Marjorie Taylor Greene: A symptom of a wider sickness

Zach Murphy, Staff Writer

The continued abuse of Jewish people in the name of God or nation is a disturbing recurrence that, regrettably, appears continuously throughout the world. Within our collective national conscience, however, it appears that antisemitism is treated as a bygone issue, falling from prominence with the end of the Holocaust and Third Reich. Recent comments from U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene reveal, however, that the scapegoating of Jewish people continues to live stronger than ever. Her comments are not only objectionable in every sense; they reveal a deeper problem left unaddressed by our country — our national complacency in the face of anti-Semitism.

Among Greene’s comments, one has specifically blamed the 2018 California forest fires on a space laser controlled by, chiefly, the Rothschild banking family. The Rothschild family originates in mid-18th century Germany where they earned a significant fortune banking within noble circles. Their wealth and financial success is often the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Whether or not Greene intended to endorse these conspiracy theories is beside the point; the comments are, at their core, an endorsement of anti-Semitic values that reflect a darker tradition within the United States.

Just as every other American, I would like to think that this country always stood on the moral high ground throughout history. This line of thinking could not be further from the truth, especially concerning our country’s failure to combat anti-Semitism. Failure in this sense is not something to be taken lightly, as anti-Semitic conspiracies lead to real-world violence and national tragedies such as the 2018 Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting and the 2019 Jersey City Shooting. In these cases, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories fueled perpetrators’ hatred and resulted in the outbreak of violence. These attacks highlight the extreme danger that comes with anti-Semitic conspiracies, and emphasize that these ideas should be combated for the sake of safety. How can we claim to be one of the best countries in the world when we fail to protect those who are attacked based on an unchangeable identity? Solving this problem will not be easy, but it is necessary for the protection of a community that has historically faced extreme violence and discrimination.

While some people might disagree that the United States is complacent in this issue, I would point to the lack of serious official action in response to attacks and conspiracies. No legitimate effort to combat antisemitism has been made by the U.S. government, the First Amendment serving as a major roadblock to the prevention of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Nazi-esque rhetoric. Anybody can promote lies with no consequences for their actions – consequently, the burden of this problem falls in the laps of the people more than the government.

Our country will remain complicit until the American people can step up and demand change by voting and actively resisting these conspiracies. While Greene’s comments may not have caused direct physical harm in this instance, the influence of her office grants these ideas an air of legitimacy that is, at its core, a mockery of the notions this country purports to stand for: tolerance, diversity and acceptance.

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