Always worse than we know

I never have understood that Trump insult “Sleepy Eyes” that he uses for a particular tv news host. Jim Wright has an explanation.

Another Sunday morning, another attack on the press from the President of the United States.

“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd of Fake News NBC just stated that we…”


Back up.

Sleepy Eyes?

Sleepy eyes? What? I asked (rhetorically I thought) my audience on Twitter, what does “Sleepy Eyes” even mean as an insult?


Sleepy Eyes Chuck of the Fake News? I said, “it’s like he’s tweeting really bad fanfic one line at time. Fifty Shades of Fly Hair Tiny Hands.”

Sleepy eyes.

Ok. Sure.

Except … well, I should have known better. Several readers pointed out that “sleepy eyes” is an anti-Semitic dog-whistle, a racist insult regarding Jews.

And I thought, no, that can’t be … right, can it?

It can. It is. And it’s far worse than that.

I did not know “sleepy eyes” was an anti-Semitic slur.

But it sure didn’t take long to find the truth.

The term’s origin comes from a list of criteria used by Nazi secret police to determine who might be a jew. This list includes traits such as a widow’s peak, dark curly hair, attached earlobes, weak or pointed chins, thick lips with a commonly protruding lower lip, head shape including a low sloped forehead and high flat back of skull … and thick eyelids giving a wary expression of “sleepy, untrustworthy eyes.”

This list was promulgated to the German population via the Gestapo and other Nazi authorities, and commonly used to identify suspected Jews for arrest and removal.

After WWII and the Nazi’s defeat, that list naturally found it’s way to various neo-Nazi, White Supremacist, and other anti-Semitic groups.

“How to spot a jew” is a common search phrase on Google, and the results are hundreds of variations on this list of Nazi-originated criteria.

Chuck Todd is Jewish, a fact that Trump most certainly knows.

It is unlikely in the extreme that Trump would pick “sleepy eyes Chuck Todd” as an insult at random and without malice aforethought.

While Trump himself may or may not know the origin of the insult and who commonly uses that slur today, it’s obvious he surrounds himself with people who use this term openly in the halls of government and business and who DO know what the phrase means and how it is intended.

So that’s interesting. I had no idea.

Do his eyes look especially sleepy?

Image result for chuck todd

I’m gonna go with “no.” They’re just eyes. They’re in his face. His face isn’t completely flat – but then whose face is? His eyes are set in his head, the way everyone’s eyes are. They don’t look any sleepier than anyone else’s that I can see. So yes, I think Jim Wright’s explanation makes sense.

And how utterly fucking disgusting it is.

36 Responses to “Always worse than we know”