SuperPACs and other dark money in politics hurt our democracy by giving wealthy individuals and corporations more power than the average American.
But we cannot have a serious conversation about this dangerous and corrupting influence when the discussions evoke bigotry––like the idea that Jews disproportionately influence politics. CNBC’s use of a photo of two Jewish megadonors with a menorah enforces this dangerous trope.
The blatantly antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews secretly control Western governments and banks — called the “Zionist Occupied Government” — dates back to 1800s European antisemities who referred to anything they didn’t like about any government as having a “Jewish influence.” It’s important to note, as well, that the Jewish “influence” was described as “Zionist,” showing how interchangeably these terms have been used. Countless bigots and regimes have used this hateful trope to malign and target Jews around the world, with devastating and lethal consequences.
Our country urgently needs campaign finance reform and transparency. We need every institution that cares as much as we do about protecting democracy to do and be better, in order to protect the legitimacy of these critical conversations.
This image has seen been removed from the article and the preview image on social media channels. Yet, we have seen no acknowledgement from CNBC that the original photo reinforces dangerous antisemitic tropes. It is shocking, disappointing and frightening to see such problematic imagery and messaging from one of America’s most prominent media platforms, and while a public apology is more than warranted, we pray that, at the very least, a private lesson has been learned.
Photo originally from @telushk via Twitter: https://twitter.com/telushk/status/1278417732472635394