On receiving anti-Semitic threats as GOP leaders’ anti-Muslim incitements swell. Hate inspires hate.
by: David Harris-Gershon on December 1st, 2015 | Comments Off
As an American Jew who often critiques U.S. policy, particularly when abuses or injustices are systematized, I occasionally see anti-Semitic comments pop up by those who take offense. While such comments are always concerning, they have typically been both veiled and infrequent over the past eight years while writing for various progressive outlets.
However, in the last month, during which Republican leaders’ anti-Muslim incitements have reached a troubling cacophony, I’ve have seen a marked shift, both in tone and frequency. Indeed, I’ve been receiving an alarming number of anti-Semitic threats and attacks on Twitter and elsewhere ― most of which are coming from supporters of the very Republicans who are inspiring a fear of Syrian refugees or inciting a hatred of Muslims in general.
I’m not alone in this.
I offer my example (below) not to generate sympathy, but as anecdotal testimony. For the public hatred being directed toward the Muslim-American community by Republican leaders was inevitably going to filter to other communities as well. For hate inspires hate. And today, this is what I’m seeing personally.
After the Planned Parenthood terrorist attack in Colorado Springs, which followed white supremacists shooting Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis and masked, armed men stalking a mosque outside of Dallas, I composed the following Tweets. The obvious intention was to twofold: 1) to highlight GOP leaders’ bigotry toward Muslims, and 2) to expose a stark reality: white terrorists are among the most dangerous threat Americans face:
The following four responses, culled from too many to count, represent the sort of anti-Semitic threats and attacks I received from Donald Trump supporters and white supremacists doubling as GOP defenders. (I’m offering each one as an image, rather than an embedded Tweet, to discourage direct engagement, though links are provided for reference.)
This first one came as a direct response to the Donald Trump Tweet seen above:
While the previous Tweet identifies me as a treacherous Marxist Jew who is an enemy to ‘white America,’ this next one ― responding to my first Tweet ― suggests what should happen to those like myself.
In this third example, we move from predicting that Jews will be expunged from America to a suggestion it should be done by force, followed by a cute call for genocide.
Isn’t it nice how Jack finished the sentence for his family of once-closeted white supremacists now feeling the freedom of sunshine? His friends below, also responding to my original Tweet, agree. The dream: a world without those treacherous Jews:
This Isn’t About Me, It’s About All of Us
The hate revealed above has been hitting me, and others, at a dizzying pace since political leaders and television personalities decided it’s good politics to promote a hatred for and fear of Muslims.
GOP leaders, by giving sanction to and championing hate, have created an environment in which extremists harboring various bigotries feel more comfortable not only showcasing them, but acting upon them in violent ways. Planned Parenthood, after the attack in Colorado Springs, certainly feels such is the case, as I’m sure do the Black Lives Matter protesters shot recently in Minneapolis by white supremacists, the black protester assaulted at a Donald Trump event in Birmingham, the Muslim taxi driver shot in Pittsburgh …
The list goes on, and my fear is that this list is going to grow as all minority communities, including my own, feel the force of hate actualized by those who feel they’ve been given license to do so by elected officials and presidential candidates.
It’s why we must speak up about it and roundly critique those who seek to profit off of hate. For such profiteering is creating a more dangerous and less tolerant America. For everyone.
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, published recently by Oneworld Publications.
Follow him on Twitter @David_EHG.