Thursday, May 26, 2016

Virulent anti-Semitism of Trump supporters

“It’s a dog whistle, fool. Belling the cat for my fellow goyim.” — @CyberTrump 

I PRETTY much have no words. From The New York Times

Oh wait, I do have this to say: If you support Donald Trump, I don't want to know you. 

Um, something else — if you support Donald Trump, you're who needs to be deported because you just flunked the intelligence test necessary to be a US citizen. You are without the slimmest glimmer of comprehension of what this nation was created to be. Please go somewhere else and build a wall around yourself.




The Nazi Tweets of ‘Trump God Emperor’

Jonathan Weisman
May 26, 2016

THE first tweet arrived as cryptic code, a signal to the army of the “alt-right” that I barely knew existed: “Hello ((Weisman)).” @CyberTrump was responding to my recent tweet of an essay by Robert Kagan on the emergence of fascism in the United States.

“Care to explain?” I answered, intuiting that my last name in brackets denoted my Jewish faith.

“What, ho, the vaunted Ashkenazi intelligence, hahaha!” CyberTrump came back. “It’s a dog whistle, fool. Belling the cat for my fellow goyim.” With the cat belled, the horde was unleashed.

The anti-Semitic hate, much of it from self-identified Donald J. Trump supporters, hasn’t stopped since. Trump God Emperor sent me the Nazi iconography of the shiftless, hooknosed Jew. I was served an image of the gates of Auschwitz, the famous words “Arbeit Macht Frei” replaced without irony with “Machen Amerika Great.” Holocaust taunts, like a path of dollar bills leading into an oven, were followed by Holocaust denial. The Jew as leftist puppet master from @DonaldTrumpLA was joined by the Jew as conservative fifth columnist, orchestrating war for Israel. That one came from someone who tagged himself a proud future member of the Trump Deportation Squad.

The imaginings by my tormentors of me as an Orthodox Jew in wide-brimmed hat and Hasidic garb were, of course, laughable. The truth is, I have become largely disconnected from Jewish life and faith over the years, and like many American Jews I have been lulled into complacency. Our politics have dispersed between the parties. Our coreligionists grace our movie screens, lead the cities of Los Angeles and Chicago, help oversee the Senate Intelligence Committee, succeed without apology, but also struggle like everyone else.

A Jewish 17-year-old, inflamed by the Black Lives Matter movement and the cause of L.G.B.T. rights, told me recently there is no anti-Semitism, certainly nothing compared with the prejudices that afflict other minorities. I surprised myself when I recoiled from her words and argued passionately that Jews must never think anti-Semitism has been eradicated. I sounded like my mother.

Just weeks later, I found myself staring down a social-media timeline filled with the raw hate and anti-Semitic tropes that for centuries fueled expulsion, persecution, pogroms and finally genocide.

“I found the Menorah you were looking for,” one correspondent offered with a Trump-triumphant backdrop on his Twitter profile; it was a candelabrum made of the number six million. Old Grand Dad cheerfully offered up a patriotic image of Donald Trump in colonial garb holding up the Liberty Bell and fighting “against the foreign hordes,” with caricatures of the Jew, the American Indian, the Mexican, the Chinese and the Irish cowering at his feet.

I am not the first Jewish journalist to experience the onslaught. Julia Ioffe was served up on social media in concentration camp garb and worse after Trump supporters took umbrage with her profile of Melania Trump in GQ magazine. The would-be first lady later told an interviewer that Ms. Ioffe had provoked it. The anti-Semitic hate hurled at the conservative commentator Bethany Mandel prompted her to buy a gun.

Beyond journalism, stories of Muslims assaulted by Trump supporters are piling up. Hispanic immigrants are lining up for citizenship, eager to vote. Groups that have been maligned over centuries at different times in different regions now share a common tormentor, the alt-right, a militant agglomeration of white nationalists, racists, anti-Semites and America Firsters that have been waging war on the Republican establishment for some time. Their goals: Close the borders, deport illegal immigrants, pull out of international entanglements and pull up the drawbridge.

I retweeted the choicest attacks for all to see, and with each retweet, more attacks followed, their authors gleefully seeking the exposure. Some people criticized me for offering it, but I argued, perhaps wrongly, that such hate needed airing, that Americans needed to see the darkest currents in the politics of exclusion animating the presidential election.

An official at Twitter encouraged me to block the anti-Semites and report them to Twitter, but I have chosen to preserve my Twitter timeline as a research tool of sorts, a database of hate, and a shrine to 2016. The only response I blocked and forwarded to Twitter was a photo of my disembodied head held aloft, long Orthodox hair locks called payot photoshopped on my sideburns and a skullcap placed as a crown. I let stand the image of a smiling Mr. Trump in Nazi uniform flicking the switch on a gas chamber containing my Photoshopped face.

“Thanks to @jonathanweisman for redpilling at least 1.5k normies today by retweeting premium content. Epitome of useful idiot,” responded one tormentor whose Twitter handle is too vulgar to repeat, even if I wanted to. Maybe he was right.

And still, we have heard nothing from Mr. Trump, no denunciation, no broad renouncing of racist, anti-Semitic support, no expressions of sympathy for its victims. The Republican Jewish Coalition on Tuesday released what can only be described as equivocation as an art form: “We abhor any abuse of journalists, commentators and writers, whether it be from Sanders, Clinton or Trump supporters. There is no room for any of this in any campaign.”

Sheldon Adelson, perhaps the most prolific Jewish donor to Republican causes, has not only endorsed Mr. Trump but is also encouraging Jews to rally round him.

“I don’t hold black leaders responsible for some of the B.L.M. hate I’ve seen, or liberal leaders responsible for the Occupy messages,” Ari Fleischer, a Bush White House press secretary and prominent Jewish Republican, told me, referring to the Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street movements.

I understand Mr. Trump has a son-in-law who is an Orthodox Jew, and a daughter who converted to her husband’s religion. Mr. Trump has bragged about his Jewish grandchildren. Yet I also see tweets from Mr. Trump like the 2013 missive that re-emerged Monday promising “that I’m much smarter than Jonathan Leibowitz — I mean Jon Stewart,” and I cannot help seeing another belled cat.

I grew up in Atlanta in the 1970s, when friends spoke of “Jewing down” a price and anti-Semitism was casual, if not nearly as omnipresent as racial prejudice. My parents joined a synagogue that had been bombed by the Klan. My father opened his medical practice in Marietta, where Leo Frank was lynched in 1915 at the age of 31.

All of that seemed like buried history until now. In Mr. Trump, many in the alt-right have found an imperfect vessel for their cause, but they have poured their rage into his campaign without impediment. Mr. Trump apparently takes all comers.

We in the news business are taught to find and write up both sides of a story, with respect and equal time to all opinions. But that line is difficult to walk when one side is shoving you in the back. In The New Yorker this week, Adam Gopnik, quoting Alexander Pope, asks, “Is there no black or white?”

His answer: “The pain of not seeing that black is black soon enough will be ours, and the time to recognize this is now.”

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