One thing you’ll notice if you waste time on social media – Twitter in particular is that everyone is working themselves to the point of hysteria on any topic that gets somewhat controversial. This doubles if its political and there’s at least two different distinct ways of thinking about an issue that fundamentally disagree with each other.
Recently it’s all been about a Somalian refugee Muslim congress women Ilhan Omar if I’m not mistaken. Her and her supporters and Trump and his have been doing the usual twitter attacks. Trump found some clip of her “downplaying” the 9/11 attacks. Honestly it’s taking what she said of out context.
She wasn’t defending the terrorism, she was trying to make a distinction as well as call attention to her belief that Muslims here are tired of being viewed and treated with suspicion. I loathe linking to sites like NYT and sometimes The Atlantic, but this is a good illustration of how widespread our hysteria is becoming. (Granted, I think she and Muslims here are treated quite well – considering how they would and are treated in places like China, India, and even Muslim countries. In other countries, they don’t care about accusations of “Islamaphobia,” and it certainly won’t cost you your job. That said, I get her point. )
Now considering she and her “supporters” do the exact same thing all the time to Trump and #MagaSupporters, I suppose it’s all fair game at this point. Goose for the gander and all that. It’s just another hysteric exchange where context doesn’t matter- deliberately yet again. We see it all the time. It’s victims are varied, across all spectrum and politics, nuance doesn’t matter, and it’s only going to get worse. Essentially, it doesn’t matter what you actually say anymore; merely it just matters what your detractors want it to mean. You just have to hope their platform isn’t too big and widespread. Hyperbole and hysteria are our new norm.
In the wake of this newest Twitter based outrage, it’s spawned the usual #IStand hashtags. This one is #IStandWithIlhanOmar with a varied mix of hysteric responses, a few genuine critics, and plenty of hypocrites whose twitter feeds reveal them doing the same deliberate out-of-context attacks on the orange Hitler and his deplorables. What’s flabbergasting to watch is how this hysteria continues to replicate and multiply itself at incredible speeds – almost like a pandemic plague organism.
Tons of tweets defending Omar all hype up that she’s in incredible physical danger because of Trump’s tweet. She’s getting death threats! On the internet! It’s not as if people routinely exchanged online death threats over things as meaningful as clashes between Cardi B and Niki Minaj over social media. Seriously, it’s hard not to see at least one death threat over the most benign and stupidest things on social media and the internet in general.
Of course, it’s exploited for political purposes to whip up the base SPLC style to get donations going. Ironically in this case it’s the side that’s always fomenting about fear and accusing the “other” side of exploiting it. It’s not “fear” when it your tribe – it a justified response! Observe some of these tweets:
What’s really ironic – besides these folks pretending this is a call to violence – is that Omar is in very little ACTUAL PHYSICAL danger in the US. Perhaps there’s exceptions in major urban sanctuary cities with diversity, multiculturalism, tolerance, safe spaces but are strangely plagued by high amounts of violence and crime. If Omar was actually traveling the roads alone – or even with family – in Somalia or neighboring Kenya and even Ethiopia, then perhaps her safety might actually be at risk. I’m still not sure how her intersectional feminism on her profile would appeal to her fellow “POC” if they came across her unprotected on those roads.
Sure the NZ mosque massacre might be an actual example of “Islamophobia” being deadly, but its a drop in the bucket considering the most recent mosque bombings and attacks by Muslims on one another. Strangely, no one gives a shit when Shia and Sunni kill each other, but if it’s a white dude it’s suddenly a much bigger deal and the killing are somehow more reprehensible and worthy of condemnation and attention.
Yet again it all boils down to political exploitation of “fear” and the usual tribes.
A word of warning though: Be careful before you retweet and tweet. The nature of the platform intends to make sooooo easy to simply tweet without any research on whatever controversy is trending. Obviously today’s internet users aren’t interested in nuance and it ensures Twitter is devoid of it. 99% of the time, there’s going to be more to the story. However it takes time to research and investigate. Good luck with that today.