By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Sun. May 19, 2024: As protests against anti-zionism and the slaughter and starvation of tens of thousands of people in Gaza mounts across universities across the US, the right wing, led by House Speaker Mike Johnson, has suddenly become concerned about anti-semitic speech across the country.

speaker-johnson-hypocrisy
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., right, make their way to a news conference on the House steps of the U.S. Capitol to urge Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to suddenly bring a vote on the “Israel Security Assistance Support Act,” on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Johnson has now rallied the Republican-controlled House, and some Democrats, to pass the ‘Antisemitism Awareness Act’ on May 1st. The irony is Johnson did not seem as concerned when QAnon was promoting anti-semitic conspiracy theories disseminated via 4chan – denying the Holocaust happened and praising Adolph Hitler and the Nazis.

He did not seem that concerned when Donald Trumpeto hosted Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at his private Mar-a-Lago estate in 2022; nor is he that concerned over the White supremacists open promotion of swastikas or ongoing  support of the Third Reich.

He also did not even seem that concerned to pass such an act when anti-semitic incidents, from bomb threats and cemetery desecration to assaults and bullying and temple shootings, surged in the United States after the election of Donald Trump.

However, now that the protests are young, independent minds using their supposed right to free speech as enshrined in the US constitution to speak up for the innocent people of Gaza, suddenly Johnson and the right wing feel the need to jump on the “anti-semitic” bandwagon.

Can we call it what it is? H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y.

Which brings me to the burning question that consistently seems to slip the minds of the many of the same hypocrites who are now so concerned about hate speech. What about xenophobic speech?

That is, the kind that has been spewed daily by your good friend, the Republican presidential frontrunner and the indicted former GOP President, since he began campaigning for his first run for President?

Donald Trumpeto launched his campaign in 2015 by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” who are “bringing crime” and “bringing drugs” to the US. He continued the campaign by repeating that immigrants should go back to their countries of origin and to build his border wall to keep them out.

The next year, he claimed that Judge Gonzalo Curiel — who was overseeing the Trump University lawsuit at the time — should recuse himself from the case because of his Mexican heritage.

In 2017, he allegedly said that people who came to the US from Haiti “all have AIDS,” and he lamented that people who came to the US from Nigeria would never “go back to their huts” once they saw America.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Trump tweeted a new anti-immigration ad, paid for by his re-election campaign, characterizing migrants as extremely violent and showing masses of people pouring through broken down barriers.

In Bemidji, Minnesota, the president injected eugenics into his speech, praising the mostly white crowd for their “good genes” while attacking Somali refugees.

Then speaking about immigration in a bipartisan meeting in January 2018, Trump reportedly asked, in reference to Haiti and African countries, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

He also vulgarly called for less immigration from Haiti and more from Norway. His specific point was that Haitians were inferior to Norwegians.

Ahead of mid-term elections in 2018, he used a Nov. 1, 2018 White House address to boast of crackdowns on asylum-seekers, even hinting that they might be fired upon by U.S. military personnel.

He called Central American migrant caravans “violent” and threatened to hold thousands of participants indefinitely in “massive cities of tents.”

In an Aug. 7, 2019 Vox story, 24 instances of Trump calling Latinx immigration “an invasion” were detailed. Up to that point, the New York Times reported that Trump’s campaign had purchased 2,000 online ads using the word “invasion” to describe immigration at the southern United States border.

The same rhetoric was repeated by a man who massacred dozens of people at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3, 2019, after posting a racist manifesto online. The shooter told police he was specifically targeting Mexicans following the shooting.

That is just a small timeline of hate and xenophobia pushed by the indicted former President who wants to be President again. All the while, Republicans, including Johnson, have stood silently by.

Given your sudden concern for anti-semitic speech Mr. Speaker, how about the same concern for xenophobia? Can we get the Xenophobic Awareness Act, soon on the House floor?

Felicia J. Persaud is the publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com, a daily news outlet focusing on Black immigrant issues.

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