Protect My Little Pony from Being Classified as Hateful
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My Little Pony is a franchise that sells horse toys to primarily girls. With the new generation gaining popularity to demographics beyond girls, including boys, the fandom and the franchise itself grew exponentially over time with the biggest commercial success in all of pop culture history. The ponies feature colorful bodies, manes, and a unique symbol on one or both sides of their flanks. Such symbols are referred to in the two most recent incarnations as "cutie marks". My Little Pony has been revamped several times with new and more modern looks to appeal to a new market.
My Little Pony is not intended to spread hate, but some individuals and groups (e.g., alt-brony and alt-right) are using it for this purpose. Already, elements of it are used in white supremacist, islamophobic, anti-immigrant, pro-Trump, and pro-Hitler internet memes, similar to Pepe the Frog, which was declared a hate symbol, even though it is never meant to be that way. Freedoms of speech and expression exist in the United States, and Supreme Court cases show that there are limits to it, but classifying anything as hateful for petty reasons can lead to chilling effects on First Amendment rights. Declaring MLP as hateful would mean bronies can be targeted by law enforcement for spreading positive virtues like friendship, love, and tolerance. They would not be able to make their voices heard just because of the hate obsession that is going on in a country like the United States.
In addition, the majority of the fans of My Little Pony, called "bronies", are peace-loving, non-political people who just enjoy the show itself and congregate in conventions to show their support for it. However, some bronies are part of any political group, including the alt-right, supporters of Trump or Clinton, and neo-nazis supporters. There are also some bronies who are hateful in any capacity (with hate being defined in various ways). No brony should feel the guilt by association just because there are people who attribute them to hateful elements (e.g., anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and xenophobia) in places like blogs, forums, and social networks. By officially declaring My Little Pony a hate symbol, the First Amendment rights will be questioned, and the civil liberties of every brony are at stake. We can bring attention to and ultimately end the problem with hate, but not at the expense of bronies or anybody else. Hate-oriented groups like the alt-right, the KKK, and the Black Panthers should be punished for misusing things like MLP, not the bronies themselves. There is no need to make unnecessary connections between a fictional show and real life to make it to where it can be banned.
MLP:FiM^TM is © by Lauren Faust, Hasbro, DHX Studios, and Studio B
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