Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has demonstrated for the world just how immediate social media posts can become and how indelible they are once they are posted.
Patrick decided in the early hours after the Orlando, Fla., massacre to post something on Twitter that enraged some folks. It was New Testament passage, from Galatians 6:7 that declares: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Why the anger over the post?
Well, the massacre occurred at a night club called Pulse, which is a popular hangout for Orlando’s gay community. The madman/shooter killed 50 people before he was killed by the police.
Omar Mateen was an American who reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before committing the horrifying act of carnage.
However, Patrick’s tweet seemed aimed at the victims. Fifty innocent victims were gunned down and he chose that particular verse to post on social media.
He took it down shortly afterward.
However, the damage was done. That’s what happens with these social media posts. They get posted and then are sent around the world many times instantaneously. As a friend used to tell me, “You cannot unhonk a horn.” Same with these social media posts.
Patrick’s spokesman said the tweet had been planned this past week. Patrick posts comments from Twitter weekly, the spokesman said. The passage from Galatians had no relation to the tragedy at Pulse.
I don’t know what to believe here.
At minimum, we have a terrible coincidence at work. Patrick’s social media message just happened to sound to many folks like a crass criticism in the wake of a horrific national tragedy.
Talk about terrible timing.
I’m glad he took the message down. However, I think it would be best if the lieutenant governor himself — not through a spokesman — would stand before us to explain how it happened in the first place.