Nancy Astor was the first woman to sit in Parliament; this is true. She took her seat as a member of the Conservative Party on November 28, 1919. And so, to celebrate the centennial, the party put up a brand new statue of her outside of her former home at Plymouth Hoe. According to the BBC, the statue was made by artist Hayley Gibbs and cost £125,000, which was raised through crowdfunding.
It's somewhat of a relief that they paid for it themselves. Because Astor wasn't actually the first woman elected to Parliament. No, that honor went to that incomparable badass Constance Markievicz, the Irish revolutionary, suffragette, and staunch advocate for workers' rights. In keeping with Sinn Féin's abstentionist policy, however, Markievicz refused to actually take her seat in the British House of Commons, or participate in any parliamentary processes.
But okay, fine. Nancy Astor was the first woman to literally take her seat in Parliament. Whereas Markievicz famously advised women to, "Leave your jewels in the bank and buy a revolver," Astor once said, "I am the kind of woman I would run from." Case in point: while Astor claimed to despise the Nazi party for oppressing women, she also allegedly told Joseph Kennedy that she saw Hitler as a welcome solution to the “world problems” that were the Jews. According to the History News Network:
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Astor wrote Kennedy that Hitler would have to do more than just "give a rough time" to "the killers of Christ" before she'd be in favor of launching "Armageddon to save them.
“Officials are not currently calling the act a hate crime, referring to it instead as an act of vandalism and tagging.”
“At least five” spray-painted swastikas were discovered on Tuesday morning in a residential area in Wrightwood, said the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday. Read the rest
Just another day living under our very normal white supremacist government. Justice Department officials reportedly emailed immigration judges a white nationalist blog post that included various attacks on Jewish people. Read the rest
Yes, we're back to the 'disloyal Jews' thing. Because he's a Nazi.
Analysis of more than 1 million comments from the site finds dramatic shift toward racist hate content
**UPDATE** Joel Rubin has said the cut was legit.
Fox News abruptly cut off former assistant secretary of state Joel Rubin for explaining that Trumpism led to today's shootings in Poway.
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The headline How to Spot a Jew graced Poland's right-wing national weekly newspaper Tylko Polska. Said headline was an angry response to a panel discussion of Poland's complicit citizenry during the Holocaust at a recent Paris conference.
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The anti-Semitic headline ran alongside the front page article complaining that speakers at last month’s Holocaust studies meeting in Paris had been attacking Poland. It was printed with a photo of Jan Gross, a Polish Jew who teaches at Princeton University.
Gross has regularly said that Poles collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, helping Adolf Hitler’s regime murder millions of their Jewish countrymen. He has become a favored target for Polish nationalists, who rail against any suggestion of Polish complicity in the genocide.
Gross was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 1996. However, in 2016, the nationalist Law and Justice government was reportedly considering stripping the scholar of the honor for what it considers his anti-Polish work.
The government has been accused of trying to rewrite history by banning any suggestion of Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Use of the phrase “Polish death camps” to refer to Nazi-run concentration camps like Auschwitz, for example, is now punishable by up to three years in prison.
Last weekend, a video surfaced showing students from Alabama's Spain Park and Hoover high schools making horrible anti-Semitic and racist comments. Yesterday, Spain Park help assemblies and small group discussions about the video so students and staff could openly address the issue. And apparently they, um, did speak openly. According to a student interviewed by Al.com, a Spain Park teacher "told her class that everyone uses the n-word, so she could use it, too." And so she did. From Al.com:
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The teacher was allegedly sent home for the day by administrators. Students confirmed she is not in class today.
"This alleged matter is being investigated," Murphy said in a brief statement to AL.com. Students told AL.com they were stunned to learn of the alleged incident.
On Wednesday, the TV network France 3 was forced to cut off a live Facebook broadcast from a desecrated Jewish cemetery in eastern France when trolls swarmed the feed and filled it with anti-Semitic hate comments. Read the rest
On The View's Monday episode, Women's March co-founder Tamika Mallory refused to condemn anti-semitic comments made by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Read the rest
Amid a growing number of lethal anti-Jewish hate attacks, including a gun massacre at a synagogue that left 13 dead, a man shouts “Heil Trump” in a crowded theater. Audience members told a reporter they believed they were about to die in a mass shooting. Read the rest
We are watching Facebook unravel in real time. I hope. Read the rest
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy and her colleagues have developed a "theory of prejudice" that goes deeper than a simplistic us-versus-them mindset. According to her research, when the world feels volatile or the economy is tanking, groups that are stereotyped as both "cold" ("unfriendly" and "untrustworthy") and "competent" ("ambitious, intelligent and skillful") are more likely to be targeted for, um, extermination. According to Cuddy's op-ed in the the New York Times, "a widespread stereotype of Jewish people, like that of other socioeconomically successful minorities such as Asian-Americans, falls in the competent-but-cold quadrant."
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People assume that socioeconomically successful groups must be competent and that disadvantaged groups must be incompetent. Likewise, groups that are viewed as competitors — for status, for resources — get stereotyped as cold, whereas groups that are viewed as allies get stereotyped as warm...
In-groups and “cultural reference” groups (the middle class and Christians are common examples in the United States) are stereotyped as warm and competent — a wholly positive category. In stark contrast, groups on society’s margins who are blamed for their plight and viewed as a drain on resources (common examples include homeless people and drug addicts) are stereotyped as cold and incompetent — a wholly negative category. Discrimination against groups stereotyped in this way is typically expressed through disregard, stigmatizing and ostracizing...
But when times get tough, envious prejudices can ignite. Societal breakdown, harsh economies or political turmoil can activate resentment toward high-status minorities, who are seen as competitors for limited resources or even dangerous enemies.
Just days before the horrific mass murder at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, my Institute for the Future colleagues Sam Woolley and Katie Joseff published a deeply upsetting study on how social media bots and computational propaganda are being used to instigate and amplify anti-semitism online and manipulate public opinion. From the paper:
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This report explores the ways in which online propaganda, harassment and political manipulation are affecting Jewish People in the runup to 2018 U.S. midterm elections. In the course of our research, members of this group have described a marked rise in the number of online attacks their community is experiencing. This is proving especially true during electoral contests and major political events. Correspondingly, our analyses suggests that tools like social media bots, and tactics including doxxing, disinformation, and politically-motivated threats, have been used online during the 2018 midterms to target Jewish Americans. According to interviewees, veiled human users—rather than automated accounts—often deliver the most worrisome and harmful anti-Semitic attacks.
As part of the wider paper series focused on “humanizing the effects of computational propaganda” this empirical work details the ways in which the Jewish socio-religious population in the U.S. is being disproportionately targeted with disinformation and abuse during this crucial political moment. We use a mixed methods approach in this research, deploying both qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to generate both a culturally deep and statistically broad understanding of how computational propaganda is being leveraged against this community...
Analysis of 7,512,594 tweets over a period from August 31, 2018 to September 17, 2018 shows the prevalence of political bots in these efforts and highlights groups within the U.S.
The U.S. will deploy an additional 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, said White House officials today. The deployment will more than triple the military presence there, and is presumably a Trump administration response to the so-called “Migrant Caravan,” about which white supremacists in the United States are currently fixated. Read the rest
After this weekend's anti-Semitic mass-shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, President Donald Trump blamed the victims, implying that if they didn't want to get murdered, they should have paid for armed guards.
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The ADL has sorted, sifted and studied a mass of English-language anti-Semitic tweets from last year. They dropped any that might be just ironic or meant in jest, not actually hating on us Jews, and came up with a mere 4.2 million statements of hate! The study and the collection of angry tweets will be made available to tech companies in hopes of improving automated systems for identifying hate speech online. Read the rest