If you’re not concerned about Donald Trump’s rise to power, you haven’t been paying attention. It’s not just that he brings out the worst in people, it’s that he encourages it. It’s not enough for Trump to stoke white resentment and give it legitimacy, he has to make it permissible to act on it. This is the key to his success: Trump made open racism legitimate again and his supporters are eager to show just how much hate they’ve been bottling up.
If You Only News’ Jen Froderman documented an earlier case of a Jewish journalist coming under assault by racists and now ThinkProgress’ Jack Jenkins has been keeping tabs on the rapid explosion of Antisemitism coming from Trump supporters. You’ll be shocked, shocked, I tell you, at how little Trump has done to keep it in check:
Donald Trump has an anti-Semitism problem.
Granted, the newly minted Republican nominee for president has long insisted that his is not himself anti-Semitic, and regularly points out that his daughter is a Jewish convert. Yet Trump has done little to quell a rising tide of anti-Semitism among his supporters since launching his campaign last year: Trump initially refused to disavow anti-Semitic Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a Trump surrogate implied at a rally that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders shouldconvert from Judaism and “meet Jesus,” prominent anti-Semites went on radio shows to encourage their supporters to “get out and vote” for Trump, and a man was filmed leaving a Trump rallyshouting in Cleveland shouting “Go to fucking Auschwitz.”
To make matters worse, anti-Semitic white supremacists recently announced that they view Trump’s relative silence on the issue “as an endorsement.”
Well, of course, they view it as an endorsement; Trump’s entire campaign is based on racism. There is zero chance that he’s going to tell his supporters to cool it with the hate. The more they’re “allowed” to vent their rage at Jews, blacks and all the rest of Those People, the louder and more supportive of Trump they’ll be.
Remember, for a very long time white supremacy in America was underground and out of sight. It was still there, of course, and it still weighed heavily on minorities but we weren’t allowed to openly discriminate. Blatant racism was frowned upon and that really REALLY pissed off a lot of angry white Americans, many of whom are now following Trump. This is THEIR country, darn it! If they want to call a Jew a “kyke” or a black person a “nigger,” then, by golly, that’s their God-given right! That’s the “great” in “Make America great again”: the ability for white people to be as openly racist as they want.
So it’s no wonder that Jewish journalists are under constant attack by Trump’s nascent Brown Shirt movement. They already believe that Jewish bankers, the Jew-controlled media and “Jewywood” are conspiring to destroy White America. Clearly, Jewish journalists are all in on the Jewish Conspiracy (I have my official Jew Card in my wallet!) and they’re gonna get it when Trump
rounds them all up “Makes America great again.”
@jonathanweisman get used to it you fucking kike. You people will be made to pay for the violence and fraud you’ve committed against us.
— Andrew Auernheimer (@rabite) May 19, 2016
From my inbox. Subject line: “They know about you!” pic.twitter.com/zp3v2GjTeI
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) April 28, 2016
And the hate is targeted at ALL Jews, even stalwart conservative ones:
In late April, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro recounted the anti-Semitic backlash he received for criticizing Trump, saying, “I have never received the amount of anti-Semitic hate I currently do each day for the crime of criticizing The Great Trump.” Two weeks later, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic received an email from someone saying that he will be “sent to a camp” if Trump wins the presidency.
Amazingly, Trump’s Jewish backers do not seem to care about the increasing vitriol:
As the number of incidents grew, so too did calls for the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) — which includes Trump backer Sheldon Anderson — to speak out. They finally released a statement on Tuesday condemning any and all attacks on Jewish reporters, but declined to hold Trump supporters uniquely accountable.
“We abhor any abuse of journalists, commentators and writers whether it be from Sanders, Clinton or Trump supporters,” the statement read. “There is no room for any of this in any campaign. Journalists, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity should be free to do their jobs without suffering abuses, anti-Semitic or otherwise.”
Right. Because you can’t throw a rock without hitting a Sanders or Hillary supporter eager to get some payback “for the violence and fraud you’ve committed against us.” Why, Bernie supporters are the most antisemitic of all! That’s why they follow a Jew from Jew York. It all makes sense now!
This casual dismissal of the increasing antisemitism is, presumably, based on the belief that their money will protect them and their interests. But a lot of rich Germans thought the same thing until they were deemed undesirable and taken away.
Trump may be excited about all the anger he’s whipping up but it’s going to be a cancer that eats his campaign alive. Republicans switched to racist dog whistles in the 1960s for a reason. They know that running on overt white supremacy doesn’t work because it gets out of control. You can’t have a rally of Republicans chanting “Kill the Jews/Niggers/Wetbacks.” Not only does that motivate the left to vote, it nauseates both moderate Republicans and Independents who will either not vote, or vote Democratic in protest.
But Trump doesn’t care about any of that. He only cares about being fawned over by his racist fan club and he’ll never say a word to dampen their enthusiasm for all things Trump. It will cost him the election but he’s going to do a lot of damage in the meantime.
Featured image via Vox screen capture