A few days ago, Instagram user Jennifer Miller was just a dedicated Boy Scout troop volunteer and mother of three purportedly cute children. Now, she is known as the archnemesis of famous Hermès scarf owner and wife of Steve Mnuchin, Louise Linton.
Miller is the author of the Instagram comment heard ‘round the world calling out Louise Linton for tagging her luxury brands in an Instagram post. The comment caused Linton to respond with a rant about how she and her incredibly wealthy husband single-handedly stabilize the United States economy. Despite Louise Linton’s subsequent apology, it seems Miller is not ready to let bygones be bygones.
CNN jumped at the chance to give Miller a stage upon which to finish what she started in Louise Linton’s Instagram mentions. The fiery mama penned an opinion piece for their website further deriding Linton for her burning need to let US taxpayers know she is a proud beneficiary of our neoliberal economy.
“To see someone in [Linton’s] position — married to a wealthy former Wall Street executive who is now secretary of the treasury and affects national economic policy — hashtag her luxury purchases when so many Americans are suffering economically is, well, deplorable,” wrote Miller. “… I don’t think she has any idea what everyday Americans deal with, especially when it comes to economic struggles. Since her husband is secretary of the treasury, it behooves her to find out.”
While Winton issued a public apology for having accidentally shown America exactly who she is, Miller is not sorry for having spoken up.
Words are incredibly important. In this digital age of social media and 24/7 news cycles, what we say and do carries so much meaning. Even citizens like me can gain attention for the words we choose. Linton chose to demonstrate her wealth and privilege and then chose to belittle me. And yes, I chose to call her behavior deplorable. I do not regret it, however, because if this pushes us toward a little perspective, empathy and understanding, the words will have mattered.
Linton is famous for having ventured into the “heart of darkness” in Zambia. Perhaps this is her opportunity to venture into the “heart of darkness” in the United States (a Walmart) to find out what it’s like to be an American without luxury products to hashtag.
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott