QAnon flag in Richmond, Virginia, January 2020 | Image courtesy of Anthony Crider via Creative Commons
QAnon flag in Richmond, Virginia, January 2020 | Image courtesy of Anthony Crider via Creative Commons

QAnon has shown us how anti-Semitic language has become normalized among a diverse coalition of people

Recently, the Internet exposed Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s belief that the Camp wildfire that devastated California in 2018 was started by a space laser owned by the Rothschilds. Many people on social media have thoroughly explained the anti-semitism behind her remarks and Twitter had a wonderful time poking fun at the idea — which was warranted.

But we really need to have discussions about the normalization of anti-Semitism. The escalation of hate and hate speech towards non-white groups has been evident. However, QAnon may be putting the Jewish community at greater risk. Now that everyone’s gotten their giggles out about Jewish space lasers, let’s talk about the culture of anti-Semitism in America.

The space laser is not a new conspiracy theory. The first I heard of it was online via some old friends that introduced it several years ago. Their theory was slightly different at the time. It claimed the space laser was government-owned as part of another conspiracy theory related to the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). While the space laser theory predates QAnon, it’s likely that QAnon is where the government lasers became Jewish lasers.

When most conspiracy theories were first mentioned to me I ignored a lot of them in a, “sounds a little far-fetched” kind of way. I was in my 20s at the time and there wasn’t an easily accessible Internet to conduct research. It wasn’t until years later when I began hearing about these theories popping up online that I looked into them. The first thing I noticed in my research was who they were targeting as the villains and it quickly became clear who was behind them.

The theories were propaganda created by right-wing elements. It was obvious that they were meant to target liberal and progressive policy ideas and those who support them. It took me longer than it should have to realize just how many theories were based on the anti-Semitic trope about Jews trying to dominate the world. A falsehood born from a fictional text published in 1903 in Russia titled ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”.

The Protocols, as it is referred to, is a book that remains in circulation in far-right spaces. The book falsely claims that there exists a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world. The book also pushes the blood-libel conspiracy theory making it still relevant today. Its relevance exists only as a tool to foment hate against the Jewish community. To be clear, there are many prominent believers in QAnon who have pushed this theory even referencing “The Protocols”.

I say this with a great degree of certainty as I have seen it: many followers don’t quite realize just how anti-Semitic QAnon is. But even more, do. The so-called cabal that eats babies and rules the world is dangerous fear-mongering. In using messaging that triggers emotional responses, QAnon is easily marketable to the vast majority of Americans. Using hashtags such as #SaveOurChildren is like a gateway drug that opens to door into a vast anti-Semitic world.

The false notion that a QAnon follower believes they are doing good makes continuing down the rabbit hole more appealing for them. Believers in the conspiracy theory do not see themselves as potentially doing anything wrong just as those that attacked the Capitol don’t see themselves as terrorists or insurrectionists. The Capitol rioters wholeheartedly believe in their patriotism and their actions were justifiable and should be excepted.

QAnon is no different in this regard.

Freebasing Anti-Semitism

It’s important to understand that the cornerstone for the QAnon conspiracy theory is largely based on anti-Semitic tropes and yes, it borrows from anti-Semitic propaganda dating back centuries. The falsehood from the 12th-century that claimed Jews were kidnapping Christian babies and drinking their blood existed into the 20th century. The QAnon theory that a cabal of elites is harvesting adrenochrome from babies (and drinking their blood) is simply another variation of the blood-libel trope, of which there are many. One involves eating babies as they’re born.

Let me be clear, pundits on cable news arguing that QAnon doesn’t implicitly mention Jews is irrelevant. The use of the blood-libel conspiracy targets Jews regardless of intent. The Mel Brooks-styled comedy of a Jewish space laser might have been funny. What it exposed was only the tip of the iceberg regarding anti-Semitic conspiracy theories based on the texts from “The Protocols”. Nowadays, the far-right screams about Jews owning the stock market or the media or the Federal Reserve. Just as in The Protocols, they believe Jews own everything.

When you study the history and see where they originated, it’s scary to think of just how mainstream it has become. QAnon took all of those tropes and simply replaced Jews with Democrats and celebrities in what has become a recruitment and radicalization program for future neo-Nazis and extremists. It’s entry-level anti-Semitism. With high-value believers such as Michael Flynn along with others in the intelligence community, elected representatives, and social media influencers promoting QAnon, it’s no wonder the movement outpaced the growth of nearly every other extremist group.

QAnon is an amalgamation of various conspiracy theories making it an elastic and fluid belief system. Because it focuses on various key topics and has adopted elements of many different theories, when something doesn’t occur as it should, it’s explained away using even more nonsensical hypotheses. Much like groups that predict doomsday events, failed prophecies don’t result in the collapse of sociopathic cults or movements. QAnon isn’t going anywhere.

While the most prominent targets of QAnon are Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Podesta, Joe Biden, Tom Hanks, and others, the conspiracy inevitably comes back around to anti-Semitism. The entry point lies in connecting all of the aforementioned Democrats to prominent Jews such as George Soros and the Rothchilds. Within this, we hear anti-Muslim, xenophobic, and racist language as QAnon then links the Democrats’ satanic cabal to Muslim leaders, open borders, and “taking sides” with the “Marxist” Black Lives Matter “group”.

Again, its elasticity is what makes it such an enduring conspiracy theory.

Same Old Anti-Semitism

As previously mentioned, much of the anti-Semitism we see today is hundreds of years old. The rest comes from the early to mid 20th century. Just as the Nazis accused the Jews of forcing cultural Bolshevism on society, much of the far-right now argues that cultural Marxism is also being forced upon the West by leftist Marxists (Jews). Hence the “Jews will not replace us” chants we so frequently hear and that has grown more common on the far-right.

Marxism, socialism, and communism are where groups like the Proud Boys, the League of the South, and neo-Nazi groups such as the Atomwaffen Division find themselves joining forces with conspiracy theorists such as QAnon believers. Older known groups like the Ku Klux Klan once used all of the same sloganeering used today to overthrow the will of voters and implement a Christian, white supremacist governing body.

It is here where various extremist groups find common ground.

Let me be clear, despite the diversity within the membership of QAnon believers, its premise is white nationalist in nature. The overwhelmingly White majority of followers who believe in these conspiracy theories do so because they validate their white Christian beliefs of perceived superiority and dominion over non-white populations. QAnon validates many of those beliefs as its followers espouse their “anti-globalist” stance, another anti-Semitic slur.

QAnon also adopts the “New World Order” (NWO) conspiracy theory. The NWO is theorized to be a global movement coordinated by globalists (Jews) with the goal of taking over the world and reducing the world’s population to less than 10% of its current size. These globalists are also suspected of conducting child sacrifices at prestigious gatherings attended by the world’s political, financial, and academic elite — including the Rothchilds.

In 1991, Pat Robertson brought the NWO conspiracy theory to mainstream America in his book titled, “The New World Order”. The televangelist and Republican political influencer claimed certain wealthy Jews were behind “monopoly capitalism” and “godless communism” while seeking to create a “new world order” backed by Bolsheviks. The same claim Hitler made.

While many conspiracy theories have been around for decades or centuries, QAnon differs in that it’s a combination of many different absurd concepts. By making it seemingly innocuous at the entry point with messaging that can’t be viewed negatively, the QAnon conspiracy theory is appealing to many otherwise unsuspecting friends, colleagues, and family members.

Tackling this misinformation campaign with loved ones has proven to be an all but insurmountable task. Because they are all Marjorie Taylor Greene.

And that’s a scary thought.

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.
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