Twitter liberals blast Trump for retweeting ‘white power’ emoji. Because 2019
Facebook and subsidiary Instagram banned a host of right-wing and conservative voices on Thursday, calling them “dangerous” “extremists.” President Trump gave the blacklisted conservatives a show of support on Saturday, retweeting some of their content to his 60 million followers.
Twitter liberals were appalled. Among the accounts Trump retweeted were Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson, a conspiracy-heavy ‘Qanon’ account called ‘Deep State Exposed,’ and Rebel Media’s Lauren Southern.Also on rt.com Trump defends Facebook banned ‘extremists,’ attacks ‘radical left-wing’ media
“There have been many low moment (sic) in the Trump presidency,” liberal pamphleteer Judd Legum wrote, “His conduct on Twitter this AM may be the worst.” Legum evidently considered retweeting conservatives a lower point that threatening Iran with war via tweet, or blasting Syria with cruise missiles.
Trump is retweeting Lauren Southern, a racist who popularized the “white genocide” conspiracy theory. There have been many low moment in the Trump presidency. His conduct on Twitter this AM may be the worst pic.twitter.com/Z6Cunk9VEn— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) May 4, 2019
Trump is retweeting a series of vile people this morning. Lauren Southern, for example, claims women are "not psychologically developed to hold leadership positions.” She has defended Richard Spencer, a Neo-Nazi.This is who Trump has decided to promote, from the presidency.— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) May 4, 2019
Trump’s decision to retweet Lauren Southern angered the mob the most. Like many on the right, Southern has often been pilloried for wrongthink, with her anti-immigrant polemics and documentary focusing on South Africa’s controversial land-reform movement earning her the label of the internet’s prettiest white supremacist.
The tweet in question from Southern was a tame one, warning establishment conservatives that they’d be next to face social media bans if they don’t speak up. However, Southern ended her tweet with the “okay” hand gesture emoji, a symbol that, because nothing makes sense any more, now means “white power.”
The president retweeted white supremacist Lauren Southern. The tweet includes a white power emoji. pic.twitter.com/9ng1Mie7be— Alex Kotch 🔥 (@alexkotch) May 4, 2019
Trump retweets a far-right cuckoo, who used the White Pride symbol emoji in her tweet. She even went as far as to change the color of the emoji, to the whitest possible option.— Րυɱ૦Ր Һคς ɿ੮ 🍑🏛️ (@BrandiLynn4Ever) May 4, 2019
Had the Twitter sleuths done some digging, they would have learned that the “okay” emoji’s association with white supremacy is a hoax, cooked up by 4chan to troll liberals. Sh*tposters and meme-makers spread the gesture far and wide, and the anti-Trump brigade took the bait with enthusiasm.
Such was the power of the meme magic at work that the gesture now exists simultaneously as a legitimate expression of white supremacy to the left, and a ridiculous in-joke to those in the know.
In using the emoji, Southern placed herself in the illustrious company of notorious white supremacists Barack Obama, Eddie Murphy, and ‘Sesame Street’s Swedish Chef.
I find it funny people getting bent out of shape over a hand gesture the Swedish Chef invented...also a close relative of Trump as can be seen in his looks and mannerisms... pic.twitter.com/UoNndi4tGK— Reptilian Reflections (@Dinosrule4life) May 4, 2019
Southern, for her part, denied the “white nationalist” label, and some of the more extreme accusations at her. But the triggering was already done.
Hi Ben, I’m not a white nationalist & I never shot road flares out of a boat at immigrants.You’d think working for NBC you’d take at least a minute to fact check a claim that ridiculous.This is why no one trusts the MSM. Will you have a shred of dignity & delete this lie?— Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) May 4, 2019
With the culture war raging, it is still unclear what, if anything, Trump intends to do about Silicon Valley’s censorship of conservatives. Opponents of censorship have argued that Facebook is a ‘platform’ for debate and not a ‘publisher,’ and is therefore bound to legally uphold free speech.
Trump appeared interested in this argument, retweeting a post from Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing, in which Boreing suggests that, as a platform, Facebook can’t simply “ban anyone for any reason.”Also on rt.com Liberal Twitter in free speech conundrum after Facebook bans Jones, Yiannopoulos and Farrakhan
The publisher/platform decision is a complex one, and would need to be decided by the courts. For now, the battle will be fought with meme-magic, spicy tweets, and weaponized emojis.
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