There’s an insane brain disease seemingly exclusive to Americans that likes to paint victims of tragedies as “crisis actors”.
Bereaved parents of the Sandy Hook shootings have dealt with people accusing them of making the whole thing up for years, and now, it’s exactly what’s happening to the survivors of the Parkland shooting who are now campaigning hard for gun control.
Conspiracies have been popping up on YouTube and Facebook, and yesterday, far right-wing blog Gateway Pundit ran a story that alleged one of the survivors had been trained in anti-Trump stances by his federal agent father.
With the weird intersection of insanity and politics we’re seeing at the moment – where people like noted conspiracy nut Alex Jones enjoy a relationship with the President of the United States – it’s not just smaller conspiracy nuts propagating these lies. As just one example, a tweet spreading the conspiracy that these kids are not who they seem was liked by Don Jr, widely considered to be the dumber of Trump’s two large adult son.
DonaldJTrumpJr liked this tweet: https://t.co/CBk03EEFjo
— Trump Alert (@TrumpsAlert) February 20, 2018
Following a report on that whole insanity, on The Tampa Bay Times, an aide to Florida State Rep. Shawn Harrison literally emailed the publication claiming two of the students are crisis actors.
“Both kids in the picture are not students here but actors that travel to various crisis when they happen,” said aide Benjamin Kelly, sending over a link to a YouTube conspiracy video as proof. “There is a clip on you tube (sic) that shows Mr. Hogg out in California. (I guess he transferred?),”
Benjamin Kelly has now been fired.
“I have spoken to him and placed him on leave until we determine an appropriate course of action,” said Harrison on Twitter.
He confirmed that Kelly had been fired not one hour later.
“Tonight Mr. Kelly was terminated from his position as my District Secretary,” he said. “I am appalled at and strongly denounce his comments about the Parkland students. I am again sorry for any pain this has caused the grieving families of this tragedy.
I was just made aware that my aide made an insensitive and inappropriate allegation about Parkland students today. I have spoken to him and placed him on leave until we determine an appropriate course of action. I do not share his opinion and he did so without my knowledge.
— Shawn Harrison (@ShawnHarrisonFL) February 20, 2018
Tonight Mr. Kelly was terminated from his position as my District Secretary. I am appalled at and strongly denounce his comments about the Parkland students. I am again sorry for any pain this has caused the grieving families of this tragedy.
— Shawn Harrison (@ShawnHarrisonFL) February 21, 2018
Meanwhile, the survivors are having absolutely none of it.
We are KIDS – not actors. We are KIDS that have grown up in Parkland all of our lives. We are KIDS who feared for our lives while someone shot up our school. We are KIDS working to prevent this from happening again. WE ARE KIDS.
— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) February 20, 2018
Anyway, this is where we are – conspiracy theories about shooting survivors have managed to hit mainstream politics. At least some Republicans, spineless though they are, are taking a stand.
Claiming some of the students on tv after #Parkland are actors is the work of a disgusting group of idiots with no sense of decency
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 20, 2018