(Editor’s note: This article is published in conjunction with this week’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed each year on Jan. 27 to commemorate the day in 1945 when Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz.)
Most Just Security readers probably haven’t yet heard or read about Vincent James Foxx. He hasn’t yet become nationally prominent, but he is a far-right, white supremacist, antisemitic provocateur who could be heading soon to a fascist get-together near you.
At the moment, Foxx is particularly relevant as an ideological soulmate – unfortunately, one of a whole host – of the by-now notorious Nick Fuentes. The same Nick Fuentes whom Ye, the antisemitic (“I’m going Death con 3 on Jewish people”) rapper formerly known as Kanye West brought to dinner at Mar-a-Lago. The same Nick Fuentes who brayed, “All I want is revenge against my enemies and a total Aryan victory … I’m just like Hitler.”
Foxx and Fuentes – and too many like them — epitomize the existentialist threat posed by xenophobic white supremacists and neo-Nazis. And their impact is amplified by many others in supposedly mainstream circles who embrace them, or at least fail to firmly repudiate their actions.
Just two weeks ago, on Jan. 6, Foxx was the featured speaker at a gathering of the North Idaho Pachyderms Club, an organization of Republicans in Coeur D’Alene. As noted less than a year ago in The New York Times, northern Idaho, also known as the Idaho panhandle, has become “home to white supremacist groups and people ready to take up arms against the U.S. government.” Foxx was hardly the first repugnant figure embraced by the North Idaho Pachyderms Club. In May 2019, the group canceled an appearance by Brittany Pettibone, an alt-right white supremacist and anti-Muslim YouTuber banned from the United Kingdom, after activists announced that they were planning to hold an anti-hate rally outside the restaurant where Pettibone was scheduled to speak.
In his speech, Foxx warned against a plot by unnamed conspirators to “replace” white Americans and change the demographics of the United States “because they know that certain groups vote a certain way, and they know they can use that, that’s a benefit to them.” While he did not specifically say that by “they” he meant Jews, the allusion was unmistakable to anyone who followed Foxx on social media (more on that later).
The world is experiencing the most dramatic antisemitic upsurge since the Third Reich was reduced to rubble at the end of World War II. The trend is illustrated not only by the fact that an off-the-charts extremist like Foxx is welcome in an ostensibly respectable civic organization but also in a broad range of statistics from within the United States and abroad.
A recent survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that, “Over three-quarters of Americans (85 percent) believe at least one anti-Jewish trope, as opposed to 61 percent found in 2019. Twenty percent of Americans believe six or more tropes, which is significantly more than the 11 percent that ADL found in 2019 and is the highest level measured in decades.” This poll is decidedly not an outlier. According to the FBI’s hate crime statistics for 2021, anti-Jewish incidents accounted for 31.9 percent of religion-based hate crimes in the United States, more than 10 percentage points ahead of the next categories (anti-Sikh incidents, 21.3 percent; anti-Islamic incidents, 9.5 percent). Data collected by the New York City Police Department showed reports of 263 antisemitic hate crimes in the city in 2022, compared with 121 and 196 such crimes in 2020 and 2021, respectively; and in 2021, neighboring New Jersey experienced a 25 percent increase in antisemitic incidents over the previous year.
Jews outside the United States confront conditions that are, if anything, even more dire. Speaking at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on May 12, 2022, Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the State Department’s special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, noted that, “something is very wrong in our world when, according to European Commission (EC) data, nine out of ten European Jews consider antisemitism as a serious problem. France, Germany, the Czech Republic together with other European countries too numerous to enumerate have all witnessed upticks, if not surges, in antisemitism. Conspiracy theories – whether they concern COVID-19 or an array of other charges – abound. In many countries, Jewish parents whose children attend Jewish schools instruct their children to remove their school uniforms when walking in the street.”
In June 2022, the German government reported that 3,027 antisemitic incidents occurred in 2021, up from 2,351 the previous year. The overwhelming majority of these were attributed to right-wing extremism, with a handful ascribed to Islamist groups. The British charity Community Security Trust recorded 2,255 anti-Jewish hate incidents in that country in 2021, up from 1,684 in 2020. France similarly experienced a rise in antisemitic and racist incidents, causing French President Emmanuel Macron to declare in December: “Let us open our eyes to the rise of xenophobia and antisemitism, tune our ears to the resurgence of racism. Let us never be fooled by the new clothing adopted by the same ideologies of division.”
Which brings us back to Foxx and the other white supremacists who are part of the toxic brew that constitutes, in Macron’s words, the present-day “rise of xenophobia and antisemitism…the resurgence of racism.” Foxx’s bile, which he regularly spews on ultra-right social media channels and platforms, is instructive. A few nuggets (followed by links to the source, with the “t.me” links being posts on the social media forum Telegram):
- “Jews do have a disproportionate amount of control over the media and this is something that cannot be denied. … The fact that Jews have a significant amount of control over the mainstream media can be concerning for some people. This is because it can lead to an unbalanced perspective on certain issues, as well as a lack of diversity in the media.” https://archive.ph/vc54U#selection-1603.0-1606.0
- “If we cut through the bull shit, we can find out that Jewish groups across the west are not only the biggest but also the most powerful proponents of third world migration into western counties [sic].” https://t.me/RealVincentJames/393
- “What’s with all these Israelis and American/European Jews trying to shape western societies?” https://t.me/RealVincentJames/1850
- The Holocaust “did produce a positive result later on for Jewish people in terms of financial gain and all sorts of things, they can use the Holocaust to shut down speech or any criticism of them and … the Holocaust led to the creation of the state of Israel, like it was an overall positive, like a net positive for Jewish people.” https://www.adl.org/resources/report/antisemitic-attitudes-america-topline-findings
- “We are the Christian Taliban. This is the era of Christian nationalism. Christian nationalism is on the rise. … We are the Christian Taliban and we will not stop until The Handmaid’s Tale is a reality, and even worse than that.” https://twitter.com/RightWingWatch/status/1541796574325506053?s=20
- Slavery “was probably mostly kind of like camping. Society completely overblows it.” https://twitter.com/RightWingWatch/status/1569367085117231106?s=20&t=zuZT3bGIax8uxcPfuJiZWA
You don’t say.
Foxx’s invective echoes that of Fuentes, who calls Jews “a hostile tribal elite.” On another occasion, with a smirk on his face, he denied the Holocaust by asking how long it would take to make “six million batches of cookies.” And they are equal opportunity bigots. Similarly to Foxx’s prejudices extending to slavery above, Fuentes’ includes women – he declared in one of his rants that, “We need to go back to burning women alive.” The same Nick Fuentes made no secret of his agenda when he wrote in a Facebook post that “You can call us racists, white supremacists, Nazis, & bigots. … But you will not replace us. The rootless transnational elite knows that a tidal wave of white identity is coming. And they know that once the word gets out, they will not be able to stop us. The fire rises!”
Emulating their Brownshirt predecessors in pre-Nazi Germany, Foxx and Fuentes pride themselves on functioning outside the political mainstream as a destructive force whose goal is to reshape the United States in their image – with the tiki torch-carrying Charlottesville marchers chanting “Jews will not replace us” as their opening act.
True, Foxx and Fuentes are still on the periphery, but nowhere near as much as they used to be. They emerge more and more frequently and brazenly from the shadows and constitute a vociferous, synergistic core element of a mushrooming anti-democratic wave that wants to turn back the clock to before civil rights, before equal rights, before women’s suffrage, before the enfranchisement of anyone who is not a white Christian according to their definition of the term. These are the folks who would want to roll back segregation, for whom Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down laws banning interracial marriage, is anathema, and who look back on the Jim Crow era as the good old days. They are also truly hostile homophobes. Foxx, for example, advocates “kidnapping the children away from gay people.”
Foxx, Fuentes, and their ilk are also particularly dangerous because there are far too many politicians who recognize them for who and what they are, but who refuse to repudiate them for fear of antagonizing them or their followers. Remember the conservative German politicians who were convinced that they could control Hitler? Remember how far that got them? Foxx and Fuentes also are cast in the same mold as David Duke, the erstwhile Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1989 and ran, albeit unsuccessfully, for the U.S. Senate and Governor of Louisiana.
Foxx similarly could make a credible run for public office in, say, Idaho with the backing of not only the North Idaho Pachyderms Club, but also My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell. This past September, Lindell gave viewers of Foxx’s social media platform, DailyVeracity.com, a generous discount. “Big shoutout to Mike Lindell,” Foxx announced in a livestream on his website. “Because he has given us an opportunity to sell some pillows on DailyVeracity.com, which is awesome. We get like 50 percent of whatever you get from MyPillow.com with the [code] ‘VinceJames.’” Just imagine the extent to which Lindell might be inclined to finance Foxx’s future political ambitions, assuming, of course, that he has any money left at that point, considering the lawsuits against him.
I am not suggesting that contemporary antisemitism emanates only from the extremist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi right. Far from it. As Julia Jassey, the CEO and co-founder of the student activist organization Jewish on Campus, said succinctly, “All over the country, Jewish students face unjust treatment due to their identities.”
Still, as the son of two survivors of the Nazi death and concentration camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, the hate-filled ideology espoused by the likes of Foxx and Fuentes resonates ominously. Simply put, it was men like Foxx and Fuentes who, speaking German rather than English, murdered my grandparents, my mother’s son, my parents’ siblings, and millions of other European Jews during the Holocaust.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on Jan. 27, reminds us that Vincent James Foxx and Nick Fuentes do not exist in a vacuum, and that we ignore them at our collective peril. For remembrance not to be a hollow, ritualized exercise on that day and going forward, we must consciously view the present through the prism of the past. And that demands that we – individually and as a global society – do everything in our power to fight against any and all manifestations or personifications of the antisemitism, white supremacism, and overall bigotry that paved the road to the gas chambers of Auschwitz.