Elijah and Michele and Right Wing Concern Trolling


An earlier target of right wing rage: a brain damaged 12-year-old boy.

There is some controversy today over 8-year-old Elijah’s confrontation with Michele Bachmann about his gay mom. The favored meme, being pushed very hard on the right, is that the child was reluctant and that, in any event, it is wrong to coerce children to say something they might not say on their own. That’s a lot of unsafe assumptions about motive and circumstance. Here’s what an eyewitness to the scene who subsequently posted the video says about it:

I was standing in line with Elijah and his mom. His mom was going to say something to [Bachmann], but she got nervous and told me she wanted to leave. We were about to step out of the line but Elijah cried out, “Nooo!” He grabbed onto her coat and pulled her back in the line, saying he wanted to talk to her.

It is a familiar tactic on the right to ignore the message and attack the messenger or the means by which it is relayed. To express concern for the child in this instance has the marks of concern trolling, especially as advocates on the right — including elected officials — do not worry about the well-being of children if a direct and sustained personal attack has been determined as necessary, whatever the reason. A notorious example is Graeme Frost, whose story is outlined in the clip above.

It is also important to remember that Graeme is not the only one: this is a pattern of behavior.

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