Tar Heel State

North Carolina’s GOP front-runner for governor has a history of racist and antisemitic diatribes

Previously unreported social media posts by Mark Robinson are part of a well-documented pattern of inflammatory pronouncements in which he has invoked antisemitic stereotypes, flirted with Holocaust denialism and targeted Muslims and trangender people, among other minority groups

Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Mark Robinson, lieutenant governor of North Carolina speaks at a rally for U.S. Senate nominee Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) at the North Carolina Republican Party Headquarters on November 7, 2022, in Raleigh, N.C.

In a series of previously unreported social media posts, Mark Robinson, the GOP frontrunner for governor of North Carolina, repeatedly minimized Nazi atrocities and promoted conspiracy theories about Hollywood and the media using Yiddish ethnic slurs, among other incendiary assertions.

“I am so sick of seeing and hearing people STILL talk about Nazis and Hitler and how evil and manipulative they were. NEWS FLASH PEOPLE, THE NAZIS (National Socialist) ARE GONE! We did away with them,” Robinson wrote on Facebook in May 2017, before claiming in a typo-ridden screed that communism has always represented a greater threat to the United States. “Communist created the Marxist Socialist that CURRENTLY control Europe, fill the ranks of OUR OWN Democratic Party, and control our mass media. Compared with the Communist the Nazis were upstart amateurs in terms of manipulation and MURDER.”

Robinson, 54, made no mention of the mass extermination of European Jewry, even as he continued to implicitly downplay the legacy of the Holocaust. “It’s hard for me to understand how so many can remain blind to the fact that COMMUNISM, not Nazism was, and still is, the BIGGEST threat to American freedom,” he said, urging his followers to “wake up and see the REAL enemy.”

“After all,” he concluded, “who do you think has been pushing this Nazi boogeyman narrative all these years?”

Robinson’s comments, written before he was elected lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 2020, fit into a deeper expression of extreme paranoia advanced in several dramatically worded posts on his personal Facebook page — where he frequently voiced fears over a purported communist incursion. 

More broadly, the social media posts are part of a well-documented pattern of inflammatory pronouncements in which Robinson has invoked antisemitic stereotypes, flirted with Holocaust denialism and targeted Muslims and transgender people, among other minority groups. The lieutenant governor has refused to apologize for his rhetoric, which has raised alarms among Jewish community leaders in North Carolina.

The newly uncovered Facebook comments could also fuel growing skepticism over Robinson’s electability in a key battleground state, where he is expected to face off against a Jewish Democrat, Josh Stein, who serves as attorney general of North Carolina.

Robinson’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment from Jewish Insider on Thursday evening.

The lieutenant governor has often courted controversy in the two-and-a-half months since he announced his candidacy. On Wednesday, he faced criticism for defending a far-right political group that recently apologized for citing a quote attributed to Hitler. “It’s time for us to start teaching our children some of those quotes,” Robinson said last weekend at a conference hosted by Moms for Liberty in Philadelphia. “It’s time for us to start teaching our children about the dirty, despicable, awful things that those communist and socialist despots did in our history.”

In response to the backlash, Robinson claimed his remarks, which were misleadingly presented in an abridged video clip shared widely on Twitter, had been taken out of context. His stated belief in the value of studying Hitler, however, was a departure from past remarks in which he dismissed the Nazis as a historical footnote to the depredations of communist authoritarianism.

“For the 4,880,560th time; CULTURAL MARXISM, SOCIALISM, and their father COMMUNISM are the enemies of this nation,” he wrote in a Facebook post published in September 2017. “Please STOP wasting my time, your time, and the time of your fellow conservatives talking about, and making mention of, the NAZIS who have been DEAD since 1945.”

Even while acknowledging that the Nazis “were evil Socialist,” Robinson suggested that Germany is now more troublingly led “by MARXIST SOCIALIST who are currently allowing their country to be overrun by a savage horde of barbaric, murdering, devil worshippers.”

In response to a separate post on a similar topic, one follower countered that Robinson was “suffering from tunnel vision” by claiming that “Democrats are not the ‘New Nazis’” but are instead the “same old Communist.” But Robinson firmly rejected his critic’s suggestion. “I’m not being fooled into believing that the Nazis are a threat to anyone,” he wrote.

“Nazis are always the ones who are mentioned when people talk about ‘totalitarian’ governments that commit mass murder,” Robinson said in another Facebook comment. “Meanwhile, the 100 million plus killed by the Communist are largely ignored and our own government is FULL OF MARXIST SOCIALIST who are hell bent on destroying our Constitution and spreading MARXISM. I’ve grown VERY weary of this. I can plainly see the plan of the Marxist and how they hide behind ‘Hitler,’ whose name is CONSTANTLY on their lips.”

Expanding on that theme, Robinson also floated a conspiracy theory to explain why he believes “the left HATES Nazis so much,” as he wrote in 2017. “Why do you think they make so many movies and documentary films about how evil the Nazi were? And why do you think they NEVER make those films about the excesses of the Communist?” he said. “They make films celebrating leftist like Stalin and Che Guvera. They love them.”

It was not the first instance in which Robinson, who has long been a prolific social media user, had expressed suspicion of popular culture. In one previously reported social media post from 2018, Robinson disparaged “Black Panther,” the Marvel film whose titular protagonist, he wrote, was “created by an agnostic Jew” and a “satanic marxist.” The movie, he claimed, referring to Israeli currency and using a Yiddish racial slur, “was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets.”

In another newly unearthed Facebook post, meanwhile, Robinson employed similar language while taking aim at “Roots,” the widely viewed TV miniseries about American slavery. “The 1977 version of ‘Roots’ is one of the most vile things EVER filmed,” he wrote in 2017. “It is nothing but Hollywood trash that depicts the ignorance and brutality of the goyim, and the helplessness and weakness of the shvartze.”

The same year, Robinson also appeared to invoke a Yiddish insult while ridiculing Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who had recently become Senate minority leader. “Quit crying Smuck!” he wrote over a photo of Schumer, presumably misspelling the word “schmuck.” The image was credited to “M. Robinson memes.”

Elsewhere, in a message to what he described as “the mass media,” published in 2014, Robinson directed his ire at another prominent liberal. “Having Al Sharpton comment on what black Americans think of whites,” he said of the civil rights activist and political commentator, “is like having Hitler comment on what Germans think of Jews.”

When a Facebook commenter took issue with his statement, Robinson was characteristically dismissive. “Yeah Nick your right,” he said. “I apologize……….. to Hitler and Sambo.”

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