Well, folks, I suppose it was only a matter of time until I was banned from Twitter, and last night it happened. I don’t get on Twitter much … once or twice a day when I receive a notification that I have a message or that my work has been re-tweeted. When I do get on, however, if I see something really annoying by either my representative in Congress, Trump, or somebody else, I am not above replying with a short, snarky tweet of my own. Well, when I got on yesterday evening to reply to a message from a friend, the first thing I saw was this tweet by Ann Coulter …
“The country has been lost. However I am determined to go down swinging by ruining soccer for as many people as possible.”
Now, you guys know that I’m not ‘into’ sports, and all I knew about soccer recently was that the U.S. Women’s team had won some big event, and that one of the team’s members is Megan Rapinoe who is a member of the LGBT community. As I said, I do not follow sports and none of it meant diddly-squat to me. Until I saw Coulter’s comment which I assumed was in reference to Ms. Rapinoe’s gender identity. Turns out that is part of it, but there’s more … I’ll get to that in a minute, but I shot off a tweet in response to her comment …
“My, but you are a stupid, bigoted woman. An outright Bimbo, by my reckoning.”
Apparently, she took umbrage, for it was less than an hour until I received this email:
I actually had a good chuckle over it. According to Twitter, if I gave them my phone number and took down the tweet, my account would only be inactive for 12 hours, after which time all would be restored. Or, if I felt that their decision was unfair, I could appeal and they would review the situation. I wrote to them and explained that a) I spoke only the truth, b) there was no threat to Ms. Coulter, and c) I did not use any vulgar language, not so much as a single “f-bomb”, which I have seen countless other people do on Twitter.
Twitter wrote back an hour or two later, saying that they had “reviewed my appeal” and concluded that I was still in the wrong and in order to restore my account, I would have to give them my phone number and then remove the tweet. Now, I will likely do that in a day or two, for I do have Twitter friends, and my posts all go to Twitter where they are often re-tweeted, but I’m leaving the tweet stand for now, for I am a stubborn wench and frankly, I’ve made worse tweets than that to Donald Trump and Warren Davidson, neither of whom attempted to take away my 1st Amendment rights!
Turns out that Coulter’s complaint about the women’s soccer team is homophobic, but it is also a result of the fact that two of the women on the team, the aforementioned Rapinoe and another team member, Ali Krieger, have said that they would not pay a visit to the White House, for the have (understandably) no respect for its occupant. Apparently, there has been a back-and-forth Twitter battle between Rapinoe and Trump, complete with name-calling. Surprise, huh?
Rapinoe has a history of civil protest, having taken a knee during the national anthem before a game, shortly after Colin Kaepernick did the same, saying …
“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”
Though I had never heard of Ms. Rapinoe until last week, I admire her, just as I admire Mr. Kaepernick, and much more than I admire Donald Trump. No doubt we have not heard the last of the battle between Rapinoe and other team members vs Donald Trump, which is a pathetic statement of our nation and the man who is called “president” by some.
But, I think my right to free speech has been violated by Twitter. If Ann Coulter can say that “the country has been lost” simply because a gay woman who doesn’t like Trump helped her team win the World’s Cup, and if she can threaten to “ruin soccer for as many people as possible”, why is it wrong for me to say she is stupid and bigoted, both of which are true, and call her a ‘bimbo’, which is a lot nicer than most of what she has called Ms. Rapinoe?
Is ‘freedom of speech’ now limited to only those who support Donald Trump? Will Facebook or WordPress be next to try to stifle what I have to say? Ann Coulter has, throughout her career, referred to immigrants as pedophiles, called LGBT people ‘mentally ill’, praised white supremacist Richard Spencer, calling him the white people’s answer to #BlackLivesMatter, and much more. Her right to say those things is upheld, but my right to call her a bigot and a bimbo is not? Actor Richard Belzer referred to Coulter as a ‘fascist Barbie doll’ … perhaps I should have tried that term. She has called the French “a bunch of maggots”, and said that only property owners should be allowed to vote in the U.S. And this is the woman that Twitter defends? Something is seriously mucked up in this country.