Ye drew headlines beginning in early October after he tweeted out his intention to “go death con 3” on Jewish people, adding: “The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also … You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” He subsequently went even deeper down the Black Hebrew Israelite rabbit hole in an interview on the podcast Drink Champs in which he spouted conspiracy theories revealing “Jewish business secrets” and claiming that “Zionist Jews” control the media. (In the same interview, Ye also claimed falsely that George Floyd wasn’t killed by police, but rather by fentanyl.)
A couple of days later, Ye announced he was buying up the right-wing social media platform Parler, which played a key role in organizing the Jan. 6 insurrection. He also announced he was going to create his own mini-city (a “Yecosystem”) that could seal itself off from the rest of the world. His increasingly unhinged diatribes finally led one of his longtime business partners, athletic shoemaker Adidas, to sever ties with him on Tuesday.
White nationalists gleefully seized on Ye’s remarks as vindication of their own beliefs, notably Nick Fuentes of America First PAC and leader of the alt-right derived “Groyper army.” On a nationalism.tv podcast, he played video of Ye’s Drink Champs interview and shouted happily as the rapper repeatedly blamed Jews for losing business connections over his bigoted behavior. “Let’s fucking go! Let’s do it! He’s the man,” Fuentes exulted. “I feel so vindicated.” Later, he added: “This is like the best thing ever, man. The best thing ever. … People don’t realize, but these Jews are gonna want to kill him for this.”
On his own podcast the next day, Fuentes unleashed the Christian-fascist eliminationism, launching into a diatribe demanding Jews “get the fuck out” unless they embraced Christianity:
They hate Jesus. If you hate Jesus, you have a problem with me. Newsflash, for every Christian, this should be the mantra: If you hate Jesus, you have a problem with Christians. Straight up. Don’t tell me religious Jews or whatever. Question: Do you hate Jesus? ‘Cause if you do, that’s a problem. That’s a big problem. And it’s especially a big problem if you have any influence whatsoever. If you hate Jesus and you have influence, it’s my job to make sure you don’t have influence anymore. ‘Cause I’m a real Christian. I’m not just one of these, ‘Hey, believe whatever you want’. Our job is to save souls and get people to heaven, and fight the devil. So don’t tell me they’re entitled to their religion. If their religion involves my Lord in Hell, then they can get the fuck out of America, frankly. Insofar as that is your belief, then you have no business being here. Certainly have no business being anywhere near the levers if you believe that. Because who do you serve if you don’t serve Jesus Christ? You serve the devil, you serve Satan.
Fuentes also sneered at the thought of being called antisemitic for this kind of rhetoric (which he regularly invokes). “Oh, I’m antisemitic?” he smirked. “Whatever. You can call me whatever you want. You hate Jesus. Your opinion doesn’t matter to me.” He went on: “Oh, I’m antisemitic? Yeah, I piss on your Talmud.”
Ye’s diatribes also inspired the neo-Nazi Goyim Defense League into action. On Sunday, they posted a series of banners on a freeway overpass in Los Angeles, including one reading: “Kanye is right about the Jews.”
Fuentes and his neofascist cohorts had reasons to celebrate the spread of their brand of hate, because they knew it would quickly infect the mainstream. They were correct about that, although the eliminationism that was subsequently unleashed was less directly inspired by Ye’s remarks. Rather, it was clear they had created a kind of generalized domino effect in which bigots felt more comfortable to spew their venom, as though Ye’s transgressions created permission for them to just embrace the eliminationist mood, even directed at entirely non-Jewish targets. And it happened in quick succession.
On Oct. 16, Donald Trump himself—without directly referencing Ye, though apparently responding to the ensuing discussion—further opened the floodgates of far-right antisemitism with a post on his Truth Social platform in which he told American Jews that they need “to get their act together” and appreciate what he has done for Israel “before it is too late.” It reflected Trump’s oft-expressed embrace of the longtime antisemitic smear of American Jews as holding “divided loyalties.”
Trump has been the nation’s eliminationist-in-chief for a long while, voiced in his burning desire to see his political targets expelled or otherwise subjected to violence, a common theme in his rhetoric. While much of that scripted violence was directed at immigrants and refugees, Trump also has a knack for inspiring violence and threats against mainstream liberals and nonwhites, as the Cesar “MAGAbomber” Sayoc case demonstrated. This rhetoric, of course, has a lot to do with why white nationalists so deeply revere him.
Trump, whose façade of plausible deniability regarding his embrace of far-right conspiracism has been crumbling rapidly in the past year, followed up his smear of Jewish people by rambling into old-fashioned eliminationist rhetoric, depicting his political enemies as an existential threat. On Oct. 18, he published a post on Truth Social telling his followers that the greatest threat to the nation was “Deep State corruption”—which he frequently identifies with mainstream Democrats—supposedly “exposed” by his administration, adding that “something must now be done to rid us of this Cancer that is purposely destroying our Nation. There is far more danger from within than anything coming from the outside.”
Onetime CBS News reporter Lara Logan voiced similar themes in much starker—and more blatantly antisemitic—terms in her disastrous interview on Newsmax with host Eric Bolling. After claiming she had spoken with a source who had “infiltrated the global cabal, at the U.N. level,” who were planning on importing 100 million immigrants to the U.S. who would “dilute the pool of patriots,” she voiced her determination to fight them:
The ones who want us eating insects, cockroaches, and that while they dine on the blood of children... They're not going to win.
This was seemingly a reference to both the ancient antisemitic “blood libel” (claiming that Jews harvested the blood of white children to make matzoh) as well as QAnon theories about a globalist cabal abducting children to harvest adrenochrome from their blood. In short order, Newsmax gave Logan the official boot: “Newsmax condemns in the strongest terms the reprehensible statements made by Lara Logan, and her views do not reflect our network,” a company statement read. “We have no plans to interview her again.”
Logan’s career—which once included a stint at 60 Minutes that ended in disgrace—began spiraling after she went to work at Fox News and began embracing a menu of conspiracy theories, claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic was part of a United Nations plot to violate the “sovereignty of our own bodies” by coercing the public “to take a vaccine that's not really a vaccine”; that the 2020 election was stolen, and that the Biden administration had decided that “you are classified as a domestic terrorist just for supporting Trump in the last election.” It ended abruptly in November 2021 when she compared Dr. Anthony Fauci to the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, after which she has mostly been forced to find an audience at lesser right-wing outlets like Newsmax and One America News, where she’s claimed that the Jan. 6 insurrection was “orchestrated just like Charlottesville was orchestrated,” and that conservatives are “sitting at the gates of Auschwitz right now.”
Logan’s onetime colleague at Fox News, Tucker Carlson, concocted a slightly less hysterical version of the same narrative for his popular nightly program on Friday, one in which he claimed that liberals—and particularly MSNBC and one of its hosts, Tiffany Cross, who is African American—are trying to foment a “race war” against white people.
Just as he did when waving the “bloody shirt” trope to defend his own role in spreading the eliminationist “replacement theory” that inspired the Buffalo massacre in May, Carlson makes his case by recounting the 1990s Hutu-Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, in which Hutu radio hosts identified Tutsi people to target for mob violence—but in a way that grotesquely distorts what actually happened in Rwanda. As always, the distortion naturally bolsters his narrative: He analogizes the Tutsis with white Republicans, making them out to be looming victims of genocidal violence.
“According to Hutu radio, Tutsi people were responsible for nearly every bad thing that happened in Rwanda,” Carlson said. “Tutsis had way too much money, way too much power, they were greedy, they were bigoted, they were racist. Everything about Tutsi-ness was repulsive.”
He then claimed that MSNBC (which, ironically, he calls “the Democratic Party’s news arm”) is indulging exactly that kind of pre-genocidal rhetoric, saying that “open race hate forms much of the substance of that channel’s news programming.”
“We’re talking about the kind of race hate you cannot mistake for anything else, the kind where people just come out and announce, ‘I hate this race of people, and here’s why I do,’” he claimed.
But then, the clips he played showed nothing of the kind. They mostly showed Cross and her Black guests (notably New York attorney/writer Elie Mystal) denouncing structural white supremacy and the people who continue to defend it, as well as white extremists who resort to violence, frequently directed against nonwhites—all of which are entirely reality-based arguments with a factual basis, and none of which even remotely hint at using violence against white people, let alone organizing it.
The supposedly eliminationist rhetoric that Carlson cites? “When powerful white people want something, they annex it.” “White people are going crazy, they’re resorting to violence.” “This is literally what conservative white folks do when they don’t get their way. They turn violent.” “A majority of white people do not support a package of reforms that would dismantle this oppressive system.”
A remark by Cross—“Yes, we should all be concerned about white replacement. It is, after all, a very threat to our survival here”—particularly set off Carlson, who then ranted that Cross and her guests were saying that “white people are a mortal danger to you and your loved ones.” He went on to reference the antisemitic blood libel: “Are they poisoning wells? Are they baking bread with the blood of your children?”
Carlson then resorted to the expected crude racial stereotypes about Black people in claiming that Cross and MSNBC were fomenting race war:
Now, don't be fooled by the fact that Tiffany Cross can barely speak a coherent sentence—she was a communications major, apparently according to the internet; that didn't work. But the gist of it is very, very clear. White women are dangerous because white people are dangerous. They are, by the nature of their DNA, potential domestic terrorists.
What do you think happens if we continue to talk this way? You may not watch that channel, but some people do. What does this look like in a year, or five years, or ten years? What kind of country do you live in? Well, a country at war with itself—race war.
This woman, Tiffany Cross, whose clips you've been watching, is so deranged by a racialist world view that she believes all people of one color are oppressed by all people of another color.
Carlson—who of course proffered no examples of Black people actually discussing violence of any kind, let alone enacting any—claimed that “actual violence” would result: “What kind of talk is that? Well, it’s genocidal talk, actually. That’s exactly what it is.”
Of course, the interesting aspect of Carlson’s latest rant is that it actually is eliminationist itself even as it decries it. Like all eliminationism, it’s designed to create permission for future or present violence by telling the Fox News audience that Black people are planning violence against whites. It’s insidiously clever, especially in how it twists any discussion of white far-right violence and white supremacism into “racial hatred” itself.
The notion of Tucker Carlson accusing pundits on a competing network of indulging in eliminationist rhetoric with utterly specious evidence, of course, is not just rich in its painfully obvious projection—the embodiment of the phrase “every accusation is a confession”—but reflects how easily the right-wing media ecosystem can flip narratives on their head. Because for the past several years, of course, Carlson has been leading an eliminationist parade at Fox News.
In particular, Carlson has repeatedly promoted the white-nationalist “replacement theory” (which posits that nonwhite immigrants are being purposely imported to the United States and Europe in order to overwhelm and “replace” majority whites) on his Fox News program. This rhetoric, as a matter of fact, directly inspired not just the May mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store, but a number of other white-nationalist domestic-terror attacks, including the 2019 attack on Hispanics at a Walmart in El Paso, as well as the infamous massacre of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, the same year.
Carlson and his Fox News cohorts, of course, angrily denied they had anything to do with the Buffalo violence (at which time he first trotted out the Radio-Rwanda narrative turned on its head). And just as he now reacts with horror when Black people bring up white violence and the rhetoric that inspires it, he has an even longer history of insisting that white nationalist terrorism isn’t a real thing—and that even bringing it up targets white people.
More recently, Carlson has indulged in explicitly Radio Rwanda-type activity directed against transgender and their care providers, part of the right’s larger assault on the LGBTQ community this summer. His mass amplification of false information about transgender care at specific medical facilities like Boston Children’s and D.C.’s Children’s National—Carlson claimed that “some of these hospitals are performing horrifying experiments on children,” including “things you think would be crimes but that apparently aren't and that are going on in children's hospitals in the United States”—inspired a deluge of bomb threats and other acts of near-violence at those facilities.
In another episode, he decried letting teachers “sexualize” children. “You would have to hate children in order to sexualize them. Because sexualizing children screws them up for life. Ask anyone to whom it has happened, period,” he said. “No one should put up with this. No parent should put up with this for one second, no matter what the law says. Your duty, your moral duty, is to defend your children. This is an attack on your children and you should fight back.”
On Fox, Carlson has said that teachers who discuss “gender identity” with students “should be beaten up.” “I don't understand where the men are. Like where are the dads?” Carlson asked. “You know, some teacher's pushing sex values on your third grader why don't you go in and thrash the teacher?”
Unsurprisingly, it isn’t Black people or Democrats who, as a result of this gusher of eliminationism, are talking about the need for violence, for engaging in a shooting civil war with their political opponents, practically lusting over the opportunity to kill their liberal or nonwhite neighbors. It’s Republicans, who have amassed a massive track record of doing exactly that: Remember the guy who asked Charlie Kirk, “When do we get to use the guns?”
These attitudes have become embedded within mainstream conservatism. A large majority of Republicans (over 70%) believe the “replacement theory,” a standing excuse for preemptive violence, as in Buffalo and El Paso. They believe that transgender children are a threat. And they believe the 2020 election stolen, which has already inspired mass right-wing violence, on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.
The steady drumbeat of eliminationist hatred that has been beating within the conservative movement for nearly two decades has always been gradually transformative, pushing the American right inevitably towards fascism. Only last year, Carlson and his guest Jesse Kelly explicitly observed this: “I’m telling you I’m worried that I’m right, the right is going to pick a fascist within 10 to 20 years,” Kelly said, and Carlson agreed: “You’re absolutely right. We’re moving toward actual extremism because they’re undermining the system that kept extremism at bay.”
A Claremont Institute fellow named Glenn Ellmers penned a proto-fascist manifesto around the same time that indicated where the right was going with all this: defining Biden voters as “non-Americans,” and recommending their expurgation as part of a “counter-revolutionary” movement.
Now we can see the destination, thanks to a recent piece in The Federalist by John Daniel Davidson urging others to join the “revolutionary moment” by dropping the label of “conservatism.” If old-style conservatives were about saving Western civilization (as they often have assured us), Davidson insists it’s a moot point: “Well, too late. Western civilization is dying.” Right wingers, he says, should “start thinking of themselves as radicals, restorationists, and counterrevolutionaries.”
The shape of what he has in mind is essentially neofascist, both in its antidemocratic authoritarianism and its eliminationist hatred of pluralism. “The left will only stop when conservatives stop them, which means conservatives will have to discard outdated and irrelevant notions about ‘small government.’ The government will have to become, in the hands of conservatives, an instrument of renewal in American life — and in some cases, a blunt instrument indeed,” he writes.
What kind of blunt instrument? Well:
Conservatives need to get comfortable saying in reply to people like French that Drag Queen Story Hour should be outlawed; that parents who take their kids to drag shows should be arrested and charged with child abuse; that doctors who perform so-called “gender-affirming” interventions should be thrown in prison and have their medical licenses revoked; and that teachers who expose their students to sexually explicit material should not just be fired but be criminally prosecuted.
Melissa Ryan of ControlAltRightDelete observed on Twitter that Davidson’s piece, in a publication widely read by mainstream conservatives, “articulates where the Right has been going for some time and makes clear that wielding power to force the rest of us to do what a small minority of Americans want is the real goal.”
She added: “The actions he's talking about should chill you to the bone. Because they're not fringe at all. This is what the majority of MAGA wants and is dangerously close to achieving.”
With a big boost from an antisemitic rapper.
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