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Monday, September 14, 2020

From Russia, with Vitriol

I saw a graphic similar to this in one of my Facebook groups:

I believe that it was actually taken down after myself, and several others complained.  

So, why did I complain?

First, the group in question is about anthracite coal mining.  Not politics.  Not the NFL.  Not patriotism.  Not the president.  Not Joe Biden.  It is about, for me, a subject that I have had an interest in for most of my life.

(photo from the site of the former Hughestown Breaker)

Sadly, I am sure this kind of stuff creeps up in other groups as well.  

Second, there is actually connection between NFL players and 9/11 first responders.  

The creator might as well said "Not one Russian Orthodox Priest ran into the WTC..." or "Not one member of the Trump family ran into the WTC..." or "Not one Turkey Breeder ran into the WTC...".  This is nothing more than stringing two thoughts that some people feel passionate about together simply for the purpose of inflaming tensions.  Nothing else.  

Third, this has all the hallmarks of being a part of the Russian campaign to just generally destabilize the United States ahead of the November 3rd general election.  

I will note that I find people who are preachy distasteful, but I'm going to do it myself anyway:  Don't fall for this nonsense, and when you do see it and call it out for the Russian garbage that it represents.  

You can greatly admire the first responders on 9/11 and find the "taking a knee" protests by NFL players inappropriate.  I do the former, but not the latter.  They aren't, however, even remotely connected.  The 9/11 first responders didn't rush into buildings because they were patriots...they did it because that was their job, and they are heroes for risking their lives as such.  Conversely, it's my opinion that NFL players who "take a knee" are not unpatriotic; heck, you can make the argument that protesting in order to make the United States a better place is an example of patriotism at work.  You can also disagree with me about the NFL players, but you can't disagree with the ridiculously disjointed nature of the graphic.

Regardless of who you support in the November election, no one is well served by playing into disinformation campaigns created by enemies of this nation. 

We should be smarter than this.

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