A few screen caps of Michael Chikindas’ anti-Semitic Facebook posts have followed his story around as it develops. I trawled his account before Chikindas deep-sixed it, grabbing my own to prepare my own take. I published a couple of them with my analysis in Tablet Magazine and many others to Twitter.
Chikindas has made absurd claims in his defense — that he’s not an anti-Semite, that he’s merely pointing out Jewish racism and Israeli crimes — and has even gone so far to claim that his Facebook account was hacked. Also some news coverage from the last day has noted that the anti-Semitic posts are no longer available for review.
So I think it would be useful to those following the story, and perhaps Rutgers itself, to publish and categorize all of Chikindas’ anti-Semitic Facebook posts that I harvested during my research. This will serve as a pretty comprehensive archive, though there might be a few more floating about that others captured.
Here they are, with brief explanations.
Crypto-Jews Perpetrated the Armenian Genocide: Chikindas appears to believe that the Dönmeh, a group of Ottoman crypto-Jews descended from followers of the 17th Century false messiah Sabbatai Zevi, infiltrated the Young Turks and orchestrated the Armenian Genocide. This conspiracy theory is, if you will, a Near Eastern riff on the more popular lie that Jews were the true engine of Bolshevik murder. More analysis here.
Jews, as “The Chosen People”, are the original racists: This theme is very popular among anti-Semites, especially those who came to Jew-hatred by a religious path.
America is in thrall to Israel: This too is an old saw, popular with a wide spectrum of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and fellow travelers, ranging from American isolationists and nativists to realists in the center and their counterparts on the Left.
Genocide of the Palestinians: Holocaust-denial is too crude and ugly a conspiracy theory for many to embrace, at least publicly, so Jew-haters have created more palatable allotropes. Holocaust inversion and minimization are popular ways to suggest that the Jews today are “THE REAL NAZIS!” Claiming, against all empirical evidence, that Israel is slaughtering the Palestinians in a “genocide” is an easy and socially licit way to cause Jews pain while profoundly delegitimizing them.
Murderous Jews Consuming Blood: Political conspiracism traces its roots to the Middle Ages, where Christian demonology of Jews, witches, magicians, and heretics established many of the tropes that ultimately found their richest and most lethal expression in Nazi Germany. Perhaps the most disturbing, and therefore effective, example is the idea that Jews murder Gentiles to consume their blood in demonic rituals.
Assorted conspiracy theories: If you learn anything about anti-Semitism, please note that it’s a conspiracy theory. This is fundamental to understanding how it works, why it manifests itself in protean ways, how it often eludes detection and condemnation, and why it so often acts as an engine of revolution.
Research shows: If you believe in one conspiracy theory, you can and often do believe in others. Professor Chikindas is a prolific crank, exhibiting many of what I call the Primary Colors of Conspiracism — fixations that are foundational among all conspiracy theorists and which betray conspiracism’s debt to medieval magic and its inquisitorial enemy.
Various Secret Societies: Every conspiracy theory is a narrative in which a secret society of the rich and powerful controls the banks, the media, schools, and governments in order to enslave and exploit the rest of humanity. Popular secret societies include the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the CIA, and the Jews — sometimes explicitly, and other times disguised with varying degrees of care: Mossad, the Zionists, the Rothschild family, the “Israel Lobby”, “international bankers” or “globalists”, etc.
Holocaust Denial: Probably the most notorious conspiracy theory, the evil myth that the Holocaust is a hoax by Jews for profit, began — strangely enough — on the French far-Left, and migrated to the far-Right while spreading throughout the world. The cliche has it that if you go far enough Left you wind up on the Right. That’s true, but Holocaust denial shows that conspiracism is the skyway that bridges the political extremes.
Misogyny and Homophobia: Along with hatred of Jews, hostility to women and gays make up what you might call the fascist’s trifecta. Chikindas not infrequently blends these hatreds in single posts.
If anyone would like to share more Chikindas screen caps with me, please hit me up on twitter — @johnpaulpagano — but make sure you specify the source so I can give credit.