Comedian Chelsea Handler’s Twitter feed is filled with daily insults, slams and rebuttals to much of what comes from President Donald Trump’s mouth as well as his Twitter account. And that’s fine; she’s entitled to her First Amendment rights.
But there’s one recent tweet in particular that I find profoundly disturbing. A Sept. 21, 2017, message from Handler about Trump and North Korea reads, “Uhhhh. Kim Jung’s letter to @realDonaldTrump is a little bit more sane than @realDonaldTrump. Maybe we trade?”
I get it; Handler is a comedian, but there are a number of reasons why there’s really nothing funny about her tweet.
First and foremost, regardless of what one thinks of Trump, it’s remarkable that a person would muse about replacing him with a man who literally calls for the brutal murder of anyone who dares breathe the wrong way.
People in North Korea are literally languishing in death camps, but we’re joking about the viability of a leadership switch-up? In the end, there’s absolutely no equitable comparison between Trump and Jong-un. Absolutely none. And anyone with a brain knows that, regardless of whether people think Trump is silly, idiotic or just plain unqualified.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) September 22, 2017
But this op-ed isn’t really about Trump; it’s about something much larger than that: the reality that, what goes on in North Korea is absolutely no laughing matter.
Open Doors USA, an organization that monitors persecution across the globe, ranked the country the worst and most oppressive place in the world to live as a Christian, describing the reclusive country as a “totalitarian communist state.”
But it doesn’t end there.
“Worship of the ruling Kim family is mandated for all citizens, and those who don’t comply (including Christians) are arrested, imprisoned, tortured or killed,” Open Doors explains. “Entire Christian families are imprisoned in hard labor camps, where unknown numbers die each year from torture, beatings, overexertion and starvation. Those who attempt to flee to South Korea through China risk execution or life imprisonment, and those who stay behind often fare no better.”
Let’s just review some of the atrocities: The death of 22-year-old American citizen Otto Warmbier, executions, sex slavery, school teachers being used to trick kids into telling if their parents own Bibles and then killing them, people being crushed and steamrolled — and the list goes on.
But, again, let’s tell purported jokes about the viability of switching leaders. The insanity is almost palpable, as Handler and others find themselves endlessly breathless after ceaselessly lambasting Trump and his apparent ills, while largely remaining routinely silent about the actual horrors that scores of people in places like North Korea are unable to escape.
It’s sort of unconscionable when you think about it. Even if Handler is joking, the efforts driving her anger at Trump and her endless barrage of messages about him — at least a sizable portion of her overall Twitter feed — could probably be better spent lamenting the death camps that Jong-un sends his own people to.
You would think North Koreans are lining up in the droves to come to the US but THEY ARE NOT. Smh. ??♀️ #NoMuslimBanEver
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) September 25, 2017
Handler, of course, is no stranger to tweeting bizarre things. Back in August, she wrote, “To all the generals surrounding our idiot-in-chief…the longer U wait to remove him, the longer UR name will appear negatively in history.”
That same month she once again defied rationality and tweeted, “I can’t believe we have our very own homegrown Kim Jong Un dealing with the other Kim Jong Un. Please Republicans stand up.”
Once again, another comparison that leaves one scratching his or her head.
I can't believe we have our very own homegrown Kim Jong Un dealing with the other Kim Jong Un. Please Republicans stand up.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) August 8, 2017
In fairness to Handler, she has, in the past, mustered a few jokes about how evil Jong-un is, joking about how the dictator killed his own uncle; she also called him “mentally ill.”
In other news, North Korean missile launch failed after it exploded within seconds. Kim Jong was so mad he had his uncle murdered again.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) March 24, 2017
Trump confused Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un. I’ll help him out. 1 was the Dad & 1 is the mentally ill son who had everything handed to him.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) April 18, 2017
So, in all of this there’s a lesson: let’s be more aware of what we’re spewing.
But, beyond that, let’s also consider another important reality that too many of us overlook: There comes a point when one’s hatred and disdain for someone becomes so large, so all-encompassing that he or she loses touch with rational thought and perspective.
Let’s be better. And let’s pray for the people trapped under North Korea’s brutal regime.