A man praising Hitler and shouting antisemitic remarks was detained by Port Authority Police at Seattle Tacoma International Airport this past Sunday, November 20th. Hate monitoring organization posted the incident to Twitter today, reporting that “a man was arrested after throwing up Heil Hitler salutes and screaming of a race war”. The incident occurred outside of Gate D10 where an American Airlines jet was boarding for a flight to Dallas. ‘You go to the gas chamber!, the Jews got what they deserved!’, Letney called out while shocked passengers filed past to board their flight.

The reaction among travelers varied, some giggled at the bigoted tirade while others commented about the slow response of airport security. The individual continued to scream antisemitic remarks as he was being arrested.

The man, identified by media outlets as Nicholas Edward Letney, has formed his own socialist party and advocates on his website for nationalizing apartment housing by reducing the rent to $250.  Letney has a history of antisemitic postings on social media. As per his official Facebook account, he studied at Auburn Riverside High School and also attended Bonney Lake High School.

Recent months have seen an increase in the public expression of once socially unacceptable antisemitic tropes. Conspiracy theories regarding “Jewish Supremacy” are emanating from across the political spectrum, from the alt-right to celebrities like Kanye West and Kyrie Irving and even from academia. Several faculty members associated with the University of Washington Stroum Center for Jewish Studies unleashed a wave of controversy after promoting the Jewish supremacy trope in an online statement in May of 2021.

The ADL reported the Pacific Northwest region as a whole saw 45 incidents of antisemitic harassment and 35 incidents of vandalism in 2021. Local trends are reflected nationwide. A recent Pew poll found that three-quarters of Jews surveyed say that anti-Semitism has risen in the United States. Figures for 2022 are not yet available but the trend is very much palpable for the Seattle Jewish community where most synagogue and communal organizations have felt compelled to hire armed security and put into place active shooter protocols.