“You don’t have to be a total genius to figure this out… even though I am a genius.”
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Donald Trump was wearing the Darth Vader mask instead of Anakin Skywalker? Probably not. But someone else did, and they decided to do something about it. YouTubers the Auralnauts dubbed some of Darth Vader’s best Star Wars scenes with REAL Donald Trump quotes. Is he more evil than Anakin?
On Monday, Twitter announced that it has suspended 15 Twitter accounts of “Black Trump supporters” that they discovered were fake. The accounts were similar in nature, tweeting out nearly identical messages, like “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!” and “VOTE REPUBLICAN”. The accounts quickly amassed thousands of followers and retweets.
The fake “Black Trump Supporter” accounts were discovered by social media disinformation researcher Darren Linvill, who flagged the accounts and reported them to Twitter.
The accounts violate Twitter’s rule barring users from using the platform “in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience.”
The Twitter accounts sourced their profile photos through internet image searches. One profile photo even included the search term “black man photo” at the top of the profile photo–proving that someone stole the photo from the internet and (sloppily) cropped it. Others were revealed, via reverse-image searching, to be generic stock photos of Black people.
The accounts seemed to follow a pattern: the Black Trump supporters were devout Christians, veterans, blue-collar workers, police officers…you get the picture.
“They are impersonating Black Trump supporters, Black authoritative figures such as veterans and police officers, and various prominent individuals in order to gain rapid traction and virality,” said cybersecurity manager Lee Foster to The Washington Post.
Linvill says that the accounts don’t necessarily appear to be a coordinated campaign, although he did find traces of the Russian alphabet in the accounts’ online records. Linvill hypothesizes that the accounts might have had monetary motives–they often tweeted out links to buy Trump merchandise.
Another theory is that, based on the timing, whoever created the fake accounts is trying to change what appears to be the persistent narrative that President Trump is racist. The accounts became much more active in recent months, around the time when Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups on national TV. These “Black Trump supporters” make it seem like he actually has the support of Black Americans.
But polls and surveys prove that Trump is highly unpopular among Black Americans. The Pew Research Center shows that 81% of Black voters support Biden in the upcoming election.
These most recent fake Twitter accounts are one of the many ways that the Republican Party has been attempting to manipulate voters this election cycle. Along with spreading disinformation, the party has set up unsanctioned ballot drop-off boxes across California. The Governor of Texas, Rick Abbott (R) also made headlines recently for restricting the amount of official ballot boxes in Texas to only one per county–a move that critics slammed as a transparent attempt to suppress the Latino vote.
The stats are in. Latinos are worried about their livelihoods under the present economy. Since COVID-19 shut down the economy in March, Latinos are facing an uncertain future.
Take, for example, Vanessa Quiles, a 21-year-old recent graduate who was planning on entering the architecture field after graduating from Otis College of Art and Design.
Now, she’s not sure what she’s going to do. “Many places have stopped hiring, either taken down job applications that were posted or I’ve heard that a lot of people are getting laid off from smaller firms that may not have a lot of projects coming in,” she told NBC News. “I’m trying to remain hopeful.”
The evidence backs this up. On September 4th, the August Jobs Report showed that the unemployment rate is at 8.4. Additionally, 28 million people have filed for unemployment. What were once considered temporary furloughs have now morphed into permanent layoffs.
And Latinos are being hit harder by the economic uncertainty of the pandemic more than any other ethnic group.
According to The Pew Research Center, 59% percent of Latinos claim that they live in households that have experienced job losses directly related COVID-19. Compared those numbers to 43% of the non-Hispanic population.
But these grim statistics represent more than just faceless numbers–they are people fighting to get by everyday, scraping by on unemployment checks and dwindled savings. And they feel that the Trump administration has let them down.
Like Denver resident Isabella Prado, who is frustrated by the Trump administration’s lack of foresight when it came to financially taking care of Americans during the pandemic.
“There’s no help,” the 25-year-old Latina told Mitú. “I saw other countries’ stimulus packages were, first of all, monthly, not like, ‘Here’s a thousand dollars, make it last you for four months.’ Even if it wasn’t enough to obviously pay bills [in America], at least you’d have some sort of monthly income. Like, we don’t even have that.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 economic shutdown in March, Trump has come under fire for the disorganized way he has dealt with the economic fallout that the pandemic has wreaked on millions of Americans. “It’s the same way [Trump] is dealing with global warming,” continued Prado. “He’s acting like it’s not there. He’s in denial about it.”
Joe Biden, however, recently outlined a plan to re-open the economy, a plan which includes expediting aid to small businesses, enforcing strict oversight on big corporations, providing direct cash relief to struggling families, and funding the infrastructure to provide wide-ranging COVID-19 testing capabilities so the economy can be prepared to open up again.
This isn’t the first time that Biden has shown his leadership on the economic front.
He notably spearheaded the Recovery Act of 2009 that was responsible for creating 2 million jobs and successfully stimulated the economy out of the Great Recession.
Biden’s aids were effusive in their praise of his handling of the Recovery Act. “He held meetings with the Cabinet as a whole, the various agencies that are part of this, every other week to try to make sure we were moving quickly,” said his former Chief-of-Staff, Ron Klain.
In other words, Joe Biden has a proven track record of taking care of the economy. And with pandemic hitting the wallets of Latinos especially hard, we need economic recovery more than ever.
According to a poll conducted by the LA Times, only 42% of Latinos in California reported having the option to work from home, meaning they are essential workers and on the front lines of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. That is compared with 61% of white Californians who are able to work from home. And Latinos, like Prado, feel like they are being taken for granted.
“There’s a lot of minorities that are on the front lines in the hospitals, that are cleaning up after all the sick people,” Prado told Mitú. “They are putting themselves at risk just as much as nurses are. They don’t even get a shout-out, they don’t get anything.”
That’s why it is our responsibility to vote in the upcoming election. The time to create a voting plan–whether it’s early voting, mail-in voting, or in-person voting the day-of–is now. The future of our country is on the ballot. And, we cannot let nuestras familias down. Go to IWillVote.com or VoyaVotar.com and text TODOS to 30330 today to learn what choices you have to vote in your community and get information on where and when to vote.