During the first year of his Presidency, he’s managed to offend a great number of people but these latest retweets might just have just topped them all. Why?
Many people will already be aware that Britain First is a nasty clan with purely racist motivations. As Hope Not Hate explains, Britain First has found notoriety through controversial stunts like mosque invasions (!). They’re a far-right group with a membership of a few hundred, but thanks to social media their reach is a lot wider. By retweeting these questionable videos by the group’s Deputy Leader, it is as though POTUS has not only endorsed the ‘organisation’, but also the content of the tweets to his 43.6million followers.
But this isn’t the first time that the President has been so aloof, insensitive and frankly outrageous on social media, so why is this particular controversy any different? Well there’s three parts to this answer. By retweeting…
1. It looks like he’s backing Britain First. A group described as “hate-filled”, “fascist” and a bunch of “Islamaphobes”. Even marmite Piers Morgan (and the President’s former co-star) has called it “the worst thing” he has done as President.
2. It has given followers of far right groups that warm fuzzy feeling, and that can’t be a good thing. They think they’re winning. They think they’ve got the leader of the free world on their side. You can just imagine them all on their phones scrolling through Twitter, seeing these tweets, and then collectively pumping their little racist fists in the air.
3. These RT’s from ‘the most powerful man in the west’ will only go to compound the belief that there is a metaphorical war going on against Islam. Organisations like New Horizons are working hard to connect people together, to show that if we stand together against hatred and prejudice, we can make a real difference. It doesn’t help if great institutions such as the White House are used to fan conspiracy theories.
It is ironic that after Theresa May rightly condemned Trump, POTUS’ reaction was to simply point the finger at terrorism in the UK. As though he has it all sorted! The reality is that everyone has a responsibility to acknowledge and challenge hate speech, not to normalise it as the President seems to be doing.