Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative author and filmmaker who was pardoned by Donald Trump a month ago is facing increasing online backlash for retweeting posts with the hashtags #BurnTheJews and #BringBackSlavery, according to Law and Crime.
D’Souza had pleaded guilty to using a “straw donor” to make an illegal campaign donation to a 2012 U.S. Senate race and was sentenced to five years probation, eight months in a halfway house, and a $30,000 fine two years later. But he was pardoned last month by president Trump, who claimed that D’Souza had been “treated very unfairly.”
D’Souza wasted no time in expressing his gratitude by producing a movie, titled Death of a Nation, which seems to compare Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln. While self-promoting the trailer of the movie on Twitter, D’Souza retweeted a post by user @RedManDan84, which carried the hashtag #BurnTheJews. Twitter later deleted that user account, but some users had saved the original tweet.
Within a short period of time, D’Souza’s retweeting of the racist hashtag came to the attention of the wider Twitter universe, prompting an intense backlash. He was panned for retweeting something so glaringly abhorrent, with some users accusing D’Souza of harboring anti-semitic beliefs.
In response to the growing backlash, D’Souza defended himself by claiming that he had merely been trying to share the trailer of his movie on social media, and as a result, wasn’t fully paying attention to the posts he was retweeting.
“I did not see the hashtag. Just trying to share the trailer on social media,” he wrote.
Later, in another tweet, he said that it had been an “accidental retweet.”
But Twitter users were not taking to his argument, arguing that something so blatantly racist shouldn’t (and probably couldn’t have been) retweeted so casually. Some others, while accepting that D’Souza might not have seen the hashtag initially, argued that his retweet still spoke about the kind of followers who were flocking to praise the trailer of his film.
“Don’t worry, Dinesh,” wrote user @LibertyZac. “Everyone accidentally tweets #burnthejews from their abhorrently racist fans. Could happen to anyone. I’m sure it says nothing about who you attract with your messaging.”
Comedian Kathy Griffin was also quick to thrash D’Souza’s defense.
Then, completely unexpectedly, D’Souza himself dismantled his defense of having accidentally retweeted the racist hashtag by retweeting another post with an equally vile hashtag, #BringBackSlavery.
We can only wonder what defense D’Souza will come up with for this “accidental retweet.” As for his movie, D’Souza’s attempts to share its trailer seem to have done it more harm than good.