Recycled Bigotry: Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories Go Mainstream
Far-right actors in the U.S. center historic antisemitic conspiracy theories as a key tactic in their campaign to mainstream hate and extremism. This approach gives new life to anti-Jewish tropes and threatens Jewish people, other minorities, and American democracy.
HISTORIC HATE RESURGENT: ANTISEMITIC CONSPIRACIES THRIVE IN THE MAINSTREAM
Today’s antidemocratic rhetoric mainstreams antisemitic conspiracy theories, furthering anti-Jewish hate and other forms of bigotry in discourse and policy. Modern manifestations of antisemitic conspiracies and tropes are tailored to current social anxieties, increasing their resonance. Mainstream far-right politicians, media personalities, and other influencers often promote diluted versions of antisemitic conspiracy theories that do not explicitly name Jews but use dog whistles and historical anti-Jewish tropes. Then and now, extremists depict Jewish people as an enemy force intent on subverting the government and replacing or enslaving white Christians. Extremists deploy these conspiracies to further authoritarian policies and encourage violence against Jewish and other minority communities. Reactionary movements across history have scapegoated Jews and promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories to fuel bigoted, violent, and genocidal campaigns. In the 1920s anti-Communists labeled Jews “Bolshevik” enemies around the world, just as fascists blamed Jews for the Great Depression in the 1930s, and segregationists in the 1960s claimed Jews were driving the American Civil Rights Movement.