Being a parent is hard. More so if your son is recalcitrant Singaporean teen turned American political refugee, Amos Yee. To familiarise yourself with who Amos Yee is, read our previous reports about him.
Yee is 20 years old now and an adult living in America and surviving off donations from fans of his social media channels like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. It seems he won’t be able to do so anymore as he has gotten himself permanently banned from platforms like Facebook and Twitter due to his pro-paedophilia advocacy work. It’s not like he did not receive any warnings. His YouTube account was deactivated earlier in May due to his pro-paedophilia videos, but he simply continue producing more such content on other channels. With such a bad reputation now in the online world, it is unlikely any other platforms would allow him to continue his advocacy works for paedophiles except in the cowboy communities of the deep dark web.
What a fall from grace for a boy whom Singaporeans have sort of a love-hate relationship with. Free speech champions in Singapore and human rights activists used to hold him up as an example of a victim of the curtailing of free speech in Singapore, but with Yee advocating for paedophiles these days, they don’t seem to hold him with such high regards anymore.
In fact, even one of Yee’s most ardent supporters, America-based human right activist Melissa Chen, is backpedalling oh her support and calling for Yee to be deported from the States back to Singapore. She even offered to personally escort Yee back. Here’s a video she posted lambasting Yee for his pro-paedophilia advocacy work:
Yee can count on one staunch supporter to be always on his side though – his doting mother, Mary Toh. After the video by Chen was widely reported by the media, Toh has lashed out at Chen on her own Facebook account, slamming Chen for her “intellectual dishonesty”:
Mary Toh’s retort to Melissa Chen in full:
“This is a response to Melissa Chen, the person who helped Amos with his asylum case but has since called for his deportation because of his views on pedophilia. I, as Amos’ mother feel obligated to post this (especially since all of Amos’ platforms (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress) have been taken down):
There is a way to disagree with Amos’ positions on pedophilia (Which obviously I’m against), whilst not creating the negative PR against the free speech cause that was sparked by Amos’ case, that human rights activists in Singapore have fought for greatly, saying Amos should be ‘deported from the US’ because of his opinions on pedophilia is unintentionally doing just that. I probably speak for Melissa, myself and everyone involved in Amos’ case before when I say: the laws that got Amos imprisoned in Singapore (for criticising the Singapore Government and religion), I, Melissa and all the people who spoke up for Amos’ cause that are now feeling disappointed and horrified because of Amos’ views on pedophilia, we’re all still against those anti-free speech laws in Singapore. So I hope people don’t use Amos’ views on pedophilia now to try to demean the pro-free speech movement in Singapore that Amos’ case had generated, because those 2 issues are hardly related. Now I’ll get to Melissa’ reaction to Amos’ pedophile activism…
Melissa is a person who champions and surrounds herself with people who support platforming: the KKK, White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis and Alex Jones, people and groups that from my knowledge, advocate (and sometimes even directly cause) actual violence to people. Amos unlike those groups, has never advocated for direct harm to any child (if you have an actual quote that he did (that is not misrepresented or out of context), please show it to me), of course you can claim that although Amos does not advocate for direct harm, his positions would definitely contribute to harming children, fair enough I agree with that. However, it contributes to as much harm (if not less) than the KKK and Neo-nazi groups Melissa so righteously defends. The only reason I can think of why Melissa would criticise Twitter for banning nazis, yet subsequently call for Amos’ deportation, is because in America now it’s more popular to defend the ‘free speech rights’ of white supremacists and nazis, but not pedophiles (Bear in mind I’m against all these views, however I don’t think people just having these opinions is serious enough (unless it’s planning direct violence) to ever warrant being sent to prison over).
If Melissa were consistent with her views on ‘freedom of speech’, she would defend Amos’ rights to speak on the internet, but instead, not only did she lead the campaign that took down all of Amos’ online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, WordPress), she is also apparently ‘offering’ to deport Amos back to Singapore. Really think about what that means: not only is she saying Amos should return to the country that has those oppressive anti-free speech laws that got him imprisoned there before, she’s also saying it’s alright for Amos to be sent to years of prison for the completely unrelated incident of escaping Singapore’ compulsory military, a compulsory military that Melissa herself is against.
Melissa instead of forming her views based on a consistent, logical thought process, instead receives her views based on peer-pressure. She is dishonest, she is intellectually dishonest, a farcry from the skepticism and willingness to engage in ideas (no matter how reprehensible), values that she claims to uphold. I feel like she made that video against Amos based on completely biased misinformation spread about him by haters, and I think she should really refrain from posting on the internet whilst menstruating. I heard that Amos has emailed Melissa asking for a private conversation to clear up any misunderstandings between both of them, so from a mother to her I hope Melissa accepts it. Melissa is right in that Amos can get erratic and unlikeable at times (As Amos’ mother I should know), but I think since the 2 years Melissa has talked to Amos, Amos has improved a lot in communication and social skills, so I think Melissa would be pleasantly surprised if she talked to Amos now
After Melissa speaks with Amos, I sincerely hope that she takes down her video, and then issue a public apology, because anyone who’s actually reasonable would know that this public statement she made is just embarrassing for her, and this is embarrassing in contrast to Amos, my son who now defends pedophiles, so you know it’s bad”
Toh is in a difficult position obviously. Her loving son has a blatant disregard for authorities everywhere and seem unable to maintain a proper human relationship with anyone, constantly biting the hands that feed him like his own parents.
As a mother, it is only right that she will always have a soft spot for her own flesh and blood, however wayward he may have become. However, this brings to question – is Toh just as guilty for how Yee turned out to be now as an adult due to her unwavering support and love for him? As the age old saying goes – spare the rod and spoil the child. We do not know how Toh interacts with Yee in their private lives and what sort of nurturing environment she brought him up in.
Nonetheless, at this stage when Yee is advocating paedophilia, maybe Toh should take a step back and consider the feelings of parents out there whose children are victims of paedophile crimes.
Update on 18 Oct 2020: Amos Yee has been arrested on child porn charges, and Melissa Chen had helped in his arrest.