It was the tweet heard round the world on Monday. Don the Spawn aka the Insult Comedian Jr. aka Patrick Bateman aka Donald Trump Jr. shared another alt-right white supremacist meme:
Then our old buddy the Other Joe Walsh chimed in with a side-by-side tweet:
Imagine wanting the credit for this shit? Perhaps he was way Rocky Mountain high or something. Of course, the Real Joe Walsh gave up intoxicants 20 years ago.
The original meme involved poisonous M&M’S but you can pick your poison as it were. Plain or peanut? It has also been aimed at homegrown minorities, which is why the poisoned candy of choice morphed from M&M’S to Skittles. One could call it the Trayvon Martin effect. I call it sick. I agree with the makers of Skittles: “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people.”
Twitter first played a major political role during the 2012 campaign. It’s playing a yuuuuuge role this time around as the vehicle for alt-right white “nationalists” to mainstream their hate, which has been cynically picked up by Trump and his spawn. The Tweeter Tube is the ultimate echo chamber since all the media types use it to supplement their coverage. It’s an interesting, but occasionally nauseating, way to follow the freak show that is campaign 2016.
I don’t have to tell you that this is the ugliest national campaign in recent memory. The way Team Trump has mainstreamed hate groups makes the 1988 mudbath look like a crawfish boil. It’s gotten to the point where even a political junkie like me cannot wait for the campaign to end. I’ve never felt that way before.
While we’re on the subject of Twitter, I did have a semi-clever retort to Trump’s latest imbecilic overstatement:
“We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before Ever, ever, ever.”
You may have noticed that I have kept the so-called “Jewish cowbell” around my Twitter handle. It’s known in alt-right circles as an echo. Here’s how it’s described at knowyourmeme.com:
(((Echo))) is a symbol used by anti-Semitic members of the alt-right to identify certain individuals as Jewish by surrounding their names with three parentheses on each side. The symbol became a subject of online discussions and media scrutiny in June 2016 after Google removed a browser extension that automatically highlights Jewish surnames in the style.
According to an article on the news site Mic, the (((echo))) symbol originated in “Merchant Minute” segments on the podcast The Daily Shoah, launched by the right-wing political news blog The Right Stuff in 2014. During the show, Jewish surnames would be played with a reverberating echo sound. On The Right Stuff’s lexicon page, the word “Echoes” is listed along with the description “All Jewish surnames echo throughout history.”
Lovely stuff, no? The Daily Shoah? Oy, just oy.
I first surrounded my handle with the echoing cowbells in June after reading an article at Slate. I did it out of solidarity with my Jewish brothers and sisters who have to put up with this sort of shit. I’ve considered removing them because they look kind of clunky but after seeing a tweet from the Huff Post’s Sam Stein, they’re staying:
Who does things like that? I know the answer: Trump supporters. That’s why Hillary called them a basket of deplorables. It’s a label that has been embraced by many of these basket cases. They should be repudiated by all decent people. It’s even too much even for the likes of Poppy Bush to swallow.
Team Trump has a built-in response to the wave of anti-Semitism their campaign has unleashed: Ivanka married a Jew and converted. It’s the classic bigot’s dodge “some of my best friends are…” But it doesn’t excuse the way they’ve brought hate groups out of the shadows and into the light with a nod, wink, and an echo.
UPDATE: Digby has a swell piece about Don the Spawn’s pattern of alt-right malakatude ar Salon.