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The RNC yanked a speaker who promoted an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory

Trump often highlights Mary Ann Mendoza as an advocate for harsh immigration policies. She has some other strange beliefs.

President Donald Trump greets Mary Ann Mendoza of Mesa Arizona.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Ian Millhiser is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he focuses on the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the decline of liberal democracy in the United States. He received a JD from Duke University and is the author of two books on the Supreme Court.

“Do yourself a favor and read this thread,” Mary Ann Mendoza wrote on Twitter Tuesday, just hours before she was scheduled to appear at the 2020 Republican National Convention. The RNC chose to cancel Mendoza’s speech shortly afterward, and Mendoza deleted her tweet after news reports highlighted the anti-Semitic content of the thread she praised.

The “thread” that Mendoza pointed to is an extraordinarily long and rambling conspiracy theory that is difficult to parse. To the extent that it contains a coherent narrative at all, it appears to claim that Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, former President Barack Obama, billionaire George Soros, and “Satanic High Priestess Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton” are all part of a conspiracy, set in motion by the wealthy Jewish Rothschild family, to “Rob The ‘Goyim’ Of Their Landed Properties And Industries With A Combination Of High Taxes And Unfair Competition,” among other things.

Much of this conspiracy theory tracks a notorious anti-Semitic hoax laid out in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an entirely fabricated work of propaganda which purports to be the minutes from a secret meeting of Jewish leaders seeking to gain world domination by controlling institutions such as the world’s financial markets and the media.

Indeed, the Twitter thread that Mendoza highlighted falsely claims that “‘The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion’ Is Not A Fabrication. And, It Certainly Is Not Anti-Semetic To Point Out This Fact.”

Mendoza, whose son was killed by an intoxicated driver who is an unauthorized immigrant, is an outspoken supporter of harsh immigration policies. Trump has featured her at several political events, including the 2016 Republican National Committee, where she suggested that her son died because the United States did not have “an administration that cares more about Americans than illegals.”

Evidence shows that undocumented immigrants are no more likely to commit violent crimes than anyone else in the United States. Indeed, a 2018 study by the libertarian Cato Institute, which used data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, found that “the conviction and arrest rates for illegal immigrants were lower than those for native‐​born Americans.”

Sometime after she deleted her tweet, Mendoza disavowed the thread she’d praised earlier, claiming that she did not pay enough “attention to the intent of the whole message.”

But it’s worth noting that Mendoza did not simply choose to call attention to the anti-Semitic thread, she also specifically highlighted an individual tweet in the thread that lauded the conspiracy theory and displayed an image of the hoax publication.

The Republican Party apparently deemed her to be too toxic to feature at their convention Tuesday night, and her speech is now canceled.

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