As news broke about the Boston Marathon yesterday, columnist Erik Rush tweeted:
Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let’s bring more Saudis in without screening them! C’mon! #bostonmarathon
I had never heard of Rush before, who writes for WND, which touts itself as “America’s Independent News Network.”
Of course, this started a tweet war, with someone posting back, “Are you ALREADY BLAMING MUSLIMS??” to which Rush responded, “Yes, they’re evil. Let’s kill them all” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/15/erik-rush-boston-marathon-muslims_n_3087642.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular).
Writing his response off as “sarcasm, idiot,” Rush went on to defend his position, tweeting:
Hypothesis proven: Libs responding to “kill them all” sarcasm neglect fact that their precious Islamists say the same about us EVERY DAY.
Did you see that? Did you see what Rush did?
That’s a world-class bait and switch right there. The issue is whether he was blaming Muslims without evidence, and Rush deftly changed the subject to an attack on liberals for not having a sense of humor and for choosing Islam over “us” (and under that cover, he managed to take another gross and defamatory shot at Muslims). It’s a classic redirection to justify prejudice–if only by refusing to acknowledge the prejudice in the first place.
And scarily enough, it works. (Evidence: Rush can tweet accusations loudly and proudly.)
So say you were on Twitter reading this. How would you respond? What do you have to say, and how you could you say it effectively? Maybe you’re not going to convince Rush of anything, but remember, the Twitterverse is watching.