The Pershing Myth: Trump, Islamophobic Tweets, And The Construction Of Public Memory.

  • Anwar Ouassini Delaware State University
  • Mostafa Amini University of New Mexico
Keywords: Islamophobia, Donald Trump, Collective Memory, Twitter, Nostalgia, Post Colonialism

Abstract

One of the enduring narratives of the 2016 presidential election was the nostalgic journey President Trump took the American public on to construct his ‘Islamophobic memory’ surrounding General Pershing’s actions during the American occupation of the Philippines. While the mobilization of memory by political actors is not new in Presidential elections, the mechanism utilized to impose and mobilize pubic memory was. This paper explores how the President Trump’s tweets via the Twitter social media platform transform into ‘mediated sites of contention’ in the nurturance of public nostalgia. As a public ‘site’ that is visited by millions of people -the tweet not only memorializes events of the past but it mobilizes meaning, memory, and the society’s sense of self, which has the ability to redirect and shape public memory. We argue that Trump’s nostalgic colonial folklore via the tweet serves his ideological sentiments and larger political platforms in order to promote a vision of the past to provide his right-wing ideologies and movement supporters currency.

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Published
2018-02-27