A conservative filmmaker pardoned by President Donald Trump has been slammed for retweeting Twitter posts with the hashtags #burntheJews and #bringbackslavery.
Right-wing commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who has mocked the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and suggested Rosie O’Donnell should be prosecuted for her campaign donations, was pardoned by Trump in May.
D’Souza had been given five years of probation with eight months to be served in a community confinement center—or halfway house—after pleading guilty to a federal charge of making illegal campaign contributions in 2014. D’Souza stated that the charge was politically motivated.
Over the weekend, D’Souza has found himself at the center of a Twitter controversy after retweeting messages that promoted his film Death of a Nation—whose trailer compares Trump to Abraham Lincoln and asks “Which is the party of racism today?”—when users noticed they contained highly offensive hashtags.
The first tweet shared by D’Souza, which featured the hashtag #burntheJews, was spotted by Twitter users and widely shared, prompting the pundit to respond: “I did not see the hashtag. Just trying to share the trailer on social media.”
His claim that he had simply failed to spot the hashtag was not well-received by Twitter, with many users expressing disbelief that the filmmaker could have missed the offensive wording when he shared the message.
“Don’t worry, Dinesh,” one wrote. “Everyone accidentally tweets #burnthejews from their abhorrently racist fans. Could happen to anyone. I’m sure it says nothing about who you attract with your messaging.”
I did not see the hashtag. Just trying to share the trailer on social media https://t.co/u1Wn2JPKLe
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 30, 2018
However, shortly afterward, D’Souza retweeted another message that promotes his film—this time with the hashtag #bringbackslavery, which was also quickly spotted by social media users who slammed him again for sharing the racist tweet.
Despite the furor, D’Souza took time to hit back at a report of the incident by Raw Story, refusing to accept responsibility for the retweets, writing: “Watch these sleazy, unscrupulous leftists try to make a story out of an accidental retweet.”
This story has been updated to include details about D’Souza’s charge and upcoming film.