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The Decoded Video of Jan. 6th: A Study in Antisemitism & Fascist Propaganda


Hours before the insurrection, thousands rallied at Ellipse Park in Washington, D.C., to hear Trump speak. Then a video was played. According to Yale scholar Jason Stanley, what the crowd viewed was so rife with antisemitic and fascist propaganda, that it likely contributed to the call for violence.

The video opens to haunting music and the crash of thunder. Images flood multiple screens: the Hollywood Sign; a vacant-eyed Joe Biden; the Assembly Rooms at the United Nations and European Union Parliament; Chuck Schumer wearing a kente cloth; and Nancy Pelosi flanked by Jewish Senators Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler. A voiceover by Trump begins: "For too long, a small group at our nation’s Capitol has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost..."

In other words, says Dr. Stanley, the viewers need to be fearful. They learn in sounds and images that an elite cabal of Jews controls Biden and is taking over world government. These are the "red-flag dog whistles for antisemitism," he says.

Please join Rabbi Dara Frimmer, Village member Idelle Davidson, and Dr. Stanley as we watch a few minutes of a 2021 PBS program where Dr. Stanley decodes the video. We will then turn to him in real time to learn how authoritarians use similar rhetoric to divide us. 


Jason Stanley
About Jason Stanley:

Dr. Stanley is the author of several books, including, "How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them" and is co-author of the forthcoming book, “The Politics of Language." He is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Prior to Yale, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He was a Professor at the University of Michigan and Cornell University. He earned his PhD at the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT (Robert Stalnaker, chair), and received his BA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Dr. Stanley is a descendant of Holocaust survivors. His uncle survived Auschwitz, his mother was raised in a Siberian labor camp, and his father experienced the madness of Kristallnacht. His grandmother is credited with rescuing hundreds from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. Stanley's great-grandfather was Magnus Davidsohn, Chief Cantor at Fasanenstrasse Synagogue in Berlin, serving alongside Chief Rabbi Leo Baeck from its opening in 1912 to its closing by the Nazis in 1938. 

The impact of his family’s experiences led him to dedicate much of his work to studying the ideology and structure around injustice and how it is enabled and concealed. By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, he reveals that the stuff of politics—charged by rhetoric and myth—can quickly become policy and reality. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Idelle Davidson
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