Russian Trolls Targeted African Americans Voters To Help Trump
The bi-partisan Senate report on Russia interference with the 2016 election that saw the improbable win for Donald Trump had a lot to do with the black voter. What has been newly revealed was that Russia had much more involvement in the election than previously believed. Early on it was thought there were only dozens of ads on Facebook that possibly could have influenced several thousand American voters. Now it is understood, in truth Russians sent tens of millions of ads, stories and posts on every social platform possible. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were flooded with ads, to turn the election away from Hillary Clinton. Those false ads attacked the very fabric of our election process and possibly changed the outcome. There is a lot of smoke leading to Trump, but no concrete ties. What is clear, is that these ads were key to the manipulation and suppression of their votes. Meaning if they weren’t voting for Trump, the Russians wanted them to not vote at all. If they were bound and determined to vote, the Russians sent them misleading information about voting and polling locations.
Officially, this is the work of Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA). So, when you hear the word troll, they are talking about the Russians. The report came in two parts, the second report said the first part of the Russian cyber attack was to hack online voting systems, the second part of the attack cyber hack of the Democratic National Committee, which was leaked to Wikileaks to harm Clinton. The third portion was a social network disinformation campaign that literally has not stopped to create racial division and suppress democratic voting. Most of their efforts were aimed at African American voters. Black voters are the most loyal wing of the Democratic party. By all indications the Russian trolls were effective in their efforts.
The campaign against black voters consisted of malicious misdirection to confuse users about voting rules, encouragement that voters support a third-party candidate (like Jill Stein or write in votes for Bernie Sanders) or to just stay at home. Trump bragged about his small but noticeable support from Black voters and in another speech extolled the decision of some black voters to just stay home. In 2016, black voting rates declined for the first time in 20 years.
Russian trolls with IRA created black sounding sites that pushed the theme of police brutality and white hatred for African Americans. The theory was to create mistrust and anger toward the voting process. If anyone hit a link which discussed a real story about police shootings, it would have exposed the user to dozens of similar sites designed to create anger and pass on misinformation about voting. Black voters were sent wrong information on where to vote on voting eligibility.
After the Trump victory in November 2016, President Barack Obama placed sanctions on Russia to punish them for what little they knew about the campaign to influence the election. At that point, the troll activity rose to its highest levels. On that day (December 29, 2016) Michael Flynn (soon to be the National Security Advisor) who was working with Trump told his Russia contacts not to worry about the sanctions because Trump would drop them and be friendlier to their cause.
The trolls have continued to attack American elections with little interference from American protectors under Trump. Their target now is special counsel Robert Mueller who has indicted many trolls within the IRA. Of course, Russia has not given up any of the accused and other contacts have been murdered. Which begs the question of what can be done and who will guard against further attacks on American elections. Trump has weighed in on the trolls indicted by Mueller when he was interested in the incredible offer to question them in an exchange with sending the U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul to Russia to be interrogated. Fortunately, that horrible idea was not done because McFaul would probably not ever return.
So long as Trump is in office there isn’t much chance of the Justice Department or Homeland Security will do anything of substance to deter Russian attacks on the American vote. This is not an indictment on the entire intelligence community, however upper management is under the thumb of the object of the investigation.
So, what can be done to keep this from happening again? Social networks are working to remove and stop further infiltration by Russian trolls. Facebook has not been overly helpful in giving information. The Russians were purchasing millions of dollars in ads. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t excited about losing ad revenue. This has raised the question of whether Congress needs to set up rules for Facebook and other social networks to ensure proper use of American airwaves. Social networks would no doubt scream first amendment claims if any regulations were imposed. This is advancing questions never before asked because when on earth would a political party work with a foreign enemy to influence an election?
This report shows us the day and how vigilant the black voter must be to keep foreign enemies from having any say over their sacred vote.
Buying Back Black Wall Street Planned
The Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce has been developed in the wake of serious unanswered questions about the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce. Not satisfied to merely replace the old chamber, Black Wall Street has started an interesting proposal. Titled the Black Wall Street Power Group, they want to buy back Black Wall Street with black private dollars. Actually, anyone can contribute to the fund to purchase valuable land in and around the historic Greenwood District. What is very true that from a question of community sovereignty, if the original citizens of this area are dependent on bureaucrats and politicians on what can or can’t be done, the prospect of anything positive happening is historically poor.
It will be interesting to see how this plan works. If it appears to be uphill, it may be only because it’s never been done yet. Best of luck to the board and their ambitious plan.