If you haven’t heard of the jam band The String Cheese Incident, that’s OK. You probably won’t need to hear of them again after this, an incident in which their drummer Michael Travis went on an anti-Semitic tirade on Facebook.
(Tablet contributor and self-described SCI fan Armin Rosen describes the group as a “lamer, less interesting, and less fun version of Phish.”)
A few days ago, in now-deleted posts, Travis proclaimed that “the Zionist banking cartel” is at the source of the world’s evils. The whole rant merits being reproduced outright; it’s a thing of beauty.
“The Jewish banking agenda is fairly irrefutable ..do you think I’m anti Semitic for saying so? I don’t. I have many many dear friends that are Jewish. (Even if they never read the Torah but that’s a whole different topic) and have learned so much from them/is.. to not be allowed to notice trends in industry for fear of being called anti Semitic might be part of the way the Rothchilds and their cronies came to control the worlds monies. Of course their are other bankers that are doing evil money things. But the Zionist banking cartel is a thing… let me know if you can refute its existence.”
“How am I evil all of a sudden? I abhor killing millions of people. I abhor the Nazi sentiment. I love Jews. Powerful powerful people. I think Trump is a living human piece of shit. I also think the Zionist Banking cartel is a thing. Any time anyone says Jews have done something in concert that is anything other than glowing citizens they get shat upon. Do you have evidence there isn’t a banking cartel that is largely run by jews? I’ll stop saying this if someone will present that evidence. And mind you, I am not bent on vilifying jews by pointing out this business cartel. It could have been anyone. [Smily face emoji].”
Let’s unpack and polish a couple of these gems, here. There’s Travis’s whiplash in tone, falling over himself to insist how not anti-Semitic he is, which would insinuate, that, you know, he realizes he’s being racist. There’s his insistence that some of his best friends are Jewish, which is normally a trope used to justify bigotry so often it wouldn’t bear a mention were if not for the fact that he completely undercuts it. He insinuates here that his friends aren’t Good Jews because they’re not religiously educated according to his standards—his no-doubt well-informed standards. Then, of course, there’s his insistence than this conspiracy is “fairly irrefutable,” and his repeated calls for evidence that proves otherwise. If you have an anti-Semite bingo card, you could win on these paragraphs alone.
But yea, did the Ire of the Internet rain down upon Michael Travis, who had to obey the roar of the crowd, and recant, like Galileo before the Inquisition:
“Hi everyone. I know I have caused quite an uproar here in the last few days. I have learned so much about privilege and oppression and the pain of a subjugated people. I have learned about myself. Know that I love everyone and my original post was meant simply to seek for fresh solutions to this abomination of a problem that has raised its head again here. That was truly my only goal: I am so sorry to those I have offended and will take what I’ve learned into all my future days. This new Nazi wave must be stopped. There is no doubt. I pray for a solution that is peaceful where education and humor and compassion can be our ‘battle’ cry. And th police can be counted on to incarcerate those that proliferate this madness. Please accept my apology and recognition of error.”
Given the suddenly proper use of grammar and punctuation, it seems unlikely that Travis wrote the apology himself. The follow up to said apology is great:
“I feel compelled to put out another apology and recognition of my extreme ignorance and shame regarding my previous statements about Jewish banking. I truly had no idea the banking thing was a central tenant of the Nazi agenda. Unbelievable I know. My understanding of history is obviously seriously lacking…I tend to hunt for conspiracys [sic] that mess with everyone’s lives and found that and spouted out without due research or consideration for how my words effect others. I feel like scum. I have nausuas for two days surrounding this. I don’t know how to make amends enough. The internet is a powerful place where words never die and I would hate for those previous comments to be where our greater community places me… I have respect for all people and wish us all freedom and joy and abhor the Nazi agenda. If you feel my sincerity in this matter please help spread This message in places where you see people taking my previous statements as my stance on the matter.
Unbelievable, he knows!
Ya know, it’s probably not even worth bringing up since the guy doesn’t have a firm grasp on the use of apostrophes, but this might not be the right place to invoke Godwin’s Law. Yes, globalist banking anti-Semitic conspiracies were part of Nazi rhetoric. But the Rothschilds have been a banking family, and subjects of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, for literally centuries, and the history of anti-Semitism is far more long-running and complex than the Holocaust. But once again, that’s Jewish History 201 when this guy is still in Middle School.
Travis doesn’t seem to be one for political activism beyond social media grandstanding (basically liberal), though he did post on Facebook one month ago: “Can we make Jon Stewart run for president ?” (Yes, in 2017 he posted this.) Perhaps Stewart is one of the Jewish friends he was discussing.
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Gabriela Geselowitz is a writer and the former editor of Jewcy.com.