donald trump

The latest racist filth spewed by Donald Trump

Well, it’s been at least a week – definitely time for Donald Trump to tweet something awful and racist.

The other day, Trump retweeted this graphic:

Donald Trump racist crime tweet

Here’s the thing: Pretty much none of this is true.  Looking at the fact-checking:

Trump’s graphic states that 81% of whites who are murdered are murdered by blacks. This is false. The actual data shows that 14% of white murder victims are murdered by a black person. (In 2013, it was 13.6%.)

The percentage of blacks murdered by other blacks (89.9%) is similar to the percentage of whites murdered by other whites (82.3%). Trump’s graphic falsely states that 97% of blacks are killed by other blacks but just 16% of whites are killed by other whites.

Oh, and the source?  The Crime Statistics Bureau of San Francisco?  Literally doesn’t exist.  Not an actual thing.

Combine this graphic with Trump’s recent comments that a Black Lives Matter protester who was beat up at one of his rallies (“Maybe he should have been roughed up!“), as well as Trump’s other horrendous comments about Latinos and Muslims, and it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Trump is a pretty terrible racist.

Even Bill O’Reilly questioned Trump about the tweet, saying he was “bothered” by it (even if he didn’t think Trump was a racist) and that it gave others an opportunity to paint Trump as such.  Trump, defending himself, said that he, “retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert” and noted that he was tweeted at millions of times during the day – far too often to fact-check every tweet sent his way.

Of course, that concept is accurate – but no human being expects you to fact check the things that OTHERS tell you.  What is perfectly reasonable, of course, is that you fact check things that you say or retweet.  Trump, however, clearly has no cares about reality or facts.  He has previously said that others run his Twitter account, and I suspect that those others know exactly what they are doing.  Trump is blatantly race-baiting in an attempt to appeal to the worst of the Republican party.

Tweets and Consequences

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H&M Logo

H&M gets hammered for racist implications of tweet

This happened a couple of weeks ago, but it’s a mistake I thought was worth reviewing for a variety of reasons.  In short, a very, very stupid tweet got H&M, the fashion retailer, in deep, deep trouble.

H&M recently opened a store in Cape Town, South Africa.  South Africa, of course, has a long and tragic history of racial segregation.  As a result, you would think that all local retailers and social media users would be extremely careful in their marketing efforts.

Twitter user @Tlaly_Branch visited the Cape Town store and sent this critique to the retailer:

Certainly a valid criticism, and one worth responding to: Generally speaking, for a business or politician, if someone sends you a valid criticism and is clearly looking for a legitimate response (not just trolling), it’s a good practice to respond. H&M did just that.  However, they did so in the worst way possible:

It appears that H&M was trying to say that their marketing is in a constant state of flux and they try to be as diverse as possible in all of their marketing mediums.  However, look at the first and second tweets…they use the word “positive” in each tweet.  In other words: Black models don’t convey a positive image.

I really don’t think this is what H&M was trying to say, but it is definitely an implication of what they did say.  Twitter users, naturally, let the brand have it, and they were forced it issue a clarification:

They also issued this apology tweet:

So, the lesson here: Be careful with every part of a tweet.  The implications of any tweet can get you into deep, deep trouble.

Ben Carson shocked

Ben Carson fails at America: Tweets out hilariously bad map

Last week, Ben Carson attempted to tweet out a map of all of the Governors who were not accepting Syrian refugees.  Here’s the map he tweeted:

Ben Carson Map

New England look a little funny to you?  It should, because it is hilariously inaccurate.  The Washington post summarizes what went wrong:

…Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine are moved northeast by about 150 miles or so. Vermont and New York now have hundreds of miles of new beachfront property. Massachusetts shares a border with Canada. Maine straddles what is now the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

Also, if you look closely at the mid-Atlantic area, you’ll see that Virginia’s portion of the Delmarva Peninsula is colored red to match Maryland, rather than gray with the rest of Virginia.

Seriously, I don’t even know what happened.  I mean, you pretty much have to try to get a map that wrong.  All you have to do is Google “American Map” and you’re good to go.

As of yet, the Carson campaign has failed to explain what went wrong with their hilariously bad version of the United States.  Maybe this was a graphics error, but as noted by Vox, it does beg the question: How did no one notice this before it was sent?

The lesson?  Proof your tweet – all aspects of it.  And when you tweet out a graphic, for crying out loud, look at the graphic first!

Tweets and Consequences

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Minnesota GOP group tweets about #Negroproblem

Well, that’s one of the worst possible hashtags that any political group could use.

The background: Minnesota, like numerous other cities, is in the midst of heavy backlash as a result of the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark by police officers.  In the aftermath of the shooting, there have been a series of protests outside of the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis.

So, in the middle of this, the following was tweeted out by the Seventh Congressional District Republicans, a GOP group in Minnesota:


Yeah…no.  Just no.  Talk about a terrible idea!!

For obvious reasons, local Democrats attacked the tweet, with Ken Martin, head of the Minnesota DFL Party, saying in a statement:

“There is absolutely no place for this kind of ugly language in our state. We call on Chairman Downey to apologize to the people of Minnesota for the racist and bigoted comment.”

To his credit, the head of the Minnesota Republican Party, Keith Downey, tweeted this:

An important point about this apology:  There is no, “Apologies to all offended.”  I hate that line, because it’s a wink and a nod:  “Oh, you weren’t offended?  Well, in that case, no apology, let’s high five!”  This is just a straight up, “Apologies.  We were wrong.”

Anyway, this entire issue shows the importance of training for anyone tweeting in the name of you or your brand.  Yes, these were volunteers who were working for free.  However, they were tweeting in the name of the Republican Party, and as a result of their bad taste and stupidity, the local Republicans have seen their brand damaged.  It is critically important that you train anyone tweeting in the name of you or your company in order to avoid a scandal like this.  That’s challenge is multiplied when you are dealing with volunteers, but it’s still vitally necessary, a lesson that the Minnesota GOP found out the hard way.

Tweets and Consequences

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Dan Kimmel

State Representative candidate withdraws from race after saying ISIS “isn’t necessarily evil”

Well…yeah, I have no idea what happened here.

As of last week, Dan Kimmel, a Democrat, was a candidate for State Representative in Minnesota.  That changed after this tweet:


I cannot, for the life of me, understand what Mr. Kimmel was going for here.  He followed it up with this tweet:


Obviously, this was way too late, and the damage was done.  The tweet came after ISIS had taken responsibility for last week’s devastating Paris terrorist attacks that killed 129 and injured hundreds more, and Mr. Kimmel’s tweet essentially implied that ISIS is just a group of misunderstood community organizers.

Probably not the message that he was going for.

Kimmel was roundly criticized for the tweet, including by Democratic leaders in Minnesota, who called for his withdrawal from the race. In a statement, the head of the Minnesota DFL (Democratic Party in Minnesota) said, “On behalf of the Minnesota DFL, I strongly condemn his comments. I ask Dan Kimmel to apologize to all the families who have been torn apart by the terrorist organization and their senseless violence.”

To his credit – and to my surprise – Kimmel responded, not only with a full-throated apology, but by withdrawing from the race.  In a statement on his campaign website, Kimmel clarified that his tweet was made in reference to comments which occurred in the Democratic Presidential debate, not the Paris terrorist attacks.  He said that his tweet was “poorly worded and did not convey my intent.”  He then added that he wanted to:

…apologize to the volunteers and contributors who have put so much time, effort and money into my campaign. … I will do everything I can to help resolve the issue: most likely the best thing for me to do is shut up. The tweet was stupid. I’m sorry.

This is actually kinda sad.  I cannot imagine that Mr. Kimmel was going out of his way to say, “Hey, ISIS isn’t so bad, they’re just misunderstood!”  That being said, it was a dumb tweet – no excuses.  To Mr. Kimmel’s credit, he recognized that the comments made him completely uneelectable as a candidate, and withdrew.  The lesson here is obvious: Be very, very careful with what you say, and how you say it!

Tweets and Consequences

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Micky Garus

Hateful city councilman attacks transgender students, Islam

Well, we’ve got a real winner here!

Micky Garus is a City Councilman in Dallas, Oregon.  He makes the blog for exceptionally vile Facebook comments launched against two different groups: Muslims and transgender students.

Let’s start with transgender attacks. In response to a news report which noted that a school district in Illinois may have violated the law by banning a transgender female student from using the girls bathroom, Garus made the following post:

Garus transgender

Nothing says “responsible elected official” like threatening to beat up a transgender school student.  Wow.

This ignorant screed came just five days after Councilman Garus posted a link to an article about three Muslims being elected to a town council in Michigan.  In response to that post, Garus wrote:

“I’m all for diversity, and I’ll be first in line to fight for everyone’s religious freedoms within reason. I just don’t like religions or people that wish to kill me, wipe out our culture and destroy our country.”

Garus’ remarks were condemned by many, including the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who said, “This is really about responsible speech. When you take the oath of office, you have the responsibility to represent all of the people.”

In response to the outrage, Garus released a long statement on his own Facebook page.  It’s too long to quote, but in it, Garus clarifies that he is speaking on his own behalf only, not the City of Dallas…and then he attacks Islam some more.

As noted by the Mayor of Dallas, “It would not be in the purview of the Council to take action against him for statements he has made in a personal capacity on his own social media site. As offensive as his statements may be to many people, his right to make them is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, and we have to respect that.”

The lesson?  Well, it’s hard to define a “lesson” here.  Mr. Garus is certainly entitled to his opinion, however repugnant and odious as it is.  This is a classic case of Facebook and social media not making someone stupider, necessarily, but just allowing an ignorant and hateful person another venue in which they can display their own vile.

Tweets and Consequences

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Taxi Australia

Taxi Association in Australia tries to use hashtag to discuss positives of cabs…nope

As any millennial knows, Uber, Lyft and more have invaded America in a big way, pushing out more traditional taxi companies.  This phenomenon is not limited to the United States, of course; one of the places which Uber has become popular is Australia.  As a result, the Victorian Taxi Association decided to push back by starting the #YourTaxis campaign:

This backfired. Hilariously.

To their infinite credit, the VTA did it’s best to respond to the criticism and address concerns whenever possible:

For the 10,000th time, be careful when launching hashtag campaigns like this.  They can very easily backfire if you are a company (or politician) which has a high degree of negative sentiment.  If that is the case, don’t do a hashtag campaign.  When you do them, you’ll hear from your customers, alright – both good and bad.  Only do a campaign like this if that is truly what you want.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.