With the slaughter at the synagogue in Pittsburgh by an anti-Semitic killer, the country’s attention has focused on the rising tide of deadly hatred against Jews. One of the people spreading this bigotry is Gavin McInnes, the leader of a militant alt-right group.
Last week I lambasted the Metropolitan Republican Club for having McInnes, founder of the far-right “Proud Boys,” as a speaker at its once-august home. The Proud Boys are a violent group of wannabe stormtroopers who attack liberal protesters. I had seen social media recruiting efforts by one of their leaders on Long Island. Someone hoping to organize the Proud Boys here even has a web page up calling for the establishment of a Long Island chapter.
The Pittsburgh massacre forced them into my thoughts again. Although the Metropolitan Republican Club chose to characterize Gavin McInnes as the “Godfather of Hipsters,” I recall him as the author of an anti-Semitic rant called “10 Things I Hate About Jews.” One of the “10 Things” cited by McInnes was Jews’ “whiny paranoid fear of Nazis.” How a supposedly mainstream political group could provide a platform to someone who thinks it is “hipster” to criticize Jews for being afraid of Nazis is unfathomable.
The Metropolitan Republican Club may have viewed Gavin McInnes as the kind of leader who could give it an “edgy” appeal. But there is nothing hip about Anti-Semitism. There is nothing “edgy” about mocking the children of Holocaust survivors for fearing the Nazis and crypto-Nazis of the “alt-right.”
As we saw on Saturday, the Jewish people are still threatened with death and persecution from the far-right. These haters can only grow if they are embraced by mainstream groups like the Metropolitan Republican Club.