Both antisemitism and racism are pervasive in the United States. I make a distinction between the two terms because there is a difference between both. And yes, antisemites are not limited to white supremacists. Other groups who suffer the poison of racism, can be antisemitic. One does not prevent the other. But we like to pretend that it does not exist, or is not as bad, where we live. Why? It can be disconcerting to realize how bad this can be. Or worse, that people have died because of racist and antisemitic attitudes.
In the last four years we have witnessed an increased open embrace of these attitudes. The Unite The Right rally was but one of many of these moments. President Donald Trump has given these people cover, and at this point, there is no doubt, he is racist.
One of the most difficult aspects of media and popular culture is what I like to call the mirror. It is very difficult for people to admit we have a race problem where we live. The same goes for antisemitism. Some of the worst offenders of this are local media that for a variety of shifting reasons refuse to shine a light on this issue.
I got to witness this after the shooting in Poway. Local media and it was many reporters, were surprised. How could we have an attack in the midst of a sleepy town near America’s finest city? Some were shocked for the same reason many people around then country are. It can never happen here. And this is partially due to willful ignorance. After all, our neighbors could not be this ugly, could they?
it’s easy to concede that there are both racists and antisemites in the United States, but it is in the South right? It’s not where I live. Well, we have seen the rise of quasi-militias around the country over the last few months. Those that were already organized have also come up. These range from the three percenters, to the proud boys, boogaloo Bois and locally the Defend East County types.
There are connections ideologically, and the Defend East County has a few ties to the national QAnon movement. It’s not hard to tell, and they are not making a secret of this. Almost all of these militias have a deep sense of grievance politics and racism, with a dose of antisemitism. With the contracting economy, expect them to grow.