This controversy has been brewing over the past few days; I am rather late to the party. I would be very surprised if someone has not written something like the post below, only better.
Recently, Eric Trump referred to Bob Woodward as selling out the country “for a few shekels.” Anti-Semitism! A call out to neo-Nazis! After all, as Katie Tur of msnbc commented, that’s what it had to be. “Who uses language like that?”
She’s wrong. A call out to white supremacists it may be, but that’s not all it is. It is also a dog-whistle to Christians, particularly fundamentalists. It is not only about Jews controlling the media…
It’s about Judas.
The shekel is used throughout the Bible as a measure, usually of silver. And although most translations use the phrase “thirty pieces of silver,” there are translations which refer to Judas’s reward for betraying Christ to the Pharisees as “thirty shekels.”
When I was growing up, with a devout Southern Baptist grandmother (church on Wednesday as well as Sunday), I heard about Judas and his thirty shekels. My grandmother was a racist, but she was not an Anti-Semite, as far as I could tell. That’s just what she had been taught.
Eric Trump’s use of the phrase ” a few shekels” has a very clear message. Woodward (and by implied extension, all media) is not merely a crass opportunist, he is a Judas. He is not merely un-American, he is the ultimate traitor. he must be stopped.
At least, that is what I heard, and having been around my grandmother growing up, I am positive that would be the message she heard. She would not be alone, either.
I doubt Eric Trump came up with the phrase on his own. I doubt he was raised with either white supremacy or fundamentalist Christianity to the point that the phrase “a few shekels” would come to his brain if it hadn’t been planted there. From what I saw on msnbc, a Donald Trump supporter at one of his rallies had used the phrase on a sign. Eric must have appropriated it. It is catchy, after all.
The dog-whistle is so loud and clear even I can hear it without even thinking. I can’t tell if that is a good thing or not.