, 42 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter

Gather round!

Some very genuine people in my mentions who are definitely not just nazi trolls have a not at all disingenuous question about how Ben Shapiro could possibly collaborate with nazis, being Jewish and all.

So, okay! Let's talk about @benshapiro and nazis.
A couple days ago I talked about how alt-right news sources like Ben Shapiro and Breitbart pave the way for white supremacist radicalization and terrorist group recruitment.

The thread resonated with a lot of people.

But there were also the trolls who showed up just to say, "oh, but Ben Shapiro can't be a nazi enabler! He's Jewish!"

It's a common defense of @benshapiro, even when *actual nazi terrorists* are saying he inspired their actions.
See, folks on the alt-right really, REALLY want you to believe that there is only one flavor of radical white supremacist.

They want you to believe that radical white supremacists are all swastika-tattooed, separatist skinheads who vomit the moment someone says the word "Jew."
And those guys exist for sure!

Saying all radical white supremacists are Hitler-worshipping goosesteppers is sort of like saying all high school clique members are goths.

There's a whole beige-hued rainbow of hate out there, and capital-N Nazis are just one shade.
As with high school cliques, there's a whole lot of in-fighting and intergroup rivalries and bickering about who's best in the radical white supremacist community.

And if the capital-N Nazis are the goths in this high school analogy, the alt-right are definitely the preps.
Capital N-Nazis have a flair for the dramatic.

They like their swastika tattoos and playing dress up and sieg heiling.

They're very concerned about public-facing authenticity.

Even if it means getting shunned, they want you to know EXACTLY what they believe.
The alt-right, on the other hand, such preps!

They want to be mainstream. Being publicly true to their deepest selves isn't a real concern for them.

The Proud Boys are so preppy, they call themselves a "fraternity."

They're so preppy, their uniform is a Perry Ellis polo, ffs.
It only takes about two minutes on 8chan to see this dynamic for yourself. Preppy American Identity Movement (AmIM, formerly Identity Europa) is so despised by the capital-N Nazi crowd that the capital-N Nazis started a whole thread about it.
Does that mean AmIM (referred to by their old name, Identity Europa, in the screenshot from @splcenter) is down with the Jews?

No, the fuck it does not.
The Proud Boys are not exactly fans of the Jewish people, either.

Their founder, Gavin McInnes, has not been shy about sharing his antisemitic garbage thoughts with the world.
And while the Proud Boys publicly try to keep their hatred for Jews under wraps, here's @AntiFashGordon with a leaked security chat from Philly's 11/17/19 Proud Boys rally.

That guy "liking" Jerry's complaint about "semitism"? Harrisburg Proud Boys rally captain Andrew Kovalic.
So it isn't that alt-right white supremacists like the Proud Boys and Identity Evropa/AmIM don't hold anti-semitism as a core part of their hateful ideology.
They just understand that anti-semitism isn't quite mainstream yet, so they recruit using more socially acceptable forms of hate speech, like Islamophobia, dog whistle anti-blackness, xenophobia.

It's an effective strategy, as this user from the nazi website Stormfront attests.
It's worth mentioning here that like radical white supremacist antisemitism comes in a lot of flavors.

Not every radical white supremacist is someone who becomes physically ill at the site of hummus and believes in total eradication of the Jews.
As @UR_Ninja has documented in its review of the leaked Identity Europa logs, there are a range of answers to the "Jewish Question" in alt-right radical white supremacist circles and even within the groups themselves.

Whatever the answers, though... it's being asked.
The key thing to remember is, you don't start learning to ask the Jewish question until you're deep inside these groups.
This cloak-and-daggers privacy about antisemitism gives radical alt-right white supremacists plausible deniability when it comes to hating the Jews.

Call them nazis? As long as they have plausible deniability about antisemitism you're a leftist lunatic.
As long as they present their Islamophobia as concerns about terrorism, as long as they present their anti-blackness as pro-cop concern for public safety, as long as they present their xenophobia as advocacy for rule of law...
...well, as long as they do that, HOW DARE you call them radical white supremacists?

They just care about national security.

Because white supremacists hate the Jews, right?

And can you prove they hate the Jews?


Well, then. They can't possibly be white supremacists.
And as long as they have that plausible deniability, they can use appeals to rabid xenophobia and islamophobia to recruit from the legions of Ben Shapiro fans, fans Shapiro has onboarded into those more socially acceptable forms of hate.
Those Shapiro fans? They likely aren't antisemites (yet).

They might even have rejected and avoided these alt-right radical white supremacist groups if they'd known about that antisemitism off the bat.

But once they're all in? That's when the "JQ" gets introduced-- gradually.
So, hopefully I've established *why* alt-right radical white supremacists are so careful to maintain a plausible deniability around their very real antisemitism.

I want to tangent for one quick second into very useful tactic they use to maintain that plausible deniability.
Remember those capital-N nazis on 8chan were whining about alt-right "Zionism?"

There's a reason for that.

As we're talking about different white supremacist answers to the Jewish Question, let's be clear that one very popular answer is just to send all the Jews back to Israel.
If a radical white supremacist's answer to the JQ is deporting American and European Jews to Israel, there's nothing preventing him from being very public about supporting Israel.

That white supremacist still hates Jewish people. Israel is his solution to the Jewish problem.
Of course, the traditional, capital-N Nazis *HATE* that answer. To them, that is an evil, Zionist answer to the Jewish question.

So they take to 8chan and denounce AmIM and Proud Boys as sell-outs and fakes, unworthy of the title of "white nationalist."
If you're an alt-right white supremacist organization and trying to ramp up your plausible deniability re: charges of radical white supremacists, that's great news.

"We support Israel and the Nazis have denounced us!" you can say. "How could we possibly be white supremacists?"
If you REALLY wanted to play to that deniability, you might even allow the creation of a Jewish chapter of your organization.

In Israel, of course.
Okay, you might be saying, I get it.

They're radical white supremacists who have done a good job covering their tracks on anti-semitism.

They recruit from Shapiro's fans.

But Shapiro couldn't be complicit, right? He's Jewish.
To which I would say, first of all, there is a loooooong history of oppressed people collaborating with their oppressors.

Just look at the pro-life movement, or Ben Carson.
"But that's not like Jews collaborating with antisemitic radical white supremacists!" you might say. "That would never happen."

So why do oppressed people collaborate with their oppressors?

Sometimes it's because of internalized self-hate.

Sometimes, it's for personal gain.

Often, it's a combination of both.
It's not my place to speculate about Ben Shapiro's internalized oppression, but there are some pretty obvious ways he stands to gain from keeping his mouth shut.

And I don't buy a for a second that this guy was "duped" into enabling radical white supremacists by "mistake."
Plenty of people who start their way down the road to white supremacist indoctrination by checking out Ben Shapiro.

The ones who make it all the way to full indoctrination may lose their love for Ben, but there are plenty of folks at stages in between.

They're Shapiro's base.
If Shapiro ever says, "fuck the Proud Boys and the alt-right," he'll lose a whoooole lot fans.

Fans who sympathize with aspects of the white supremacist alt-right, and either haven't seen or are in denial about its antisemitic core.
If Shapiro bashes the radical white supremacist alt-right, he loses his audience.

A whole lot of talking head gigs.

That's a whole lot of book sales.

A whole lot of Twitter followers.

A whole lot of celebrity and money and political capital, right down the drain.
Ben Shapiro isn't dumb.

He knows who his audience is. He knows he's priming a legion of followers for recruitment by the closeted antisemites of radical white supremacist alt-right.

He knows exactly what he's doing.

He just doesn't care.
cartoon is by @planteink by the way, I forgot to credit!
Oops, messed this up.

Thread continues here:
Thread continues here, I am really not on top of my threading game today:

(thanks for sticking through with me past all the threading errors! you're champs!)
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Gwen Snyder is uncivil
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!