This post was originally published on coreyscottnaas.wordpress.com on 29 April 2019.
Another Synagogue has been attacked in the United States, this time in California. While the police believe he acted alone, and that may very well be the case, it is important to know that in this day and age, these people very rarely are inspired to do these things out of their own imagination. They are influenced by people who speak freely and anonymously, without rebuke or condemnation, on the internet because we either do not know about them or are convinced by them when they tell us they are not who we think they are. ‘”Skeptics” who are anti-Semitic. “Race realists” who are racist. “Trolls” who are violent. White Nationalists who want an Ethno-state. As someone who spends a lot of time on the internet, I’ve seen a lot of this. Normally I just ignore it, but that’s not enough any more.
We do not yet know the motive of this murderer. Early reports suggest he posted to 8chan before acting, had set fire to a Mosque earlier this year, and was inspired by the Christchurch shooter.¹ But we clearly know his intent: to kill innocent Jewish people. To God, they are His Chosen People. To the murderer, a “squalid and parasitic race.”² Unfortunately, as much we’d like to hope or believe, that is not an uncommon thought in the United States, nor is it a recent one. The Charlottesville Rally in 2017 proved that. Anti-Semitic crime is rising in the United States.³
Now more than ever it is important to know or decide where you stand, what that looks like, and what other people actually mean when they say where they stand. It is important to know what these people look like, because they are experts at diversion, at convincing you that you’re overreacting or they’re “just trolling”. “Dog whistles” are becoming more and more common on YouTube and Reddit. Phrases and words that to the unaware either seem to be nothing or just an innocent joke, but are actually a wink to those in the know.
If you have an hour, or even if you don’t, please take the time to watch this video documenting the Charlottesville Rally in 2017. Using primary source footage (most of it originating from online streams from and for attendees of the rally; hence unseen by Vice and other media outlets), Shaun documents and exposes the rally, its hosts, and its attendees for what it was and what they were: A racist, anti-Semitic get-together for these people to show each that even in the United States, they’re not alone. A fair chunk of the video is just these people speaking hate freely. You may know some people like this, though you may not know it. You may work with them, or for them. You may be related to them. I might. And that’s the frightening part. It’s incredibly sobering, but it’s true. These people are just like you and me. That’s why we need to be ever vigilant and always aware of what hate looks like, because sometimes you can never tell until it’s too late, and it is always too late when people die because of it.