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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Visits "Fox & Friends"

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. visits “Fox & Friends” at Fox News Channel Studios on July 14, 2023, in New York City. | Source: John Lamparski / Getty

Listen: Nobody’s antisemitism is excusable. When Kanye West aka YeDolf Hitler proved himself to be a Nazi sympathizer whose Twitter fingers tried to summon “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” many of us in and outside the media denounced him for it. When NBA star Kyrie Irving displayed much of the same ignorance (albeit, without the outright bigotry displayed by Ye) politicians, the media and the public alike took notice and various brands started ending their relationships with him and Yeezus without even much hesitation.

But despite Ye and Irving receiving the condemnation they at least arguably deserved, I just can’t help but notice the world never has the same energy for white people who say antisemitic things.

Take, for example, environmental lawyer, presidential candidate and coronavirus conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who recently speculated without evidence that Covid-19 might have been engineered to target everyone except Jewish and Chinese people.

“Covid-19. There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. Covid-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” RFK Jr. said last week during a private gathering in New York that was caught on video. “Covid-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

The Jewish News Agency was among those to denounce RFK Jr.’s words as “antisemitism.”


Obviously, there is zero evidence that literally anyone is immune from Covid-19. And, obviously, no one with even remedial critical thinking skills thinks the fact that certain demographics have gotten infected more than others is evidence that the more infected groups were specifically targeted. (Because if that were the case, one could also argue that Kennedy shouldn’t be including “Caucasians” in his ridiculous theory because Black people were far more disproportionately vulnerable than white people in the U.S.)

So, all that’s left is Kennedy’s inference that whoever created Covid to target nearly 80% of the U.S. population purposely excluded Jewish and Chinese people, which, in a country full of gullible rubes who react to any conspiracy that involves non-white Christian heterosexual Americans, might lend weight to the idea that either Chinese or Jewish people are responsible for the virus allegedly grown in a lab and weaponized against the populace.

But if Irving or Ye are any indication, that kind of propaganda should be widely condemned by every corporate and political entity in America, right? RIGHT???

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people on social media calling RFK Jr. an antisemite, and his political rivals are certainly taking advantage of the limited negative press he’s received, but Irving was in the news almost non-stop for weeks. One couldn’t miss the news about how he shared content from an antisemitic film director if they tried. Meanwhile, there aren’t even widespread calls for Kennedy to withdraw his candidacy.

Perhaps it’s not because RFK is a white privilege beneficiary. Maybe it’s because he only came up with some random nonsense, as opposed to sharing media propaganda from an ideologue whose ideas are inaccurate, dangerous and inherently bigoted.

Oh, wait, that’s exactly what Kennedy did.

From the New York Times:

Abraham Foxman, who worked for decades as the head of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, condemned “antisemitic stereotypes going back to the Middle Ages that claimed Jews protected themselves from diseases.”

“It cannot be ignorance because he is not ignorant, so he must believe it,” Mr. Foxman said Saturday night.

Mr. Kennedy responded to The New York Post story with a defense that only deepened his conspiratorial theories. He wrote on Twitter that he “accurately pointed out” that the United States is “developing ethnically targeted bioweapons” — a point he made in his remarks captured on video, when he repeated Russian propaganda that the United States is collecting D.N.A. in Ukraine to target Russians with tailored bioweapons.

Mr. Kennedy also linked to a scientific paper that he said showed the structure of the Covid-19 virus made Black and Caucasian people more susceptible, and “ethnic Chinese, Finns and Ashkenazi Jews” were less receptive.

But the study he linked to, published in July 2020, early in the pandemic and before effective treatments had emerged, made no reference to Chinese people as more receptive to the virus, nor did it speak of targeting the virus. It said one particular receptor for the virus appeared not to be present in Amish and Ashkenazi Jews.

His conclusions were roundly dismissed by scientists.

“Jewish or Chinese protease consensus sequences are not a thing in biochemistry, but they are in racism and antisemitism,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan.

Hell, for good measure, I’ll even compare the Irving outrage to the lack thereof in regard to a fellow sports figure. Where’s that fire and brimstone energy for former pro baseball player Johnny Bench, who got laughs when he made a stereotypical joke about Jewish people during an event to honor late Jewish Cincinnati Reds general manager Gabe Paul?

From ESPN:

Paul, who died in 1998, was represented at the event by his daughter, Jennie Paul. Near the end of the news conference, Pete Rose recalled his first contract negotiation with Gabe Paul, saying: “When I got out of high school in 1960, Gabe Paul signed me to a contract for 400 bucks a month.”

Jennie Paul quipped, “That cheap, never mind.”

Bench then responded, “He was Jewish,” which prompted laughter from some in the audience.

Does anyone think that remark will prevent Bench from being invited to any future MLB-related events, or is that kind of “cancel culture” only reserved for Black rappers and NBA players?

But, hey, I guess that’s just the nature of life as a public figure. Maybe Ye and Irving are simply lower-hanging fruit because they’re more visible than RFK Jr., whose rhetoric isn’t very important anyway, right?

I mean, it’s not like he’s running for president or anything.


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