The Associated Press decided to peer into the social media accounts of over 50 of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s current and former members of his campaign staff, and what they found was ugly and despicable. While not all of Trump’s staff were inappropriate, many of them were.
For example one of Trump’s graphic designers shared a video of a black person stereotypically eating fried chicken while criticizing black people for having too many children. Another individual who is a field organizer in Virginia shared their thoughts Sharia law is coming to America while spewing anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Many of Trump’s staff are aware of the consequences of social media, so the far majority of them have their accounts locked down and they unavailable for viewing by the public. Those who were not tech savvy enough to figure out how to do that, or were too lazy to do it, are unsurprisingly the same individuals who shared racist content. Coincidence, or just more of a pattern?
There’s the example of Trump’s Florida director of coalitions who posted jokes about people with Mexican accents that said, “Mexican word of the day: Live and cheese.” The punchline? “Some guy tried to sweet talk my Ruca. I told him liver alone cheese mine!” That might be funny if you’re a stone cold racist. Another Florida organizer shared an image of crimes against “white people.” The individual said, “how about this little white boy being murdered by a black man?” She went on to say of the individual, “I say hang them!” Turns out she was paid $11,000 by Trump for her services.
There isn’t any rule about individuals not being able to share their opinions, as they are protected by the freedom of speech. However, that only goes so far as to protect an individual from government prosecution and has nothing to do with how an individual represents themselves in public when they are closely connected to a presidential candidate. This point seems to be missed by many who decry the AP’s investigation as unfair or slanted.