Sunday, July 03, 2016


Yesterday, as you probably know, Donald Trump tweeted this:

The image, in which the phrase "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!" appears in a six-pointed star on top of a pile of money, was denounced as anti-Semitic, so Trump deleted it, then reposted it later with the phrase in a circle rather than a star.

Was the image intended to insult Jews? Trump World has denied this -- but Anthony Smith of pointed out today that the image had previously appeared at a white supremacist message board:
Mic discovered Sunday that Donald Trump's Twitter wasn't the first place the meme appeared. The image was previously featured on /pol/ -- an Internet message board for the alt-right, a digital movement of neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and white supremacists newly emboldened by the success of Donald Trump's rhetoric — as early as June 22, over a week before Trump's team tweeted it.

Though the thread where the meme was featured no longer exists, you can find it by searching the URL in, a "time capsule of the internet" that saves unalterable text and graphic of webpages. Doing so allows you to see the thread on /pol/ as it originally existed.

Of note is the file name of the photo, HillHistory.jpg, potentially a nod to the Neo-Nazi code for "HH," or "Heil Hitler," which the alt-right is fond of hiding in plain sight.
If you read the original Mic post, you probably assumed that that was the last word on the subject. But it's been pointed out that the image appeared on Twitter a week before it appeared on /pol/, and now the Mic post has been updated to say that the image actually comes from "a Twitter account that regularly tweets violent, racist memes commenting on the state of geopolitical politics."

I've been through FishBoneHead1's Twitter account, and while it's awful -- basically it's a firehose spewing every terrible right-wing meme -- it's not in any way focused on Jews.

(UPDATE: I stupidly posted direct links to the following tweets, assuming FishBoneHead1 would be too proud of them to delete them. As it turns out, he's deleted his entire Twitter account. I'm trying to recover the images. Without them, the following makes no sense.)

FishBoneHead1 much prefers infantile Muslim-bashing...

... infanile bashing of African-Americans ...

... infantile sexism and liberal-bashing ...

... infantile Obama-bashing ...

... and, whenever possible, infantile Hillary-bashing:

Scroll through the feed -- FishBoneHead1 is a jerk, but he doesn't appear to be a Jew-hating jerk. He just likes making dumb images out of simpleminded right-wing memes, using the most obvious graphic techniques. He probably thought a six-pointed star would accommodate the words better -- if he'd wanted to dog-whistle, the star would have been yellow.

UPDATE: The Daily Beast's Gideon Resnick salvaged this from FishBoneHead1's feed:

Why would a Hillary-hater call Hillary a Nazi if he thinks Nazis are good?

Remember, the non-anti-Semitic wing of the right hates all Democrats for not being sufficiently pro-Jewish or pro-Israel (flip side: they think Democrats are too pro-Muslim). That's what FishBoneHead1 says about Obama, if not Clinton:

If Trump wanted to post an anti-Semitic dog-whistle, he wouldn't have taken down the tweet so quickly, and he wouldn't have edited it to remove the star. Besides, dog-whistling isn't exactly his style -- if he wants to offend someone, he usually just does it, with no nods or winks. In this case, he was just being your right-wing uncle, unthinkingly retweeting Democratic-bashing stuff on social media after barely looking at it.


Victor said...

"I've been through FishBoneHead1's Twitter account..."

How do you do things like this, Steve?

Do you put on a HazMat suit first, and wrap your PC in plastic to protect yourself and it from the awful offal?

Green Eagle said...

1. This was not a dog whistle; it was a punch in the face. It couldn't be clearer what was intended.

2. Trump didn't need to leave it up for more than a couple of hours, since he was sure that "useful idiots" would go out of their way to spread it all over the internet, while denying its obvious intent.

Steve M. said...

What I quoted in my last post is what I would call "a punch in the face"; if you can't see the difference between that ambiguous image and saying that Jews "will burn in hellfire for all eternity" or denying the Holocaust happened, I can't help you.

trnc said...

The fishbonehead1 feed no longer exists. At any rate, just because he may not have been anti-semitic, it looks like someone else's tweet (if I am reading the archive site correctly).

Also, while it's true that Trump does not usually resort to dog whistles, most of his insults are directed at groups already considered by republicans to be enemies of the USA. By contrast, Jews are held in high regard by republicans, or at least they appear to be. If Trump openly insulted Jews, we'd see another large number of republicans publicly jumping ship. While it could just be more campaign ineptitude, it's entirely possible that it was a dog whistle.

Procopius said...

Just because some image is not intended to be anti-Semitic does not mean that the effect is not there. On the other hand, pro-Likud/AIPAC partisans have over-used accusations of anti-semitism to the point where saying apples from Israel don't have as much flavor as apples from Oregon is considered "anti-semitic." We are not in the Middle Ages, or even 1920s rural Russia. Cries of "Hep, hep!" from the throats of hundreds of rioters marching on the ghetto are no longer a frequent occurrence. I doubt that people under a certain age make a mental association between a yellow six-pointed star and anti-semitism. I understand the evil of anti-semitism. I'm sure the Holocaust happened, and is a ghastly reminder of the evil that lurks in the hearts of all ordinary people. But I also think Israel and Likud do things that are as evil as what the Nazis did, and as evil as the pogroms. Anybody who does not see the similarity between the ghetto and modern Gaza is blind. Anybody (hi there, Governor Cuomo) who says BDS is anti-semitic is a buffoon.

jsrtheta said...

@Roger: "I'm sure the Holocaust happened" is like saying "I'm sure the ocean is wet." I don't know you, and hence I don't want you to think I'm judging you, but it is not reassuring for anyone to say they're "sure" there was a Holocaust. It is, to say the very least, the hugest, most important monstrosity of modern history, and certainly of the 20th century. And to state that Israel and Likud "do things that are as evil as what the Nazis did" betrays an ignorance of Nazism breathless in its scope. This is false equivalence of the first water.

I say this while recognizing that Israel has indeed done some grotesque, vicious things. But it seems like you're one of those "people under a certain age" you also refer to, because you clearly don't know what you're talking about. That would be the only excuse for what you said.

sdhays said...

Bashing Democrats for not being sufficiently "pro-Israel" doesn't make someone pro-Jew; plenty of people support right-wing Israeli policies while still being anti-semitic. Maybe FishBoneHead1 isn't "very" anti-semitic; maybe his feelings about Jews are simply a much smaller part of his political self - even something he doesn't consciously think about much with all of the other ripe targets for his hate, or he at least doesn't want to be called anti-semitic so he avoids talking about his personal thoughts about Jews. I wouldn't give him the benefit of the doubt so easily.

But even if we are magnanimous and accept that it wasn't designed to be anti-semitic (and I'm fine with that because I couldn't care less about ShitBoneHead1), it still doesn't answer the question: where did the Trump campaign pick up the image? From FishBoneHead1 or from /pol/? It doesn't really matter what its original intent was if Trump's campaign saw it on a white supremacist message board because that's where campaign staffers are hanging out.

I'm done trying to divine the tea leaves on whether a particular racist or bigoted or misogynistic action or statement from Trump or his campaign is serious or stupid. When he talked about Megan Kelly "bleeding out of her wherever", I thought that in context, considering Trump's trademark in-artfulness in speaking, he wasn't necessarily meaning what it sounded like he was meaning. Later, getting to know more of Trump's history with women, I changed my mind. There have been other incidents where I initially thought that Trump was just being an asshole rather than specifically racist/bigoted/misogynistic, but after weighing the bulk of his history, giving him the benefit of the doubt seemed unwarranted.

Let's not forget: Donald Trump pretended like he didn't know what the Ku Klux Klan was or what "white supremacist" means so that he didn't have to disavow them on national television. And now this gets tweeted from his campaign. Fuck Donald Trump. He's a white supremacist; full stop. Whether or not his stupid campaign realized it when they tweeted it doesn't really matter. White supremacists are in the campaign and therefore white supremacist messages are going to be part of the campaign. If Republiklans don't like it, they need to dump Trump or leave.

Curt Purcell said...

This is a pretty weak basis for a post. Whether the image originated on a white supremacist message board or not, it did show up there before Trump tweeted it. And it's not hard to see why. This isn't a literal punch in the face, but a Star of David on a pile of money with an accusation of corruption is not a "dog-whistle" either. Anyone with ears can hear it. Frankly, shame on you for trying to spin it any other way. If you think that remark about Spielberg is in any way not antisemitic, you don't know how much glee antisemites take when they see a chance to accuse a Jewish person of being self-hating. Congratulations, you've just mounted a more pathetic defense of Trump than Corey Lewandowski did on CNN. We should be highlighting rather than downplaying how noxious this stuff is. FFS, here's a comment I just read on freaking REDSTATE, on the topic of this tweet:
True story -- while conversing with a Trump supporter online at a different conservative website (one that gets trolled by the alt-right quite frequently), the Trump supporter eventually told me, "You'll be the first in the oven." From that moment on, I realized the type of people with whom I was dealing and vowed to never again engage them in conversation. Most Trump supporters are not like that, but the few who are terrify me.

trnc said...

Laura Silverman makes an excellent point. If Trump really didn't mean to imply anything anti-semitic, why hasn't anyone in his campaign addressed the issue with an apology or even a crappy "We didn't mean that and you're stupid to think it" statement?
"Because his supporters fucking loved it."

petrilli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I found the Fishbone feed and scrolled through, too, well before it was deleted. His or her ire was mostly reserved for Muslims, etc., as you say. But Fishbone was a strong Trump supporter and there was a meme quoting Rockefeller about the new world order. So the poster was bathing in banker conspiracy theories, and those are nothing if you don't include the Jews. Besides, the meme was picked up by the anti-Semite place, and I would bet you $100 that's where Trump got it from, not Fishbone's direct Twitter feed. Let Trump roast on the spit he jumped upon.

jsrtheta said...

@Joseph Nobles: Having spent a fair amount of time going after militia/sovereign citizen/Christian Identity types, to name but three variations, I learned every far right conspiracy claim eventually devolves into blaming the Jews.

What distinguishes today's loon from his forerunner is loathing of Muslims. Which is understandable, because Middle Eastern societies (save for the Israelis) were never on the radar of the American Right. Because the Right, at bottom, is best understood as simply the evolution of anti-Semitic beliefs. (By which I mean anti-Jewish. I do understand that Arabs are Semitic people themselves.)

Muslims are a new bugaboo of the otherwise reliably anti-Semitic Right. This new strain of hatred is not much more than a hood ornament on the Jew-hating express.