Trump's 'lynching' claim draws swift, severe backlash—and deservedly so

In a completely unsurprising yet somehow still somewhat shocking move, the President of the United States has compared his impeachment inquiry to a lynching.

A lynching. There are just no words.


People with consciences everywhere were quick to condemn the tweet, explaining what really should not need to be explained. That calling a legal process a "lynching" is both factually erroneous and blatantly inappropriate. That a white man in power harkening to historical violence against black people in an attempt to paint himself as a victim is racist as all get out. That the comparison is horrendous and hurtful and beneath the basics of human decency, much less the dignity of the office of the President.

The backlash was swift, severe, and completely deserved.

Scholar and author Ibram Kendi called out Trump's audacity:

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., pointed out that the tweet is "a reflection of the very real trajectory of our nation and the very repugnant evil of racism, which still permeates both legislation and language in the United States."

RELATED: 'Everything is racist these days' because white supremacy is as American as apple pie

Some took the tack of sharing the tragic images of actual lynchings to drive home the appalling offense of such a comparison.


RELATED: A teacher had her 8th graders write 'funny' captions under slavery-era photos. Seriously, WTF.

Others sought to educate the ignorant on what lynching really is and why it's not a term to be tossed around lightly.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson from Florida, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2011, called the tweet "despicable and disgusting" and anyone who defended it "reprehensible."

Of course, people have defended it because it's 2019 and nothing makes sense anymore. Lindsey Graham told the press that what the president is experiencing is "a lynching in every sense."

Seriously? "In every sense." What is wrong with you, man?


Some have tried to call the backlash against the use of the word "lynching" hypocritical, pointing out that the same people calling it out are okay with calling those who engage in white supremacy "Nazis."

Except that the Nazis were a political party with a racist ideology similar to those who performed lynchings, not the victims of racist, violent oppression. Also, it's not exactly a stretch to invoke the word "Nazi" when actual neo-Nazis voice support for someone in power—someone who also reportedly kept a copy of Hitler's speeches by his bed.

Soooo, yeah. Not the samesies, Mike.

A man who has been repeatedly accused of racism since long before his presidency using the word "lynching" to describe the constitutional checks and balances in our political system is gross on every level. It just is. And while calling him out on it will do absolutely nothing to change his ways, it's good to see that not all Americans have abandoned reason and decency.

Carry on and keep fighting the good fight, fellow citizens.

Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

Keep Reading Show less