antisemitism and white supremacy

WHAT IS WHITE SUPREMACY?

White supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to all other races and should thus dominate them. 

Contemporary white supremacist ideology stems from pseudoscientific racial “science” that emerged in the 17th century. 

White supremacy has historically been used as a justification for colonialism, slavery, genocide, and more. 

The three primary targets of white supremacy are Black People, Jewish People, and indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia. 

White supremacy can also be used to describe a system in which white people enjoy cultural and societal advantages over non-white people. 

 

EXAMPLES

Some examples of groups that subscribe to white supremacist ideology are Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and neo-Confederates, among others.

Jewish People are primary targets of all of these groups. 

 

NAZISM

Nazism and neo-Nazism are ideologies that explicitly — and primarily — target Jewish People and Romani People.

Nazi race laws dictated that the Jewish People were a conniving, conspiring inferior race. Not surprisingly, much of the inspiration for Nazi race laws came from the Jim Crow laws in the United States. 

Today, the primary target of many neo-Nazi groups are Jews. 

 

IN THE UNITED STATES

White supremacy has long targeted Jewish People in the United States. In 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant issued an order for the expulsion of Jewish People from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi. 

In the 1800s, Jewish People were subject to employment restrictions, property restrictions, and university quotas, which lasted until the 1970s. Jewish People were also forbidden from participating in social clubs. As of 2011, some country clubs in the country still banned Jewish People. 

In 1915, the lynching of a Jewish man named Leo Frank was the cause for the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan. 

 

THE HOLOCAUST

The situation for American Jews worsened in the years leading up to WWII. 

In the 1930s, public figures, radio hosts, politicians, and other celebrities like Henry Ford openly incited hatred against the Jewish People. In the late 1930s, the United States officially closed its doors to Jewish immigrants, turning Jewish refugees from Germany away to their deaths. 

During WWII, the United States repeatedly ignored Jewish activists’ pleas to bomb the death camps. It’s estimated that ~200,000 Jewish People could have been saved from the Holocaust had the United States not made immigration a bureaucratic impossibility for them. 

 

ANTISEMITIC CONSPIRACIES

Antisemitic conspiracies are at the very core of white supremacist and white nationalist ideology. 

White nationalist groups believe that the United States has been in steep decline since the civil rights movements of the 1960s, which according to them, have “dispossessed” the white people of America. 

And who is to blame? Well, the Jews, of course.

People who subscribe to said ideology believe that there is a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the white race. For that purpose, they believe that Jews have organized BIPOC, Muslims, other POC, and LGBTQ folks to do their bidding. 

Some examples of white supremacist antisemitic conspiracies are the white genocide conspiracy theory and the Zionist occupation government conspiracy theory.

The white genocide conspiracy attests that Jewish People have a plot to exterminate the white race. 

The Zionist occupation government conspiracy attests that Jews secretly control the American government and other governments in the Western world — to the detriment of white people. 

 

HOW THE LEFT PLAYS A ROLE

Many of the conspiracy theories that have seeped into leftist politics have their origins in white supremacist antisemitic conspiracies. For example, “Jewish/Zionist lobby” conspiracies echo the Zionist occupation government conspiracy. 

When left-wing politicians and public figures parrot far-right conspiracies, they further isolate Jewish People, leaving us even more vulnerable to far-right (as well as left-wing) violent extremism. 

 

DIVIDE AND CONQUER

As white supremacy attests that Jewish People seek to destroy the white race by controlling BIPOC and other marginalized groups, the white nationalist tactic is to divide and conquer.

If Jews and POC — particularly Black folks — are at odds with each other, the Jews will not succeed at their supposed goal of destroying the white race.

When POC perpetrate antisemitism or when Jews perpetrate racism (note that BIPOC Jewish People also exist), they are unknowingly (or worse, knowingly) playing right into the hands of white supremacy.