Decoded Video of January 6th
CJJ members have been invited to this community event by the Defenders of Democracy and Disinformation. This event is not hosted by CJJ.
We know what happened on January 6. We know about the mob and the assault on our democracy. What we may not know is that at Trump’s rally at Ellipse Park near the National Mall—just before the insurrection—he played a video to the thousands gathered. According to Dr. Stanley, it is this video that may have cemented the call for violence.
It opens to haunting music and the crash of thunder. Images flood the screen: 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. Register for the program at this link.
We will use the video as a case study to understand the link between fascism and antisemitism. In February 2021, Dr. Stanley appeared on the PBS show, Amanpour and Company, and analyzed each clip. With Dr. Stanley as our guest, we will watch the first 15 minutes of the PBS show together. Then, in real time, we will discuss with him how we can move forward to combat hateful rhetoric and strengthen our democracy.
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 also 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.