By Benjamin Lemley | USA
On Wednesday US president Donald Trump’s took to Twitter and unleashed what can only be described as re-tweet storm from #MAGA hell. And while it’s true that these actions have been normalized in parts of the American right, people from all sides of the isle seemed disturbed the ladder part of this week by the strange and insensitive remarks that President Trump seemed to echo and endorse. So what exactly happened?
Here are the facts:
On Wednesday trump took to Twitter and the result was him retweeting the following videos posted by UK politician (and part-time criminal, Jayda Fransen)
Reading from an article published by The Independent,
“The first video, originally shared by deputy leader Jayda Fransen’s account, claimed to show “Muslim migrants beating up a Dutch boy on crutches.” A second re-post was captioned ‘Muslim destroys statue of Virgin Mary’, while a third read “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death.”
Now a bit of background on Fransen. Fransen is the deputy leader of ‘Britain First’. The group, as much as it pains we to confine their unsettling action into one sentence: An authoritarian, pro-fascism wing or Britain’s political scene who claims Muslims or anyone or Arab descent to be a horrible rapist and who believes in using government powers to deport Muslims who live in the UK. So needless to say the fact that the leader of the Free world, a supposed promoter and spokesperson of peace took to Twitter seemed to promote this action group.
Now a bit more Fransen herself. Fransen has said that Muslim men force women to cover up “because they cannot control their sexual urges” adding that “that’s why they are coming to my country raping women across the continent”. Fransen has a history of using her platform to spread these messages. While her rampant discrimination is to many an outage, her party’s fascist advocacy has had even more concerned.
Britain First has come out of basically supporting the deportation of all muslin’s from the UK permanently. Basically, BF is a group which advocates for the government to be used a mechanism to fuel their racist worldview. If that’s not fascism, someone explain what is. Now let’s get to the aspect of this that has really concerned most Americans.
Was President Trump’s re-tweet of these videos somehow an endorsement of these ideals. The answer is both yes and no. Trump likely only read the tweet and watched the videos they contained. So I think it’s fair for us to assume that he basically believes these videos are true and agrees with the message they send. As for the idea that he was endorsing the ideal of Britain First or Jayda Fransen, it’s complicated. It’s unclear whether or not the president knows the background here. I think it’s fair to assume at this point he didn’t. Does that make this acceptable? Hell no. A US president obviously needs to be informed about the things he’s promoting, on special media especially. With this said, I think it’s time we admit that Trump didn’t necessarily have fascist motivations behind these re-tweets.
So what does all this mean? While some sources push this story as Trump showing his inner self (and this is clearly true regarding the discrimination), but we must understand that these re-tweets need to be taken in context. Specifically the context of president Trump’s Twitter history. We know Trump can’t contain himself. At this point it’s so sad we must try to excuse his actions by the fact that he seems to be outright dumb, but in this case, we can see that Trump didn’t know what he was doing. Instead of taking this as a call for fascism, let’s take this to be what it really is: Another example of Trump’s incompetence.