Conservative group Turning Point USA has courted a vocally anti-Semitic activist and conspiracy theorist, including him in meetings and inviting him to a retreat for “black influencers” in June.
Activist Bryan Sharpe earned high praise from Turning Point founder Charlie Kirk at the retreat, where Sharpe and other conservatives gathered at an Arizona resort planned how to increase the Trump movement’s appeal to black voters.
“This guy’s the man right here,” Kirk said, gesturing to Sharpe.
Sharpe’s online nickname, “Hotep Jesus,” is a nod to “hoteps,” a right-wing black subculture that preaches black empowerment but is often accused of being misogynistic and homophobic. Sharpe shot to prominence in broader conservative media in April, when Fox News and other conservative media outlets publicized a video of him pranking Starbucks employees by demanding free coffee as a form of reparations.
Sharpe is also a frequent user of a number of anti-Semitic dog whistles online. In August 2017, Sharpe tweeted that the term “Holocaust denier” was “created to hide the truth.” He even deploys the triple-parentheses favored by white supremacists as a way to denote Jewishness.
“People in power is always (((them))),” Sharpe has tweeted.
Sharpe has also praised members of the racist alt right. While a black man praising white supremacists might seem surprising, Sharpe and the alt right appear to have found common ground in their anti-Semitism.
“Alt right isn’t afraid to call out the Jews and their implications in the destruction of the black community in America,” Sharpe said in a February 2017 video. “It’s just the truth. You can’t call me anti-Semitic if it’s the truth.”
In March 2017, Sharpe appeared on Red Ice TV, an alt right online radio show, where he praised the alt right’s potential to “unlock minds.”
In the interview, Sharpe addressed a black audience and warned them about Jews.
“Jews do not like you,” Sharpe said. “They hate you. They think you are shit.”
Sharpe has kept up his attacks on Jews in 2018, although he’s started to become more cryptic as he faces the prospect of mainstream conservative success. For example, Sharpe often refers to supposed Jewish conspiracies as the “Jutang clan,” combining reference to the Wu-Tang Clan rap group with his own anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
“Trump don’t run America. He’s just a figure head. Jutang run America,” Sharpe tweeted in March.
Referring to the “Jutang clan,” Sharpe has blamed Jews for pornography, the deaths of two of Bill Cosby’s children, the murder of John F. Kennedy Jr., and even the success of trash-talking Instagram rapper Bhad Bhabie.
“I know Jutang run everything around us cuz everybody get silent when they brought up or come to their defense,” Sharpe tweeted.
Sharpe continued attacking Jews even after being embraced by Turning Point. On July 19, Sharpe reacted to credit card payment processors cutting off the funding streams for a right-wing Patreon competitor by tweeting that “Jutang Clan ain’t nothing to f*ck wit!”
Turning Point, which is staunchly pro-Israel, didn’t respond to requests for comment about its relationship with Sharpe. Sharpe declined to comment, and deleted many of his tweets about Jews shortly after The Daily Beast contacted him.
Sharpe also frequently pushes other conspiracy theories, including the idea that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by the United States. He’s claimed that eating soy makes a person gay and that gay rights is a population-control scheme meant to “destabilize the black family.” Sharpe has also promoted the Pizzagate conspiracy theory on Twitter, claiming on July 20 that Democrats want to “traffic kids with little resistance for their sick #PizzaGate rings.”
Sharpe’s anti-Semitic comments aren’t a secret, raising questions about why Turning Point and Kirk have been so friendly with Sharpe. Right Wing Watch reported on Sharpe’s appearance on the alt right “Red Ice” show in April, two months before Turning Point hosted him in Arizona.
So far, though, Sharpe attacks on Jews haven’t held back his career. At the Arizona retreat, Sharpe declared that Kirk, a white 24-year-old, has “street cred.”
“He’s certified in the streets,” Sharpe said. “Hotep Jesus says so.”