Monday morning, former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul posted a tweet about “cultural Marxism.” Cultural Marxism is not an unusual topic in right-wing circles, but the illustration that went with the tweet was, as you can see above, unusually grotesque and racist. Paul deleted the tweet, posted its text with a different illustration, and has since issued an apology:
The lineage of the image is a little confusing. As it was posted by Paul, the cartoon appeared to be signed by a pro-Trump cartoonist named Ben Garrison. But Garrison has tweeted that he did not draw it—and, in fact, a number of openly racist and anti-Semitic hoax images are known to have been falsely credited to Garrison when they were actually created and circulated by users of the Nazi-friendly 4chan /pol/ forum, in a sort of weird, trolling tribute (?) to his work. If you do a reverse image search of the image that Paul tweeted, it seems that it’s actually an altered version of a non-racist cartoon that is labeled as being published in 2008 by a leftist Brazilian cartoonist. And the altered, racist version of the cartoon has previously appeared on 4chan. As such, we’ve obscured Garrison’s name in the screenshot above to avoid perpetuating the hoax.
Regardless of its source, Ron Paul’s official Twitter account did, in fact, post the wildly offensive Nazi-style version of the image. And, as Christopher Mathias of HuffPo points out, this is the third time in a month that a right-wing figure has distributed content from the literal-Nazi corners of the internet. Last Friday, recently pardoned conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza retweeted a message that included the hashtag #burnthejews, while on June 13 Iowa Rep. Steve King retweeted a message about immigration that had been posted by an infamous British Nazi. D’Souza says he “did not see” the hashtag; King says he didn’t know about the background of the user in question. Maybe someday soon one of these guys will figure out why so many Nazis seem to be hanging around the Republican Party!