Skip to content

Obama’s Twitter Debut, @POTUS, Attracts Hate-Filled Posts – NYTimes.com

2015-05-23

But there was one measure of a specific slur. According to analytics compiled by Topsy, a research company that collects and analyzes what is shared on Twitter, the number of postings that included Mr. Obama’s name and one particular racial epithet jumped substantially on Monday, the day of the president’s first posting, to 150.

One Twitter user who did not use that specific racial slur responded to the president with just two words: “Black monkey,” a comparison that was not uncommon. “Get back in your cage monkey,” another person wrote.

Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said that the language directed at Mr. Obama was unfortunately “all too common on the Internet,” and that officials would probably not spend much time trying to block abusive commenters from the president’s account.

via Obama’s Twitter Debut, @POTUS, Attracts Hate-Filled Posts – NYTimes.com.

Here’s a measure of how stupid and full of hate some people can be: sending Twitter posts to President Obama’s personal account referring to him as a “monkey” or a “N..”  You’d think people would know better.  From the article:

One person posted a doctored image of Mr. Obama’s famous campaign poster, instead showing the president with his head in a noose, his eyes closed and his neck appearing broken as if he had been lynched. Instead of the word “HOPE” in capital letters as it appeared on the campaign poster, the doctored image had the words “ROPE.”

The accompanying message said “#arrestobama #treason we need ‘ROPE FOR CHANGE.’ ” It was addressed to @POTUS by a user calling himself@jeffgully49, who has posted other images of Mr. Obama in a noose, and whose Twitter profile picture shows Mr. Obama behind bars. “We still hang for treason, don’t we?” his post said.

The writer, Jeff Gullickson of Minneapolis, subsequently posted on Thursday that his reply to Mr. Obama had earned him a visit from the Secret Service at home. Reached for comment, Mr. Gullickson responded by asking in an email how much The New York Times would pay him for an interview.

White House officials and a Twitter spokesman said they could not determine the percentage of postings to Mr. Obama that were racist. But they appeared to be a small number in what was an otherwise social-media-fueled show of love for Mr. Obama, who was drawing followers at a rapid pace — nearly 2.3 million by Thursday afternoon — and hundreds of worshipful messages that welcomed him to Twitter and praised him on everything from his appearance to his policies.

“I love you, @POTUS,” wrote one person, @camerondallas, who has nearly five million followers, in a posting marked as a favorite more than 15,000 times.

So most of the Twitter posts were positive.  The number of negative, racist, or simply hateful messages is a reflection of the Republican Party’s attempts to demonize the President as much as it is a sign of how many people are racist, xenophobic, or disrespectful.  The Republicans seem to have energized their most antagonistic followers to openly display their hate on a forum closely followed by the Secret Service.

Most of these antagonists don’t seem to be aware that every post they make on Twitter puts them on the Secret Service’s list of potential assassins.  They also don’t seem to understand that the Secret Service takes its mission– protecting the President and his family– very seriously and will imprison and prosecute those who display an unfortunate zeal for attacking Mr. Obama.

In this way, while it makes the President’s supporters very uncomfortable to hear these negative sentiments, it neatly exposes those who are antagonistic and foolish enough to commit their sentiments to Twitter.  The really dangerous people, though, are those with enough presence of mind to keep their mouths shut and make preparations to kill without revealing their intent.

These hidden antagonists are the ones that the Secret Service worries about the most — the ones who hide their intentions until the critical moment and make it necessary to interpose their government paid bodies in front of the President when they shoot at him.  It is because of these people that the Secret Service has its most potent oath: to die if necessary to prevent anyone killing the President.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: