to sign their cards. I do my best to carry that generosity forward and apply it similarly to people that wait on me in restaurants, clean my hotel rooms, or mow my lawn. I’ve been edified many times watching the gentle and compassionate exchanges between magic players that connect with “strangers” while waiting in my line for their signatures. I’ve seen the joy and passion that people have for a game that brings them together and creates places for beautiful and unique social interactions. I’ve transformed from the early days of my career when I thought that creating illustrations for companies was merely a job, to being overwhelmed by the appreciation for paintings that occasionally touches someones life in a deep and meaningful way. I’ve learned to write messages and notes when possible, to thank and appreciate people when they have done something that was meaningful to me.
“I understand that we live in a world of duality. One can be elevated to levels undeserved and flogged as less-than-human with the next stroke of a keyboard. I embrace the fact that many different viewpoints can, do and should co-exist. In these stressful and tumultuous times, it is my intent to navigate in harmony with my core values (beauty, compassion, love) to the best of my ability without any need or desire to stifle, censor or demean another for differently held viewpoints.”
To absolutely no one’s surprise, the very top reply to Nielsen’s tweet calling for cooler heads, compassion, understanding, and to use the platforms available to everyone for sharing kindness and beauty with one another, is about getting rid of the cards featuring her art because they were unable to separate the art from the artist.
I removed your cards from my decks because they remind my friends that people hate their existence (and remind me that people hate those I love). This is in no way a step towards making amends. This is not said with love. This is asking us to be okay with your hate.
— Andy (@Kochachan) April 2, 2019
Thankfully, there are some people who still understand what it means to be a sane human being, mostly those who don’t have furry avatars, or a bio filled with pronouns.
She owe’s absolutely no one here an apology. You people are proof of how privileged you all are if this is the kind of crap you protest against. 1st world problems, pathetic.
— Kevin (@sleepyturtle89) April 2, 2019
Of course, given the nature of Twitter’s starkly Left-leaning nature, there was a deluge of various Social Justice types basically saying that they would be getting rid of any Magic cards illustrated by Nielsen.
I recently discovered that an artist I adored supported extremist views…
Sad as it is to say, I will be reviewing my Magic: the Gathering decks later and replacing cards that featured her art with alternatives wherever possible.
Sorry Terese. https://t.co/iCyclE3V2P
— fuwanic-chan (@phonic_fox) April 3, 2019
Even when some of the more Left of center types attempted to talk reason into the community it just wasn’t enough to convince them that judging someone by the content of their character was more important than the content of their timeline.
It’s not good enough when she supports ideology that causes harm to members of the community.
This isn’t “she has a different opinion” this is “she agrees with these people who call for violence, dehumanization, loss of rights, and death for people who are different from her”
— Tyler Barnum (@phinneas8052) April 3, 2019
This kind of behavior spilled over into the Magic: The Gathering sub-reddit, where a post was made on April 2nd, 2019, which eventually ended up being locked due to the contentious nature of the thread. However, there was still the very obsequious nature of the sub adhering to the Social Justice Warrior mindset, where no matter how calmly or well-reasoned Nielsen’s open letter came across, some people had set it up in their mind that anyone right of Mao was a villain.
How exactly are Nielsen’s views harmful if everything she expressed was about bringing people together and respecting opposing views? That’s not clearly addressed in the Reddit thread. Instead they apply guilt by association to Nielsen, noting that she’s liked or retweeted some stuff form Jack Posobiec, Mike Cernovich, and Sean Hannity, along with the Green Party and Alex Jones (before he was banned by Twitter).
Simply liking the tweets was enough for people to call it “nasty” and distance themselves from Nielsen.
Probably the most damning response was someone who had no actual knowledge of Nielsen’s political views but championed for ostracizing people like her and turning them into pariahs.
A few people at least did recognize that there was some measure of silliness involved with the rhetoric of castigation over someone liking tweets or following certain people on Twitter.
One user in particular asked why it was so harmful for Nielsen to follow people or like their tweets since it didn’t mean she endorsed everything coming from those people.
The comment was met with a number of responses claiming that following and linking such content was “harmful” and the equivalent of endorsing those views. One of the most upvoted responses was from DefiantTheLion, who wrote…
The scary part about it is that it’s essentially a witch hunt against Nielsen not for anything she personally wrote, said, advocated, or espoused, but simply because of who she associated herself with very briefly on Twitter. And as mentioned earlier, Nielsen even took the extra step to remove the likes and follows to avoid further condemnation from SJWs.
Basically, Social Justice Warriors are now looking to ostracize people simply for who they follow and like, much less where they align on the political spectrum.
(Thanks for the news tip Reina, Popoto and Ebicentre)