Once upon a time, Betsy Hodges used Twitter to have some fun.
We refer here to the night Hodges live-tweeted her experience watching the movie Die Hard, a charmingly innocent use of a social media tool that lends itself to just such mirth.
Lately Twitter's getting a reputation for uglier behavior, from the bullying, abbreviated messages littering the account of the president-elect (even the ones he deletes), not to mention the far more sinister offerings from some of his fans.
On Sunday, Hodges used her public Facebook page to make an allusion to the way Twitter exposes the grim underbelly of online discourse.
"That moment when you check Twitter for the first time in awhile and realize the Islamophobes and xenophobes have once again picked today as a day to troll you. The hatred is so ugly, and their palpable fear and anguish so, so misdirected. Better they waste their time on me than on others, though."
To whom and what was the mayor referring? Could it really be as bad as she makes it sound?
No. Much worse. A perusal of tweets aimed at Betsy's @MayorHodges account reveals a slew of hateful, bigoted, and threatening messages directed at the first-term mayor. Most are inspired by Hodges' recent pronouncement that Minneapolis would remain a "sanctuary city," meaning local cops won't be asked to police immigration law, and her support for resettling refugees in the city.
This latter move -- signaled with a non-binding, symbolic city council vote last week -- was picked up by one Ann Corcoran, a right-wing commentator who blogs at something called Refugee Resettlement Watch. (It's pretty much what you think.)
Corcoran tweeted a photo of Hodges, described as the "multi-culty Minneapolis mayor," and a link to her post about the Syrian refugees vote, thus unleashing the hounds.
@MayorHodges So, being gang-raped by subhuman savages makes one brave?— Skanderbeg SS Agent (@AdolphMenjouFan) January 14, 2017
So that's what the mayor meant. A bunch of people deeply concerned about the welfare of the mayor of Minneapolis and the people of that city. So concerned, in fact, they seem to be actively rooting for her and for us to be raped, killed, and blown to bits.
All because the council passed a well-meaning but effectively toothless resolution.
Of course, Minnesota has already resettled refugees here, something these Nazis would know if they'd read the city's official announcement. As it says: "The Twin Cities is a leader in welcoming refugees and has resettled more than 12,500 refugees from 40 countries, including Syria, since 2011."
Which naturally explains why all of the city's residents have already been raped, murdered, and blown up, thank you very much.
"Better they waste their time on me than on others," Hodges wrote. Perhaps she's right.
Better still: That they fuck off and die.