It’s easy to be loud, aggressive, and always on the watch for any perceived instances of political incorrectness in video games. You can pretend that you’re doing your part by being an online activist, especially when you’re showered with praise for doing so. For the most part, it’s what makes a lot of people feel better about themselves for doing very little — but it can also be an excuse to train your sights on anyone who’s open game for bullying (“nerdbros” come to mind) and cultivate prejudice.
Not content with simply mocking gamers over online disagreements and shaming fellow game developers for refusing to fall in line with his politics, BioWare gameplay designer Manveer Heir’s Twitter timeline exposes a far more disturbing reality, with tweet after racist tweet disparaging white people. Manveer Heir is a key developer on the upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda, published by EA Games.
Just looking through his timeline, I’ve found dozens of instances where Heir made disparaging and abusive remarks about white people — including that are simply overt racism.
While some people could be excused for simply hopping on the “It’s okay to mock white people” bandwagon, as popularized by BuzzFeed listicles, Heir’s naked prejudice goes as far back as 2011, revealing a strongly cultivated sense of disdain toward white people. There are remarks ranging from mild jokes and unoriginal humor to admissions that he feels uncomfortable around white people. He even bragged that he enjoyed messing with white people by “scaring them with [his] brown skin” as payback for racism after 9/11.
Several times, Heir made it apparent that his beef wasn’t simply with white people whom he mocked for their “white fragility,” (i.e. white people who can’t take criticism), but white people in general. In one instance, he wrote: “I’m officially following 1000 people now. I think I’m going to spend part of today clearing out who I follow, specifically white men.”
He followed it up with by saying, “I follow too many white dudes, so if you get culled, tough shit. Blame the dominance of your species/race/gender.”
Heir has attempted to justify his unprovoked offensiveness. He tweeted: “A white person being called ‘racist’ is the closest they’ll ever get to being called ‘nigger’. It upsets them so much. #stillnotclosethough”
When a Sikh man was assaulted in Chicago, he held all white people accountable. He wrote: “The real terrorists are already on American soil and they are white.”
In multiple tweets, it is apparent that Heir firmly believes that he is fighting against white supremacy, and he argues that white people stand to gain by simply remaining silent in the face of derision, criticism, and mockery. He wrote: “in the same way men can benefit from shutting up & just listening to women’s issues, white people can benefit from shutting up.”
Going well beyond the realm of social justice, Heir also mocked white people in general for their appearance and strangely also for the odd habits of people he’s worked with at BioWare, describing them as “nasty white folk.” He has, at points, joked about murdering white people.
Heir’s words and the enthusiastic reception by his peers are the fruits of Intersectionality, which argues that it’s not possible to be racist against white people, or sexist against men — because that would require both power and privilege. He wrote: “Now if I could just meet someone who doesn’t need me to explain why my comments about whitey aren’t racist and cares about social activism.”
Those lower down on the progressive stack are given free rein to openly deride those whom they perceive as suffering less oppression. If Manveer Heir expressed any of these views about any other race or ethnicity, there is no question that he would’ve long ago been taken to task for bigotry and racism.