A member of a Massachusetts commission dedicated to preventing hate crimes has pushed the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews control the entertainment industry, defended the actions of Hamas, and likened Israeli soldiers fighting the terrorist group to Nazis.
"Who would’ve thought that in 2023 Jewish soldiers would be the nazis carrying out ethnic cleansing?" Bishop Talbert W. Swan II, the president of the Springfield, Mass., chapter of the NAACP, wrote on social media this month of Israel’s military response to Hamas. "This isn’t a WAR, it’s a HOLOCAUST," Swan also said.
A day after Hamas invaded Israel, slaughtering over 1,000 people, Swan said in a sermon that "violence is the language of the unheard."
Those are eye-catching remarks for a member of the Massachusetts Task Force on Hate Crimes, which advises the state’s governor on "issues relating to the prevalence, deterrence, and prevention of hate crimes." Former Gov. Charlie Baker (R.) appointed Swan last year to the task force, which counts the son of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft as a member. Gov. Maura Healey (D.) appointed Swan to a similar state commission in 2018, when she served as attorney general.
Swan’s remarks about Israel and Jews are likely to raise concerns about his position on a government committee that aims to curb hate crimes. Anti-Semitic attacks have spiked 400 percent since Hamas invaded Israel on Oct. 7, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
One member of the 25-person task force said Swan’s remarks should disqualify him from membership in the group.
"I think it’s unfortunate that a person who himself spews hate has a position on this task force, which is supposed to fight hate," the task force member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Free Beacon.
While Swan has denied he is anti-Semitic, he pushed the trope that Jews control the entertainment industry last year while defending rapper Kanye West and NBA superstar Kyrie Irving after they made anti-Semitic remarks last year.
"Nothing debunks the stereotype of having an inordinate level of influence in American sports and entertainment like stripping $1 billion from a Black entertainer and getting a Black athlete suspended while forcing him to apologize and pay half $1 million for offending you," Swan wrote.
Swan has defended Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who once compared Jews to "termites" and called Adolf Hitler a "very great man." Swan wrote in 2019 that, "without question, Farrakhan is simultaneously one of the most revered and respected and one of most controversial and oft-maligned figures in American social and cultural politics."
On his podcast last year he discussed "Jewish involvement in the transatlantic slave trade," a reference to a debunked theory promoted by Farrakhan and other anti-Semites that Jews played a disproportionate role in the slave trade.
"If you talk about any of that, they automatically label you as anti-Semitic," Swan said. "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize," he added, quoting neo-Nazi leader Kevin Alfred Strom.
"They say that the person who originated that statement … was a Nazi. But, you know, a broke clock is right twice a day," said Swan.
Swan’s position on the task force is the latest example of a taxpayer-funded hate crime initiative platforming critics of Jews and Israel. Both the Biden administration and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) have awarded millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to mosques that have called for the annihilation of Israel, the Free Beacon reported. A member of Maryland’s hate crimes task force was suspended from that post this month after she compared Israelis to Nazis and claimed that babies murdered by Hamas were "fake."
Swan has deployed similar rhetoric about the Hamas attack.
He accused President Joe Biden of "spreading the lie" that Hamas beheaded babies during its invasion of Israel, and pushed the debunked claim that Israeli forces bombed a hospital in Gaza on Oct. 17. The hospital was struck by a rocket fired by another terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Swan appeared to defend Hamas in a sermon a day after what he described as the terrorist group’s "alleged" attack on Israel. He claimed that people "who are condemning the Palestinians" also "ignore the apartheid government of Israel." Swan has said in the wake of the Hamas attack that "the root of the VIOLENCE is the OCCUPATION" and claimed "Resistance to oppression is not ‘ugly retaliation.’"
He lashed out at CNN commentator Van Jones for defending Israel at a rally this month, referring to Jones, who is black, as a "house negro" who stands in "solidarity with those who support colonialism, apartheid, and genocide."
In a critique of media coverage of the war, Swan posted a cartoon that depicted television cameras filming a crying child wearing a Star of David medallion. He shared a post from former Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Holocaust denier, who said "Israel and its supporters deserve criticism."
Swan has also made derogatory statements about white people. "Whiteness is an unrelenting, demonic, force of evil," he has said in more than a dozen social media posts.
Gov. Healey’s office and Swan did not respond to requests for comment. Baker, who now serves as president of the NCAA, did not respond to questions about his appointment of Swan.