The meaning of “sleepy eyes” has become hotly debated now that President Donald Trump called Chuck Todd “sleepy eyes” once again. Some critics have claimed that “sleepy eyes” is a Jewish slur used by Nazis. In response, Sarah Chadwick, one of the leaders of the pro-gun control Never Again MSD activist movement, is calling attention to the issue.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the controversy began when Todd suggested that the concessions by North Korea have not gone far enough. In response, President Trump stated that the United States has not “given up anything [and] they have agreed to denuclearization (so great for World), site closure, [and] no more testing!” What upset people is that President Trump referred to the Jewish journalist as “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd of Fake News NBC.”
Some websites claimed that sleepy eyes’ meaning was a Jewish slur that originated in Nazi Germany. In addition, modern-day Neo-Nazis like the white supremacist web forum Stormfront allegedly use the description as an anti-Semitic insult. As another example, the racist website Gentile Nation provides a document called “How to recognize and identify a Jew” and one of the sections describes “Jewish eyes” with a brief mention of the word “sleepy.”
“There are several types of Jewish eyes: The lizard-like Asiatic eyes, as seen in the photos directly below, the pop eyes and the sleepy and sometimes bulging eyes, the sad sack eyes,” claims Gentile Nation.
The usage of “sleepy eyes” as an insult is not common in modern times. Historically, the Nazis used other descriptions. For example, Julius Streicher, the founder of Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, described Jewish eyes as “wary and piercing,” not as being sleepy. Urban Dictionary describes “sleepy eyes” meaning as a “term for the puffy eyes stoners get when they partake in the smoking of marijuana.” Many online dictionaries simply say that “sleepy eyes” refers to someone who looks like they’re falling asleep.
However, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Sarah Chadwick believes more attention should be on this issue.
“‘Sleepy eyes’ is an anti-Semitic term that was and is stilled used by neo-nazis groups relating to ‘how to spot a Jew.’ Donald Trump just used anti-Semitic terminology against a Jewish reporter,” Chadwick tweeted. “Why are people not talking about this?!”
Chadwick’s claim has spread on social media. The Facebook group U.S. Democratic Socialists, a group supportive of Bernie Sanders, recently posted on the matter.
Trump has called Chuck Todd “sleepy eyes” over a dozen times in recent years, although the first time was way back in 2012. Todd has acknowledged the insult both on Twitter and in interviews, but he claims even Trump does not know the meaning of the insult.
“I’ve asked [Trump] what the sleepy eyes means. He doesn’t know,” Todd told The Wrap. “He said once, ‘I give someone a nickname I stay with it. Sometimes I give someone a nickname and I can’t remember how I came up with it, but I stick with it.'”