The White House has condemned Twitter owner Elon Musk’s post amplifying the same antisemitic trope that motivated the Pittsburgh Tree of Life mass murderer.
“It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of Antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA.
“Like President Biden said weeks ago memorializing the victims of the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, the October 7 ‘devastating atrocity has brought to the surface painful memories left by millennia of Antisemitism;’ and under his presidency ‘we will continue to condemn Antisemitism at every turn.’”
“We condemn this abhorrent promotion of Antisemitic and racist hate in the strongest terms, which runs against our core values as Americans. We all have a responsibility to bring people together against hate, and an obligation to speak out against anyone who attacks the dignity of their fellow Americans and compromises the safety of our communities.”
One of the foundational aspects of fascism is dividing people into factions with dehumanizing language so they can be more easily weaponized against one another, instead of fighting against state stealing power from them. This is a relevant doctrine to keep in mind before you read these tweets.
Elon’s tweet is here:
He was agreeing with this statement (here in full):
The two tweets above were responding to this tweet asking people who write on social media “Hitler was right” to say it to his face:
The caravan scaremongering pushed by then President Donald Trump and right wing media in the lead up to the 2018 midterms “found a target,” as Vox put it, in “Jews who helped resettle refugees.” They noted: “But the particular moment he (allegedly) chose for his massacre, and the place he chose to do it, show that what radicalized the assailant to the point of violence was a specific manifestation of anti-Semitism: blaming Jews in America for bringing in an invasion of nonwhite immigrants who would slaughter the white race.”
On October 27, 2018, Robert Bowers killed 11 congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Two others were critically wounded two others and five responding officers were wounded. During his trial, the evidence piled up to prove that the murderer’s attack stemmed from his violently antisemitic beliefs he made public on Right wing social media site Gab that provides a safe haven for those whose beliefs are so noxious and vile they have been banned from other sites.
Elon Musk has reinstated many users who were previously banned by the former ownership, including those who espouse Nazi beliefs and imagery, along with accused rapists and sex traffickers.
After the Pittsburgh Tree of Life shooting, GAB owner Andrew Torba posted concern for the families and community of Gab members, claiming that God was on “their side”:
“We have probably the most traffic we have ever had,” Torba said in one, under the username @a. “Please pray for us. Our families, our friends, and our community are all under attack,” Torba said in another, as Gab faced server and traffic issues. “God is on our side. Never forget that. God is on Gab. Pray.”
The evidence proved Bowers’ motive.
“The evidence in this trial proved that the defendant acted because of white supremacist, anti-Semitic and bigoted views that unfortunately are not original or unique to him,” said U.S. Attorney Eric Olshan for the Western District of Pennsylvania. “Our Constitution protects a person’s right to hold repugnant beliefs. But our Constitution also protects every person’s right to practice his or her faith. When people who espouse white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and bigoted views pick up weapons and use them to kill or try to kill people because of their faith, our Office and our partners in law enforcement will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Each and every time.”
The Tree of Life shooting is exactly what is at stake every time a racist and or antisemitic hate trope is amplified.
I visited the Tree of Life synagogue after the shooting, and one of the quotes from that piece is even more haunting today: “Conservadox Jew Victor Fishman, who came to visit the synagogue from outside of Atlanta, Georgia, told me he never thought he’d see this in our country – see people who fled from the Nazis gunned down in a synagogue in the United States.”
Hate speech that dehumanizes a group of people is the first and the last step of fascism, according to Yale professor of philosophy Jason Stanley.
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