On Sunday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attempted to connect President Donald Trump to the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pa. The SPLC tried to blame Trump, even though the shooter said he did not vote for Trump and attacked the president for his close relationship with Jews.
The SPLC’s intelligence project director, Heidi Beirich, mentioned one specific “conspiracy theory” connecting Trump and the shooter (whom PJ Media will not name in this article). The shooter’s social media posts on Gab “show an adherence to the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews are trying to destroy the white race through immigration — which they believe is ‘white genocide,'” Beirich wrote.
“The alleged shooter [name redacted] reaffirmed his belief in this absurd conspiracy while receiving medical treatment after slaughtering 11 people and injuring others including four police officers,” the SPLC leader wrote. “He said he ‘wanted all Jews to die’ and also that ‘[Jews] were committing genocide to his people.'”
Then came the Trump link. “These conspiracy theories are perpetuated and elevated by the increasing amount of hateful rhetoric flying from the mouths, or keyboards, of a growing cast of characters, up to and including President Trump,” Beirich argued.
Wait, the SPLC is claiming Trump — himself the very proud father of an Orthodox Jew (Ivanka) — is spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories? How does that compute?
In August, Fox News host Tucker Carlson had a guest on to discuss the seizure of land from white farmers in South Africa. Trump responded to this report, tweeting, “I have asked Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. ‘South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.'”
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2018
The situation in South Africa is indeed dire for many white farmers. As for “large scale killing,” there have been a few isolated murders unconnected to the government. The farm seizures are real, however, often justified as a reversal of the seizures of black-owned farms under apartheid.
Furthermore, Trump never mentioned “white genocide,” and if he had thought of the Tucker Carlson report as anti-Semitic, he would have condemned it immediately.
Some alt-right activists have indeed focused on the seizure of white-owned farms and claimed a “white genocide” is occurring. According to the SPLC, many of them are also anti-Semitic, which is not surprising — the disgusting alt-right does harbor racism and deserves constant condemnation.
None of this suggests that President Trump is anti-Semitic or had any role in inspiring the Pittsburgh shooting.
Indeed, the alleged shooter posted on Gab that he did not vote for Trump, partially due to the candidate’s close association with Jews. “Trump is surrounded by k****,” so “things will stay the course,” the alleged shooter posted, CNN reported. In a post right before the shooting, this evil person noted that he did not vote for Trump.
Even so, the SPLC went out of its way to connect the president to the shooting, posting on Twitter a truncated version of Beirich’s article that insinuates Trump is an anti-Semite.
“The alleged shooter in Pittsburgh showed an adherence to the antisemitic conspiracy that Jews are trying to destroy the white race. A theory perpetuated by increasing hateful rhetoric flying from mouths and keyboards — up to and including, President Trump,” the SPLC tweeted.
The alleged shooter in Pittsburgh showed an adherence to the antisemitic conspiracy that Jews are trying to destroy the white race. A theory perpetuated by increasing hateful rhetoric flying from mouths and keyboards — up to and including, President Trump. https://t.co/b71Ww4xcpZ
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) October 28, 2018
In short, because Trump listened to Tucker Carlson and urged an investigation into the situation in South Africa — without once mentioning “white genocide” or Jews in any way — the SPLC points to him as spreading the anti-Semitism that inspired this hateful shooter, despite the fact Trump not only praises American Jews but also has an extremely close business and personal relationship with the Jews in his own family.
Trump’s claims about South Africa definitely went too far, and many horrible people have seized on the reports from South Africa. None of that suggests — for an instant — that the president is an anti-Semite or in any way responsible for this vicious act of terror, which he immediately condemned.
While the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting seems to have been motivated by anti-Semitism, most deadly force attacks against religious organizations — be they churches, mosques, synagogues, Sikh temples, or other bodies — are not inspired by animus against one particular group of people. Carl Chinn, founder of the Faith Based Security Network, has documented 1,705 deadly force attacks against religious organizations since 1999, and only 5.87 percent were inspired by such animus.
Chinn had harsh words for the SPLC. “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a flagship for what’s wrong with the study of hate crimes,” he told PJ Media, noting that a focus on “hate crimes” often blinds people to the true picture of what causes violence — the largest motives are often interpersonal squabbles, robbery, and domestic disputes that expand into the sanctuary.
Americans need to condemn anti-Semitism in the wake of this vicious attack, and that especially extends to harsh condemnations for mainstream anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan.
Thankfully, President Trump has indeed condemned anti-Semitism, and he has stood with Jews — personally, privately, and publicly — on numerous occasions. The SPLC should retract this disgusting allegation.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.