Today, Facebook deactivated ads purchased by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence that used an upside-down triangle used by Nazis to denote queer prisoners in their death camps. Facebook said the ads violated its policy against “organized hate.”
The ads ran on Trump and Pence’s personal pages, gaining 950,000 and 500,000 impressions respectively before being taken down by Facebook.
The ads showed the triangle next to text about “Dangerous MOBS” of ANTIFA (anti-fascist) activists. The Trump Administration has sought to label ANTIFA as terrorists for their participation in the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality, but police arrest records say ANTIFA involvement is actually quite small, according to The Washington Post.
While Nazis also used red triangles to denote members of anti-Nazi organizations like communists and Freemasons, the upside-down pink triangle remains a distinctly queer symbol thanks to its reclamation by activists who sought to turn it from a mark of persecution to a symbol of defiance.
Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said that the “red triangle is an ANTIFA symbol,” claiming to have seen it on water bottles and phone cases used by protesters, but the Post reports that anti-fascists more often use a symbol made up of “two flags, one red and one black, enclosed in a circle.”
Amid the ongoing protests over the murder of Black Americans by police, Trump has largely avoided criticizing Black Lives Matter protestors by instead focusing on “radical-left, bad people,” “looters” and criminals rather than substantively addressing the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors seeking nationwide police reform.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has said that Trump’s recent police reform executive order wouldn’t have saved the lives of many Black Americans recently killed by police because his executive order and the Senate Republicans’ police reform bill don’t outright ban deadly chokeholds, create national registries for police violence, or end the “qualified immunity” protecting most police from legal consequences.