David Vance. In a black shirt
By doing so, he had attracted the attention of a much wider audience, the kind of audience with a high enough public profile for the stream of complaints to Twitter about his behaviour to finally gain sufficient heft for the platform to act. Worse for Vance, his sly habit of deleting Tweets before Twitter admin gets to see them won’t wash this time.
What happened can be put directly. After Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake had unwiselyTweeted “Where they can, it’s a parents job to feed their children”, Rashford responded “I would urge you to talk to families before tweeting. To this day I haven’t met one parent who hasn’t wanted or felt the responsibility to feed their children”.
Then Vance - in a Tweet he has, being of less than perfect courage, since deleted, sneered “Hello [Marcus Rashford] - sadly there is a disproportionate problem in the (UK) Afro-Caribbean community of black men abandoning their pregnant girlfriends, never to be seen again. In order to understand your comment below, can you confirm whether you have ever met your father?” Down to the usual Vance standard.
Gary Lineker picked up on that, concluding “Sadly there is a disproportionate problem in the Twitter community with men abandoning any semblance of decency. Ugh!” Tanja Bueltmann then responded “Vance has been going after many people, incl a lot of women, for a long time. Why he is still on here and allowed to spew more hate I have no idea. The fact that he has a blue tick makes it worse. Funnily enough, I'm blocked by him even though I've never interacted with him”. A blue tick. Just like Katie Hopkins.
Meanwhile, with awareness of Vance’s disgusting racism rippling across Twitter, he did something singularly unwise. While others might have kept a low profile at this point and waited for it all to blow over, he doubled down, and did so against another high-profile name. This time his target was Labour MP (and shadow justice secretary) David Lammy.
Lammy had responded to Vance’s attack on Rashford. “Absolutely despicable that this unabashed racism has a following in modern Britain. This is no way to speak to [Marcus Rashford] who has achieved far more at age 22 than you will in a lifetime”.
Vance couldn’t help himself. “Rashford, from an Afro-Caribbean background, stated: ‘To this day I haven’t met one parent who hasn’t wanted or felt the responsibility to feed their children’. He is either mistaken or very naive. Child abandonment by fathers is a major concern. Didn't your father run off too?” So that’s another reason for Twitter to act.
David Vance has been indulged by Twitter, and, it has to be said, even by some broadcasters, for far too long. He’s a racist bigot and should not be given a platform to spread his hatred unchecked. Katie Hopkins eventually went. He should be next.
The time of David Vance on Twitter was for a time, but hopefully, not for all time.
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