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Facebook has severed ties with livestreamer Jerry Banfield after he announced that he wishes to identify as a black man despite being white, denouncing his statement as “hate speech” and removing his access to monetization features on the platform.

“Major new announcement that I’m very excited about today,” Banfield told his viewers during the stream. “Today I’m grateful I have the courage to do something I wanted to do for a very long time. For years I’ve wanted to be black, I’m tired of being white…

“Let’s just get to the point: I am now identifying as a black man. As an African American. I no longer wish to be identified as a white man… That’s not who I am anymore. I’ve been wanting to make that change for a long time.”

Speaking of what inspired him to make this announcement, Banfield said, “For years I wanted to make this change but I thought I couldn’t because of my current skin color. Today I woke up and realized if a man or a woman can suddenly decide, regardless of their biology, DNA, and past identification, that they wish to change genders, and be fully supported in this transition, then I absolutely can make the same decision for my race.”

Apparently some people were offended by Banfield’s statement and alerted Facebook to the ‘issue.’ Shortly after the livestream ended, Facebook Gaming said they were aware of the livestream, which they said “ran counter to the spirit of Black History Month” and that they have “cut ties with the creator in question.”

The streamer responded to the decision on his Facebook page, saying he was frustrated with how Facebook treated him. In one post Banfield revealed that he had been demonetized and said that “we live in a world where we are free to change genders and therefore this must apply to race as well.”

He also questioned why Facebook Gaming referred to his announcement as ‘hate speech,’ writing: “Which part exactly? The simple fact is that denying anyone the ability to self identify as any race they choose and denying them to celebrate all the related holidays is discrimination.” 

“The only way this makes sense is if I am not allowed to define myself as black because of my current skin tone which by definition is discrimination,” he concluded.

Banfield’s Facebook page is still up, but it remains to be seen if Facebook will take any further action against the streamer who still insists he is now African American.

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