Donald Trump Used An Anti-Semitic Image To Attack Hillary Clinton, Which Obviously Backfired

Donald Trump’s hate rhetoric has already targeted an impressive list of marginalized groups, including Latinos, immigrants, people of color, Muslims, and the disabled. How do you follow that? With an anti-Semitic political attack meme, of course. On Saturday, Trump tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton and a Star of David bearing the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” against the backdrop of a pile of cash. The image conjures long-standing anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jewish people as greedy, money-obsessed financial controllers of the world, which still persist to this day

Unfortunate coincidence? Hell no. This image originated on the white supremacist forum 8chan, which frequently hosts threads of neo-Nazi and racist propaganda. As Mic points out, the original image was watermarked with the Twitter username of an account that often tweets racist, xenophobic political memes, and was uploaded under a filename containing the letters “HH,” a neo-Nazi code for “heil Hitler.” So, the question is: how would Trump’s people go about finding such an image? Before this story broke, it wouldn’t exactly have been at the top of Google’s image search results unless they used very specific search terms. As for why they’d be using those terms in the first place… you be the judge.

After numerous callouts on social media, Trump and his team issued a heartfelt apology. JOKES. Of course they didn’t. Instead, they doubled down on it. One of his advisers claimed the imagery was totally innocuous, while Trump himself said that the star was a sheriff’s star, “often used by sheriffs who deal with criminals and criminal behavior.”

If the star was 100 percent OK — which of course it was, because Trump said so — why did he later delete the original tweet and tweet an altered image where the Star of David had been turned into a circle? He should at least have the courage to follow through on his neo-Nazi propaganda. I’m sure his supporters won’t mind. They’ve stuck by him through his repeated retweets of white supremacists and the news that he allegedly raped a thirteen-year-old girl, so a single tweet alluding to the Holocaust probably won’t chase them away.

However, they would do well to remember the history they love so much. Fascism and institutional racism have rarely stopped at one group of people; or rather, they’ve tried to widen the boundaries of what qualifies as “not us” as far as possible to include anyone who doesn’t always agree with them. Even the most ardent white supremacists and neo-Nazis will disagree with Trump someday, and when that happens, he won’t hesitate to come for them too.