The Untold Story: Trump's 'Sleepy Eyes' Insult A Jewish Slur Of Nazi Origin

This weekend, Donald Trump gained a few guffaws for calling MSNBC/NBC host Chick Todd "sleepy eyes." Trump has used that epithet for Todd several times in the past. Most people saw it as another dumb Trump nickname -- but the truth is much more sinister: the description "sleepy eyed" is a dog-whistle used by neo-Nazis and white nationalists as a Jewish slur.

If you didn't see it, this is what Trump said this weekend:

On its face, the tweet looks like a joke -- it even draws a few laughs. However, the origin of the term tells an entirely different story.

The term "sleepy eyes" originated from Nazi propaganda as a way of identifying Jewish people. But its use became more widespread over the last few decades, when white supremacist media like Stormfront began using it.

Today, the "sleepy eyes" description is a common dog-whistle for the white nationalist movement. For instance, there are countless articles published online by hate websites about how to spot someone who is Jewish. These articles point to the person's eyes, and they often describe them as "sleepy." Examples can be easily found on sites like Stormfront; however, as a policy, we will not link to hate sites.

Was Donald Trump Using An Anti-Semitic Slur To Describe Chuck Todd?

Chuck Todd, the news anchor whom Trump called "sleepy eyes" in his tweet, is Jewish. Todd has a Jewish mother and was raised Jewish, according to his Wiki. He has spoken about his Jewish upbringing in the past.

So was Trump purposely trying to use an anti-Semitic dog-whistle to refer to Chuck Todd? We can't know for sure. Still, it seems very unlikely that out of the blue, Trump would come up with a nickname for a Jewish reporter that just happens to be a Jewish slur.

Given that Trump is constantly associating with known white supremacists like Steve Bannon (who, by the way, has been accused of anti-Semitism by his ex-wife), it wouldn't be hard to come up with a scenario under which he would pick up such language. Like a 5 year old in school, Trump may have picked up the term "sleepy eyes" in the halls of the White House -- and used it without knowing what he's saying.

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