Racism, xenophobia and climate change are the most morally, economically and politically urgent issues of our lifetime. All three are connected to interests who want to divide and consume us for profit.
In this particular case, these evils have compromised one of the most important American rights we are due: our choice for our leadership.
I don’t know why this Washington Post report hit me as hard as it did, but it floored me: Russian operatives used targeted advertising on Facebook to promote negative stories about associations between Black Lives Matter, Muslims and Hillary Clinton, in white midwestern households.
A foreign power took a page out of the Lee Atwater playbook and went Willie Horton on us to advance their interests. They used our racism against us. Our racism allowed us to be played into electing a con man, a front for a bunch of bratvas.
Republican and Russian interests and activities have been aligned for a while now. Both are dripping with racism and seek to protect oligarchs, whether their Russian billionaires or the billionaire Koch brothers. They use this racism to get white people with super low self-esteem to believe that oppressing and fighting people of color is better than fighting for a fair share of our nation’s wealth.
In case the extent of these shared interests isn’t clear, here’s another example: In 2014, in the run up to the Sochi Olympics, Russia passed a law that mandated jail time for members of the LGBT community. When they’re abroad, certain Republican senators like Jim Inhofe, evangelize anti-gay laws.
This news from the Post broke at the same time as this BuzzFeed story about Steve Bannon. He sought to infiltrate Facebook as a company and put his aides onto snooping their hiring process. Are the two connected? Did he have someone on the inside of Facebook helping him out with advertising and coordinating with the Russians?
The proof, if there is any, isn’t public. But considering authorities’ interest in Brad Parscale and the Trump campaign’s digital operations, I wouldn’t be surprised if these are the final few pieces on the puzzling plot of exactly how the two entities might have coordinated.