Paul Nehlen Can't See How Making 'Jews Who Are Out To Get Me' List Is So 'Anti-Semitic'
Republican Paul Nehlen, who is challenging Paul Ryan for his seat in Congress, went on an anti-Semitic rant yesterday and this morning in which he posted a list of all of the verified Twitter users who have "attacked him," pointing out that a significant number of them are Jewish.
Whoa if true?
Not true, actually. A significant number of those he identified as being Jewish were not even Jewish -- notably Huffington Post reporter Yashar Ali (a practicing Roman Catholic), Newsweek's Michael Edison Hayden and freelance writer Thor Benson. Not that it would matter if they were!
Nehlen, the Daily Stormer's favorite political candidate (and Breitbart's favorite until he got too terrible for even for them), regularly goes around spreading anti-Semitic bullshit. For instance, at the beginning of his rant, which started January 21st, Nehlen tweeted out an article from Russia Insider about how it should be totally fine to accuse Jewish people of being part of an organized conspiracy to control the world:
Then, in a series of now-deleted tweets -- which got him briefly suspended from Twitter -- he posted memes of people in various news organizations with Stars of David denoting that they were Jewish.
That Jewish people responded to this is not evidence of a conspiracy against him. If one were to tweet out an article about how it should be cool to say all blonde people are stupid, it would probably not come as a surprise that the majority of those who responded were blonde. It would not be evidence of a conspiracy orchestrated by the blondes.
Later in the thread, Nehlen "called out" the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for also having themselves made a list one time! A list of members of the Congressional Black Caucus who met with notable anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan!
This is, of course, a very different kind of list than the one Paul Nehlen made. The ADL was not trying to make a connection between people being black and people being anti-Semitic, but rather pointing out a specific action they took issue with. The point of Nehlen's list was to essentially say "Look at all these Jewish people in the media who are attacking me! This is a grand conspiracy!" That is what made it anti-Semitic.
The notion that Jewish people "cannot be criticized" is also a common anti-Semitic trope, one also often used against black people and other minorities. The point of it is to make the racist look like a brave, transgressive truth-teller, a rebel, a whistle-blower -- rather than, you know, a common bigot. It's propaganda designed to make racism more appealing by designating it as a thing "people" won't allow you to do -- not for reasons of common human decency, but rather for the more nefarious purpose of controlling you.
People are, of course, "allowed" to be racist and anti-Semitic -- they just don't get to do so without other people thinking they are terrible people. Them's the breaks.
In a recent interview with former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Nehlen made it clear that he is not merely anti-Semitic, but all 32 flavors of racist.
“I think it’s right and righteous to do that,” Nehlen said in response to a question about preserving the U.S.’s white majority. “I think that we [white people] have built wonderful civilizations in northern Europe and around the world. And if it weren’t for our leadership, many more people would’ve died over the course of history.”
In response to a question from Duke about Nehlen’s repudiation by Breitbart News, Nehlen said, “Well it reveals to me that, in fact, Jews control the media.”
“So, Bannon disavowed me, Breitbart disavowed me, and Breitbart is run largely by Jewish folks,” he added. “And they took down all of my writings on Breitbart — so I guess to them it’s okay if you just burn part of the Alexandria Library.”
Nehlen also recently retweeted a post claiming that anti-racism is a Jewish conspiracy meant to undermine white people, which has been a popular theory among racists and anti-Semites dating at least back to Henry Ford's "The International Jew" series:
But Nehlen knows this. He just thinks he's very clever and can get away with saying anti-Semitic and racist things and then weasel his way out of being called anti-Semitic and racist. He thinks he's playing 4D chess.
He thinks he can gaslight people, and is deeply annoyed that he can't find anyone to play Ingrid Bergman.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse