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Rep. Massie accused of antisemitism after sharing controversial meme

The Kentucky congressman’s use of an image prompted criticism from both the White House and “Breitbart News.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) speaking with attendees at the 2019 Young Americans for Liberty Convention in Philadelphia on April 13, 2019. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) speaking with attendees at the 2019 Young Americans for Liberty Convention in Philadelphia on April 13, 2019. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

An image shared on social media featuring rapper Drake rejecting one idea while embracing another—often used to identify alleged hypocrisy—has generated condemnation across the political spectrum after a Republican legislator used it to claim that Congress showed greater loyalty to Israel than the United States.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) engaged in so-called “drakeposting” on Dec. 5 by sharing two images of the Jewish hip-hop star from his 2015 “Hotline Bling” music video, each labeled “Congress these days.” In the top photo, Drake holds up his hand and looks away from the term “American Patriotism.” In the bottom one, he grins and points an approving finger at the word “Zionism.”

Massie’s unclear use of the ambiguous meme led some to interpret his intent as antisemitic—that it suggested dual loyalties or Jewish control of Congress. JNS contacted Massie’s press office for clarification but did not receive a response.

The White House called for the Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives—and all Americans—to “condemn this virulent antisemitism from a sitting member of Congress.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also attacked Massie, calling his posting “antisemitic, disgusting, dangerous, and exactly the type of thing I was talking about in my Senate address.”

Massie responded to Schumer, chastising him: “If only you cared half as much about our border as you do my tweets.”

Massie also received criticism for the tweet from the right, with Joal Pollak, senior editor-at-large for Breitbart News, writing: “The idea that ‘Zionism’ and ‘American Patriotism’ are contradictory is a common theme on the antisemitic far-right.”

Pollak noted that Massie had faced criticism with his recent “nay vote” to affirm Israel’s right to exist, but that now “he appears to have taken that argument to a completely different place with his antisemitic post.”

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