It’s surely been a rather interesting election year, one that has brought with it tumultuous debate as well as reaffirmed beliefs with many that all is not well in America. From Bernie Sanders leading a movement mostly comprised of millennials frustrated by a view of a future that appears to have no place for them, to Hillary Clinton’s unquestionable rise to becoming the first woman President in the history of The United States, things have been interesting to say the least.
But no other candidate for the presidency has generated more controversy or even greater disdain with a growing populace than Republican Donald J. Trump, the often brutish, openly racist, xenophobic loudmouth who has stated that America should build a border wall to keep Mexicans out and who also favors water boarding as an acceptable form of torture for political prisoners. Embraced by white nationalists at large who view his messages as if he’s some white power messiah, marginalized groups wince at his every word. He personifies the racial and social ideals of a by gone era best kept in history books and studied as a warning to the future. He is the voice of the slave traders of yore. The voice of those who once burned crosses and hung black men from trees. The voice that once denied women the right to vote. His words evoke a dark history whose message need not be illuminated again.
So to think that any reasonable person, such as arcade legend, iconic gaming personality and “Rickey’s Hot Sauce” entrepreneur, Billy Mitchell, would slap Trump’s image on his brand of hot sauce in support of a Trump rally and think it’s a good PR move, is either out of touch with Trump’s controversial message or supportive of it.
To be sure, Mitchell’s brand of hot sauce often sports specially made labels for video game events and films. But to date, this is the first time his hot sauce has bore the image of a political character and been sent in support of political rallies, least of all a presidential candidate known and reviled for his racist rhetoric. To be honest I’m not sure if the bottle contains Mitchell’s sauce at all. However, the bottles were received with his card in tow giving every indication that they are his brand and that he was in one way or another commissioned in their making. That’s at least how it appears.
Another curious and bizarre moment in relation to the “Trump Sauce” was a post to Instagram on June 30, which showed Mitchell in a rather patriotic mood, celebrating Brexit while Trump rally coverage streamed behind bearing the banner “Trump on Terrorism”. An interesting backdrop to be sure.
“In the 20th century, there were two world wars. Was Britain right or were they wrong? It really didn’t matter. US stood with Great Britain. In The Gulf War, was the US right or wrong? It doesn’t matter. Britain stood with the US. The Brexit vote -again- it all comes down to loyalty.”
One can’t be sure what they’re looking at here. Are these the actions of a man divorced from the reality that, as a gaming icon, he has an obligation to refrain from making controversial moves that may affect others he is tied to or a representative of, or is this an act of plain and simple arrogance?
You be the judge.