Saturday, June 4, 2016

(((The Jewish Cowbell))): Unpacking a Gross New Meme From the Alt-Right

By Katy Waldman
From every Internet niche comes a native shorthand, so we should not be surprised that includes putrescent swampy niches from the putrescent swamps of Twitter. New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman shared his war story in the paper: 
The first tweet arrived as cryptic code, a signal to the army of the “alt-right” that I barely knew existed: “Hello ((Weisman)).” @CyberTrump was responding to my recent tweet of an essay by Robert Kagan on the emergence of fascism in the United States.
“Care to explain?” I answered, intuiting that my last name in brackets denoted my Jewish faith.
“What, ho, the vaunted Ashkenazi intelligence, hahaha!” CyberTrump came back. “It’s a dog whistle, fool. Belling the cat for my fellow goyim.”
Truly though ((those brackets)) are not ultrasonically subtle enough to qualify as a dog whistle and not heroic enough to conjure Aesop’s image of belling the cat. Let’s call the construction the Jewish cowbell. The cowbell is a series of parentheses, anywhere from one to three, around the name of a Jewish person, to signal Jewishness. It proliferates in the dank margins of online conservative discourse, where anti-Semitism glows like a weird mold; tweets exhort Jews to follow trails of dollar bills into ovens and warn readers, via photographs of goose-stepping Nazis, not to “piss off the white boys.”

1 comment:

  1. Just how the Soviet and Chinese Communists had to evolve and change their stripes after the fall of the Wall in order to continue. (They became the social democrats in Europe and infiltrated the US left) The fascists had to do the same thing which has manifested itself as the Alt-Right/Neoreactionaries. In addition to the alt-right parties that have gained power in Europe. Of course the Alt-Right also had help with the existence of the social justice warrior left to help them grow.

    An Anarchist I met a few years ago told me that the only thing that Socialism has achieved is to create and grow fascist movements that promise to fend them off.