What does it take to "fight bigotry?" Apparently, the ability to stick up your middle finger and scowl.
Recently, BuzzFeed News reporter Michael Blackmon saw a group of kids riding their bikes and protesting President Donald Trump. Gossip guy Perez Hilton described them as a "gang of bicycle-riding youths with more attitude than Sean Spicer at a press conference."
The five kids struck a pose on their bikes in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with a handmade sign reading: "Fuck Trump.” The photo was taken outside of the New Holland Arena in the Farm Show & Expo Center where Donald Trump held a rally to celebrate 100 days in office. As you can imagine, the picture went viral.
"Hashtag diplomacy" is a favorite way for liberals to express outrage without having to fully formulate their opinions or take any actual action. According to a casual study of the Democrats who implement the strategy, a hashtag goes more viral if you have a somber-looking face to go along with it (remember the "sad face" former First Lady Michelle Obama put on when she tweeted out a photo of herself holding a sign with a hashtag about bringing home 300 kidnapped Nigerian girls? Most still are not home, by the way, but hey, the important thing is that Michelle shared a hashtag and was appropriately sad-faced about it.)
Apparently, Blackmon encouraged the kids to select their own hashtag -- #717BikeLife -- which seemed to take on a life of its own:
At a time when politics has created a such polarized society, congratulating kids for saying "fuck Trump" and creating a gang-style viral hashtag doesn't seem especially healing. It's great to encourage free speech, but "fighting bigotry" means more than saying the most inflammatory thing you can scrawl on a sign or in 140 characters or fewer on social media.