A red hat with a well-known slogan. Tweets influencing people with inflated claims. Fired up emotions, bad-faith actions, and gullibility on all sides. Sound familiar?
A young, black woman, @chckpeas, recently tweeted that she had stepped out of the closet and declared her support for Donald Trump. Tweeting #blacksfortrump and #makeamericagreatagain, the woman called herself a “Reformed Republican.”
“I Will Not Hide Any Longer!”
“The left has made us feel as if us black republicans should hide!! but not anymore!!” she said. “I will not hide any longer!”
After that viral tweet @chckpeas reported that her parents were now refusing to pay for her college tuition and that they were kicking her out of the house because she agreed with Kanye. Trump was her hero.
She included a link to a GoFundMe page and some texts from her mother telling her she had two weeks to move out.
After only a day, she reported that she had duped fired-up Republicans out of more than $100,000, enough for tuition, rent, and “17 iPhones.” She also ranted in a post about her victim’s gullibility, disavowing Trump and boasting about her ability to scam his supporters.
More to the Story
A New York Magazine Intelligencer story dug a little deeper. The woman, Quran, did set up a GoFundMe page to solicit support for college. “[I]f you can find it in your hearts to help this young, black republican pay for school it would be appreciated,” she tweeted.
But very few people contributed. She wouldn’t say how few, but admitted that she had second thoughts about keeping the money. She returned all of it, even providing screenshots to prove it.
Quran admitted the scam wasn’t masterminded, at all. Because she had run out of funds, she had to take the semester off at Howard University. She returned to the campus for a weekend to hang out with friends. Oddly, she found a MAGA hat on campus and took a photo of herself. An art history major, she insists her original intention was to make fun of blacks supporting Trump, but she received so much support on Twitter from conservatives that she felt unnerved. It was then that she came up with the idea of scamming them. And then pretty quickly changed her mind.
“I just honestly didn’t want to take their money. Yeah, I can’t pay for school, but I don’t want Republican money to pay for it,” she laughed. “I just want everyone to think I’m the finesse queen, which I am.”
The story didn’t just scam the Republicans who liked her post and the few who contributed. But also all of those on the other side, overly gleeful that she had supposedly made tens of thousands of dollars off the gullibility of others. Except they were just as gullible.
Is that the lesson of our time? That overly fired-up people are susceptible to errors in judgment? There are no heroes in this story. Everyone comes off as mean-spirited, even a woman trying to pay for college with a GoFundMe page.