'Rape Melania' Sign Causes Uproar On Twitter, But For All The Wrong Reasons
Since Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in the past week, people have been understandably upset — and they have the right to defend themselves from a man who spews so much hate. There have plenty of statements made about Trump from the people who are not behind him. However, while a "Rape Melania" sign allegedly seen at an anti-Trump rally caused uproar on Twitter this week, the otherwise appropriate backlash manifested for completely incorrect reasons — and now some are defending themselves against the swift criticism, maintaining that almost no anti-Trump protesters actually supported the hateful rhetoric against Mrs. Trump.
That statement reportedly written on the sign is undoubtedly disgusting and deplorable — no one should ever wish such a terrible act against an innocent woman. Let me make it clear: no matter who was behind that sign, it is never okay to wish such a thing on anyone. However, the reaction to the sign on Twitter and the subsequent trending topic has caused uproar for all the wrong reasons. Instead of pointing fingers at one person, Trump supporters are pointing fingers at all liberals when no one — except rape culture that makes people think writing signs like this are okay — is to blame.
Worse still, the reason the topic is trending still is because everyone is talking about how upset about they are about the sign, not that people are supportive of or repeating the vile message. What caused the topic to trend, as Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn pointed out on Twitter Sunday, was reaction to the photo. No one who honestly aligns themselves in the fight for women's rights and open-mindedness thinks this sign is OK, and these misreadings of the content in trending topics have gotten out of hand in the worst way.
"Rape Melania" is trending because everyone's upset over a "Rape Melania" sign, not because thousands of people are saying "Rape Melania."— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) November 13, 2016
The sign was first posted on Twitter Saturday evening, when user @thereal_beck posted a photo of the sign from a Washington D.C. Trump protest in front of the new Trump hotel. Conservative media websites then picked up on the photo, which has over 2,000 retweets. The topic later became trending, but not because people were repeating the sign's message — instead, they were condemning the awful words.
I don't know anything about the background of the "Rape Melania" sign at a Trump protest, but it's utterly despicable no matter who did it.— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) November 13, 2016
ONE PERSON held the "Rape Melania" sign. It DOES NOT represent all protesters. I'm a Hillary supporter & CONDEMN this sign. Please RT.— April Del Rario (@AprilDelRario) November 13, 2016
As a black woman, I despise the racism and misogyny of @realDonaldTrump but Rape Melania is disgusting and should not be tolerated!!!— #ForeverObama (@CherylRaeEvans) November 13, 2016
"Rape Melania" is trending rn. Wtf is wrong with people. I am against Trump but this? This is not who we are.— leilani (@lilleilanilow) November 13, 2016
Rape Melania sign is unacceptable. I dislike Trump immensely but I denounce the individual who carried that sign. That is NOT who we are.— Sean (@SeanJohn1313) November 13, 2016
Conservative Twitter users then saw that the topic was trending and began to point fingers at everyone else for claiming they were in support of its awful message. By people claiming that the left is responsible for this awful message and the more they have talked about it, they more they continue to keep the topic trending.
I just saw that Rape Melania is trending— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) November 13, 2016
This week, many tweets talked about killing Trump
More reminders that Love Trumps Hate is a lie
"Rape Melania" is coming from the same party that claims "When they go low, we go high."— Chris the Deplorable (@chris_biz_) November 13, 2016
Liberals one week ago: "Love trumps Hate!"— BrokenEgg (@DoatUpon) November 13, 2016
Liberals now: "Assassinate Trump!" & "Rape Melania"
Yeah...the right candidate won, definitely.
It's amazing how quickly "I'm with Her" and "Love Trumps Hate" turned into "Rape Melania" and "Assassinate Trump."— Steven House #7612 (@sbhouse1978) November 13, 2016
The whole thing is now completely misconstrued — and it is still unclear whether the sign is real, staged by an alt-right Trump supporter, eager to paint protesters in a bad light, or if it's simply photoshopped. It should be noted that, as far as anyone can tell, other photos from Saturday night's protest in Washington D.C. did not capture the sign itself.
Regardless — the truth is that we live in a society where seeing a sign like this is completely believable. In no way is this sign right, but pointing fingers at people for making the topic trending when they were simply upset about it isn't right either.
In a time where both sides are experiencing unrest, overreacting before gathering facts simply makes it worse.