It's one thing to debate whether Twitter and Facebook were right to block President Donald J. Trump's account in the immediate aftermath of the storming of the Capitol Wednesday. I would argue that the move was unjustified, being yet another example of Big Tech overreach and censorship.
On the other hand, in the heat of the moment and with fear that the president could incite rioters, an argument could be made for a temporary block. But to ban him for life? On what grounds?
Well, according to former first lady Michelle Obama, because he is "infantile and unpatriotic."
As reported in a cutting article on Red State, "Former First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday called on Big Tech companies to permanently ban President Donald Trump from their social media platforms—principally because he's 'infantile and unpatriotic.'"
She posted her comments on social media in the immediate aftermath of people storming the Capitol, laying blame for the day's events at the feet of President Trump. She also managed to bring race into the discussion, alleging that had the protestors and rioters been Black, they would have met with much different resistance from the police.
Specifically, she gave these recommendations regarding the president: "Now is the time," she wrote, "for those who voted for this president to see the reality of what they've supported—and publicly and forcefully rebuke him and the actions of that mob."
She continued, "Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation's leaders to fuel insurrection."
What an absolutely outrageous, un-American request or, I should say, demand. What a dangerous post. It is the former first lady who should be challenged for saying such things.
To be clear, as the ugly scene was unfolding, I began my radio show by laying the blame squarely at the feet of President Trump.
I blame him for years of irresponsible rhetoric, years of inflaming hatred and distrust and for years of misusing his power as president to attack individuals.
I have consistently raised those concerns during his presidency—as a supporter. And even if he, too, was shocked and appalled at the day's events, and even if there were some outside agitators involved, he helped to create the larger environment in which this horror unfolded.
In that regard, I don't disagree entirely with the former first lady.
Of course, her overall, race-related narrative of the day is a sham, a fictitious rewriting of recent history, glorifying the "overwhelmingly peaceful" race protests of 2020 and accusing the police of all kinds of brutal acts during those blissful protests.
As Mike Miller rightly asked on Red State, "Where was Michelle Obama, night after night when Ferguson, Missouri, was on fire; night after night of riots in the aftermath of the justifiable police action against Michael Brown?
"Did she condemn that real violence half as much as she condemns the indefensible breach of the U.S. Capitol?"
He asked, "Was she watching the same 'overwhelmingly peaceful movement' we were? The looting? The burning? Torching police cars? Randomly murdering police officers? All in the name of so-called 'racial justice?' Please."
Obama actually claimed that, "in city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force. ... We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests."
To the contrary, in city after city, we saw police standing down and even fleeing from protestors. We saw police stations on fire. And we saw a fraction of the responsible people arrested.
But let's not focus on these discrepancies since there has been more than enough hypocrisy on both the right and the left when it comes to reporting the race riots of 2020 and the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
While the breach on the Capitol was hardly as violent as the race riots, it does stand out dramatically from the race riots, seeing that the vice president and Congress were in the building, and this was, after all, the Capitol. Again, I share Obama's outrage and disgust that it happened.
But there is no possible justification for her call to ban Donald Trump from social media for life, not in the slightest. For a woman of her stature even to suggest such things points to a very dark, very ominous, very dangerous potential future for America.
It could well be argued that Barack and Michelle Obama are the most influential couple on the planet, as reflected in their massive social media presence. Just on Twitter, he has almost 128 million followers, and she has 19 million. They have strong book sales and influence behind the scenes.
As noted Nov. 19, 2020, "His tome, A Promised Land, released Tuesday, sold an astonishing 887,000 copies in its first 24 hours. The number tops the 725,000 copies sold of the former first lady's 2018 memoir, Becoming, on Day 1."
I appeal to every person of conscience, both on the left and on the right, to reply to Michelle Obama's suggestion with a firm and absolute "No!" That is not the kind of America in which any of us will thrive.
Scarily, Facebook and Instagram have already announced that Trump will be banned from their platforms "at least" through the inauguration.
America, take heed. America, speak up.
*This article was published on Friday, Jan. 8. That evening, Twitter had banned President Trump for life.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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