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From W.E.B. Du Bois to Abraham Lincoln, Two Big Social Media Fails for the GOP


The Republicans are having a banner day on social media today, as both the Department of Education and the GOP’s official accounts somehow made a mess out of celebrating Black History Month.

First off, we had a spelling error from the Department of Education, now under the control of walking meme and supremely unqualified Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Attempting to honor American hero, historian, sociologist, and NAACP founder W.E.B. Du Bois, the Department sent out a tweet in which they spelled his name wrong:

Happy Black History Month!

To be fair, the Department later corrected its mistake, but it was still not a good look. Other countries can see this, Betsy!

I will, however, hand Devos this much credit: unlike Mike Pence and his Muslim ban tweets, she didn’t try and delete the evidence. (Yes, I know DeVos doesn’t handle this account personally, but allow me to personify the incompetence with its most fitting avatar.)

Meanwhile, the official Republican National Committee Twitter account (@GOP) attempted to celebrate former President Abraham Lincoln on his birthday–but instead of quoting any of Lincoln’s actual, famously eloquent writings (the Gettysburg Address, anyone?), they used a fake inspirational quote.

Plenty of sites do attribute this quote to Lincoln, but crucially, they don’t cite any particular letters or speeches. The hallmark of a reliably attributable quote is that it comes from a specific source, such as an inaugural address or a personal letter. Rather than being Lincoln’s, the quote is most likely from a 1940s advertisement. Vox was kind enough to offer some lovely alternatives from Lincoln’s actual oeuvre, if you’d like to celebrate Honest Abe today.

(Via Washington Post and Gizmodo; image via)

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