This Week in Liberal Celebrities Inadvertently Helping Trump and the Right

Ron Perlman Posts Pic of Child He Thought Was Locked Up

The point is sound: The Trump administration and ICE are separating children of immigrants from their families on a deportation rampage. The children are being locked up in what amounts to prison camps. Here is actor Ron Perlman’s tweet about it:

The only problem is, this is a picture of a kid whose parents put him in that cage, voluntarily, as a part of a staged protest against Trump’s immigration policy. Here’s a picture of the same kid running around outside the cage from Snopes, who correctly labeled the above photo as “miscaptioned”:

When Twitter user “Colorado Alex” pointed out the mistake, this was Perlman’s response:

 

 

 

 

 

Why this is red meat for Trump and the Right: As of this writing, Perlman’s tweet received 6.2K retweets and 10K likes. All anyone on the right has to do is put the photo in context, and then use tell the lie, Trump’s deportation policies aren’t that bad at all! Hollywood liberals are taking pictures out of context to make it out to be worse than it is!

That’s an argument any dipshit who believed in “pizzagate” would be easily sold on. A more salient point is that our deportation policy under Obama was horrendous, illustrated by this report by the ACLU which detailed not only separation of parents from children, but sexual abuse by Border Control and ICE agents. Where were the Hollywood liberals then? they’ll ask, and they’ll be right.

It’s a Good Thing ™ that celebrities are shedding light on immigration rights. But they need to be careful to do so without playing into the narrative that they’re just using deportees and their children as tools to attack Trump.

 

Chelsea Clinton “You-Go-Girl”s a “Hater”

Some random guy who opened a Twitter account last month with 20 followers posted a meme that suggested Chelsea Clinton looks like Howdy Doody, so she retweeted him:

Richard now has 168 followers. I’m not sure how many people on the side of bullying compared her to Howdy Doody, but I am sure that I wouldn’t have been aware of anyone doing so if she hadn’t retweeted him.

Why this is red meat for the Right: Chelsea is using a social media version of a promotional tactic that her mother employed during the 2016 primary – the pied piper strategy. You promote terrible people on the other side, (in the Clinton campaign’s case, the idea was to “elevate” Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz) so you can appear intelligent and graceful and wonderful by comparison. As we saw in November 2016, the results of this are disastrous. In Chelsea’s case, she is demonstrating to nasty trolls who insult women that they can get attention from a celebrity by continuing to act like dicks. This undoubtedly promotes Chelsea, as we’ve seen with some feminist media critics who receive thousands of Patreon dollars and get on late night talk shows not because of their actual work, but because of online harassment. Promotional tactics like this make the playing field fertile for jerks like Trump, who understand how to play this game, and will win every time.

Rather than consistently engaging with oversized children, we need to have a constructive dialogue that’s not as sexy or beneficial to your personal brand in order to usher in a government of the people, represented by those really interested in public service. What we have now are politicians operating as a brand, both Democratic and Republican.

 

Robert De Niro says “Fuck Trump”

Robert De Niro went on the Tony Awards and said “Fuck Trump”. All the rich people in tuxedos and gowns cheered as he raised his fists.

Why this is red meat for Trump and the Right: Joe Berkowitz made the point better than I care to in an article in Fast Company

When De Niro has a chance to seize the world stage and make a statement about this biblical plague of an administration and all he can say is “Fuck Trump,” he gives those pundits an opening to ascribe him any motivation, or none at all.

His blanket criticism of Trump will only serve to briefly inflate the MAGA set’s certainty that Hollywood hates their hero for no reason… De Niro’s protest was an expression of raw anger that gave his ideological opponents exactly what they wanted, without even making them scramble to defend or at least mention the death toll in Puerto Rico or the children reportedly being kept in cages right now. It’s well-meaning but ultimately meaningless. It’s like playing Bernie Madoff in an HBO movie while some of the senators who supposedly share your progressive ideology vote to roll back financial regulations on Wall Street.

Robert De Niro is the kind of wealthy Democratic member of the Establishment who likes to show that he’s progressive but engages in horrible, damaging things with his money. Writing for The Intercept, Naomi Klein and Alleen Brown outline De Niro’s disaster capitalism, as he builds a resort on the island of Barbuda in the wake of Hurricane Irma.. using powerful people like Prime Minister Gaston Browne to pass “the Paradise Found Act, specially designed to approve De Niro’s project and bypass the Barbuda Land Act with its collective approval requirements.”

Klein and Brown write:

Up until the recent changes, land in Barbuda was held in common: It could not be bought or sold, and though developers could lease land for 50 years, their projects needed to win the consent of a majority of Barbudans. It was a rare example of participatory economic planning and successful land redistribution to freed slaves and their descendants.

But the Land Act was resented by foreign investors and wealthy Antiguans, and the latest push to alter the law first reared its head just days after Hurricane Irma roared through Barbuda.

We can’t rely on liberal millionaires to call out a system of power that they themselves benefit from. They’ll only call out individuals they don’t happen to like, or happen to be in the way of their own individual power. Their criticisms are, at best, well intended virtue signalling.

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