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Leftists Now Believe the New York Times Is a “White Supremacist,” “Nazi” Paper

Editor's Note: This piece was authored by Townhall intern Chris Reeves.

On Saturday, Ross Douthat published a column for the New York Times arguing that White House Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller should be included in negotiations about immigration policy because he represents the opinions of tens of millions of Americans. Somewhat predictably, the Times’s liberal readership was none too pleased by the idea that proponents of increased restrictions on legal immigration would be given a seat at the table alongside proponents of amnesty, and many took to Twitter to express their displeasure. Some more unhinged commenters labeled the Times a “white supremacist paper,” while others were content with simply suggesting that Douthat is a racist.

Because Saturday was Holocaust Memorial Day, some Twitter leftists apparently thought that Douthat’s piece was promoting Nazism or attacking Jews. Canadian film producer and actress Nadine Van der Velde was especially perturbed:

After being informed by almost a dozen different people that Miller is himself Jewish, Van der Velde had a mental breakdown, repeatedly tweeting Minion GIFs at them in response:

However, Van der Velde also had backup from fellow Twitter blue checkmarks, such as writer and political commentator Sarah Kendzior, who regularly appears on MSNBC and writes for multiple news outlets (including NBC News and the Globe and Mail):

It’s difficult to say for sure what Kendzior was babbling about, but her comments about “Nazi puff pieces” probably refers to articles like this in which an NYT correspondent interviewed a Nazi and clearly labeled him as being hateful and having disturbing political beliefs.

In response to a supportive comment from a follower indicating that he had cancelled his Times subscription, Kendzior doubled down on her insane rambling, adding that she believes that “white supremacy” is gaining ground not just throughout the media, but in the U.S. government as well:

Other media figures had slightly saner responses to Douthat’s piece, many of which centered on criticisms of his assertion that increased diversity reduces social trust. For example, CBS News analyst and Slate Chief Political Correspondent Jamelle Bouie accused the NYT columnist of racism while asserting that many White Americans are “hostile to the mere existence of nonwhites [sic]”:

MSNBC political analyst and host Joy Reid heartily concurred with Bouie, calling Douthat an appeaser for advocating for immigration compromise with Miller and Trump:

Bloomberg View writer Noah Smith had a similar take on Bouie and Reid on Douthat’s remarks, casting Douthat’s arguments as an attempt to make racism “politically correct”:

The problem with Bouie, Reid, and Smith’s comments is that Douthat’s statement is supported by scientific research (which Smith himself later recognized in a Twitter thread on Sunday). Among the best-known studies to concur with Douthat’s thesis is a huge study from 2007 conducted by liberal Harvard academic Robert Putnam. Based on the results of statistical analyses of data collected from tens of thousands of participants, Putnam concluded that one of the major short-term consequences of increased immigration and ethnic diversity in the United States has been decreased social trust:

Diversity does not produce ‘bad race relations’ or ethnically-defined group hostility, our findings suggest. Rather, inhabitants of diverse communities tend to withdraw from collective life, to distrust their neighbours, regardless of the colour of their skin, to withdraw even from close friends, to expect the worst from their community and its leaders, to volunteer less, give less to charity and work on community projects less often, to register to vote less, to agitate for social reform more, but have less faith that they can actually make a difference, and to huddle unhappily in front of the television. Note that this pattern encompasses attitudes and behavior, bridging and bonding social capital, public and private connections. Diversity, at least in the short run, seems to bring out the turtle in all of us.

Putnam, himself a proponent of the benefits of immigration and diversity, can hardly be described as a Nazi by any reasonable person. And yet, as the debates over immigration reform and DACA continue, it’s worth keeping in mind that many leftists’ instinctual reaction to people expressing contrary opinions on immigration reform is to call them Nazis, white supremacists, and—at best—racists.

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