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Senin, 11 Januari 2021

The US Capitol riot was full of hate symbols. Here's how to spot them - ABC News

One of the many horrifying images from the January 6 rampage on the US Capitol shows a long-haired, long-bearded man wearing a black "Camp Auschwitz" T-shirt emblazoned with a skull and crossbones, and under it the phrase "work brings freedom" — an English translation of the Auschwitz concentration camp motto: "Arbeit macht frei."

Another image, more subtle but no less incendiary, is of a different man whose T-shirt was emblazoned with the inscription "6MWE" above yellow symbols of Italian Fascism. "6MWE" is an acronym common among the far right standing for "6 Million Wasn't Enough." It refers to the Jews exterminated during the Nazi Holocaust and hints at the desire of the wearer to increase that number still further.

These and related images, captured on television and retweeted on social media, demonstrate that some of those who travelled to Washington to support President Donald Trump were engaged in much more than just a doomed effort to maintain their hero in power.

As their writings make clear to me as a scholar of American antisemitism, some among them also hoped to trigger what is known as the "Great Revolution," based on a fictionalised account of a government takeover and race war that, in its most extreme form, would exterminate Jews.

Extreme antisemitism

Calls to exterminate Jews are common in far right and white nationalist circles.

For example, the conspiracy theorists of QAnon, who hold "that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping paedophiles who are plotting against Trump, traffic in it regularly.

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The anonymous "Q" — the group's purported head who communicates in riddles and leaves clues on message boards — once approvingly retweeted the antisemitism image of a knife-wielding Jew wearing a Star of David necklace who stands knee deep in the blood of Russians, Poles, Hungarians and Ukrainians and asks with feigned innocence, "Why do they persecute me so?"

Images of long-nosed Jews dripping with the blood of non-Jews — whom they are falsely accused of murdering — have a long and tragic history. Repeatedly, they have served as triggers for antisemitic violence.

More commonly, including in recent days, QAnon has targeted Jewish billionaire philanthropist and investor George Soros, whom it portrays as the primary figure shaping and controlling world events. A century ago, the Rothschilds, a family of Jewish bankers, was depicted in much the same way.

QAnon members also mark Jews with triple parentheses, a covert means of outing those whom they consider usurpers and outsiders, not true members of the white race.

Two people with QAnon t-shirts stand in a crowd at a Trump rally.
Supporters wearing shirts with the QAnon logo, ahead of US President Donald Trump taking the stage at a rally in 2018.(Reuters: Leah Millis)

'White genocide'

Another website popular in white nationalist circles displayed photographs of Jewish women and men, downloaded from university websites, so as to help readers distinguish Jews from the "Aryan Master Race". "Europeans are the children of God," it proclaims. "(((They)))" — denominating Jews as other without even mentioning them — "are the children of Satan."

The website justifies rabid antisemitism by linking Jews to the forces supposedly seeking to undermine racial hierarchies. "White genocide is (((their))) plan," it declares, again marking Jews with triple parentheses, "counter-(((extermination))) is our response."

Members of the Proud Boys, another group that sent members to Washington, likewise traffic in antisemitism. One of the group's leaders, Kyle Chapman, recently promised to "confront the Zionist criminals who wish to destroy our civilization". The West, he explained "was built by the White Race alone and we owe nothing to any other race".

Chapman, like many of his peers, uses the term "white genocide" as a shorthand way of expressing the fear that the members of the white population of the United States, like themselves, will soon be overwhelmed by people of colour.

Composed by David Lane, one of the conspirators behind the 1984 assassination of Jewish radio host Alan Berg, this slogan originally formed part of a larger document entitled "The White Genocide Manifesto". Its 14 planks insist that Jews are not white and actually endanger white civilisation. "All Western nations are ruled by a Zionist conspiracy to mix, overrun and exterminate the White race," the manifesto's seventh plank reads.

While influenced by the infamous antisemitic forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the document goes further, blaming members of what it euphemistically calls the "Zionist occupation governments of America" for homosexuality and abortion as well.

QAnon followers, the Proud Boys and the other far-right and alt-right groups that converged on Washington imagined that they were living out the great fantasy that underlies what many consider to be the bible of the white nationalism movement, a 1978 dystopian novel, The Turner Diaries, by William Luther Pierce.

The novel depicts the violent overthrow of the government of the United States, nuclear conflagration, race war and the ultimate extermination of non-whites and "undesirable racial elements among the remaining White population".

Protesters supporting US President Donald Trump break into the US Capitol
Flags, including graffitied versions of the national stars and stripes flag, were seen in the Capitol protests(Getty: Win McNamee)

Symbolism outside the Capitol

As opinion writer Seyward Darby pointed out in The New York Times, the gallows erected in front of the Capitol recalls the novel's depiction of "the day of the rope", when so-called betrayers of their race were lynched. Unmentioned in The New York Times article is that the novel subsequently depicts "a war to the death with the Jew".

The book warns Jews that their "day is coming". When it does, at the novel's conclusion, mass lynchings and a takeover of Washington set off a worldwide conflagration, and, within a few days, "the throat of the last Jewish survivor in the last kibbutz and in the last, smoking ruin in Tel Aviv had been cut".

The Turner Diaries' denouement coupled with the antisemitic images from the Capitol on Wednesday serve as timely reminders of the precarious place Jews occupy in different corners of the United States.

Even as some celebrate how Jews have become white and privileged, others dream of Jews' ultimate extermination.

Jonathan D Sarna is university professor and the Joseph H & Belle R Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. This article first appeared on The Conversation.

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2021-01-11 18:00:00Z
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