May 4, 2019

IF THEY WERE SERIOUS THEY'D BAN HIM:

Here Are the Alt-Right Figures Trump Thinks Are the Innocent Victims of Censorship (MOLLY OLMSTEAD, MAY 04, 2019, Slate)

In particular, Trump focused on Joseph Paul Watson, an InfoWars personality known also for his conspiracy-mongering. Trump mentioned Watson in his own tweet Friday, and he retweeted a video Watson made criticizing Facebook the next morning.

Watson's conspiracies are not harmless. While it can sometimes be hard to see the ways in which "chemtrails" and 9/11 conspiracies--conspiracy theories he supports that have been popular for many years--are harmful, his efforts to push the conspiracy theory about murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich directly brought anguish to Rich's mourning family.

Besides his conspiracy-mongering, Watson is also known for his racism and sexism. He once joked that the Women's March should be renamed "handful of self-entitled, fat, ugly feminists trying to get arrested in desperate attempt to impress any man." He once said "science" proves African and Middle Eastern people have problems with "aggression" because of "low IQ." He has asserted that "there's no such thing as moderate Islam. Islam is a violent, intolerant religion which, in its current form, has no place in liberal western democracies." But the greatest harm likely has to do with his insistence on constantly amplifying absurd right-wing fake news stories without any apparent concern for the truth.

Trump also retweeted Lauren Southern, a far-right Canadian activist who has faked transitioning genders as a pretext to interview transgender activists. She claimed Black Lives Matter caused more deaths than the KKK. She showed up at an anti-rape protest with a sign that read, "There is no rape culture in the West."

Even actor James Woods, who has used slurs to describe Muslims, had his Twitter account briefly suspended because of a tweet that violated the site's rules, according to CNN Business.

The president has amplified the voices of racists, misogynists, and white supremacists on his Twitter feed before. But in a dust-up between tech companies and extremists over those extremists' right to say offensive and bigoted things on those platforms, he sided explicitly with the extremists in a shared sense of victimhood.

His presidency is nothing more than a platform for hate.

Posted by at May 4, 2019 7:11 PM

  

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