The Yiddish word “chutzpah” is one of many Yddish words that really doesn’t have an English equivalent. It’s generally defined as extreme gall. A favorite explanation is “chutzpah is when a defendant who has killed his mother and father throws himself on the mercy of the court because he’s an orphan.”

And chutzpah was what came to mind when I read this article in the Washington Post about an organization founded by Stephen Miller, the loathsome little snake who encouraged Trump’s bigotries during the Orange One’s administration. Miller, as you may remember, was the architect of Trump’s family separation policy–a factoid that tells you pretty much everything you need to know about him.

Miller has founded and leads something called “American First Legal” a “public service law firm” devoted to the preservation of White Supremacy. As the lede explains:

The deal in early 2021 was hailed by advocates for Black farmers as the most significant piece of legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — about $4 billion in President Biden’s massive pandemic stimulus package to rectify decades of discrimination. Minority farmers began investing in new machinery and other improvements, anticipating tens of thousands of dollars in government aid.

But today, the landmark deal on behalf of historically disadvantaged farmers is dead — successfully challenged in court by a fledgling conservative organization that argued the program racially discriminated against White farmers.

The organization describes itself as “the long-awaited answer to the ACLU” and it has embraced the racial grievance at the heart of Trump’s MAGA movement. The Post reports that it has filed dozens of federal lawsuits” opposing efforts to remedy racial disparities, support LGBTQ students and expand the pool of early voters.”

In other words, it is challenging the efforts of so-called “woke” Americans to level the playing field for previously marginalized people.

AFL-backed suits helped doom a $29 billion program that prioritized struggling female and minority-owned restaurants last year, and last week, a council created by the Department of Education that conservative parents groups viewed as partisan. AFL has won in part by consistently filing lawsuits in a conservative-friendly judicial district in Texas and taking advantage of a larger federal court system revamped by Trump’s predominantly conservative nominees.

Forum shopping has been a standard ploy of Rightwing groups worried that dispassionate judges who respect the rule of law will be less amenable to their claims– basically, claims that merely recognizing the claims of marginalized folks is discrimination against White people.

Many of these lawsuits are centered on making sure that White people remain in control and continue to benefit from unearned privileges, and on maintaining the systemic discriminatory policies that have harmed Black people and other people of color for generations,” said David Hinojosa, an attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “To argue that White men are being pushed to the back of the line is unfounded and ridiculous. What they’re being asked to do is share a place in line with other people who do not look like them.”

The article quotes Miller saying that what he calls “the equity agenda” represents one of the “single greatest threats to the survival of our constitutional system.”

Unsurprisingly, AFL’s  board is all White and all male. All are Trump loyalists (Mark Meadows is one), and they all attended Trump’s 2024 campaign announcement.  Miller helped write the speech.

AFL was also involved in the midterm elections, paying for a multimillion dollar ad campaign the Post described as “inflammatory”–with radio and TV spots demanding an end to “anti-white bigotry” and accusing the White House, businesses and universities of discriminating against White people.

Miller repeatedly complained during the campaign that Republican candidates were not talking enough about culture war issues and immigration and focusing too heavily on an economic message, people who spoke to him said. America “is the apex of achievement of Western civilization,” Miller said, with “a heritage to be jealously guarded.”

Miller’s organization has received significant contributions from the “usual suspects”–Rightwing bigots have deep pockets– allowing it to file at least four dozen lawsuits.

Miller is a Jewish version of Kanye West–aka “Ye”–who (among multiple other things) donned a “White Lives Matter” shirt to communicate his need to be accepted by those in power. Miller’s affinity for the MAGA movement reminds us that there were Jews who collaborated with the Nazis to save their skins–not many, but some.

In a letter about Miller’s anti-immigration stance, his uncle wrote that he’d watched with “dismay and increasing horror” as his nephew had become “the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”

Miller brings to mind another apt Yiddish word: a shanda. It’s Yiddish for a disgrace, a shame, and a terrible embarrassment.


  1. I am somewhat reminded of Fritz Haber, who became a hero in Europe by developing a process to extract nitrogen from the atmosphere to create ammonia for fertilizer, saving European agriculture. He then disgraced himself, to prove he was a good German and developed chlorine gas used during WWI (he also supervised its use). He thought that his war record and his conversion to Lutheranism would protect him, but he was fired with the rest of the Jews and left Germany looking for a new home. He died in Basel, on his way to what was then British Palestine.

    Miller would meet a similar fate, were his wish for a neo-Nazi America to become a reality. If he didn’t flee, he would end up in an “Arbeit Macht Frei” camp with the rest of us.

    Shanda is too nice a word to use for Miller. Your son is a bum who can’t keep a job. That’s a Shanda. Miller? I simply say “an abomination against god and man”.

    In biblical times, the earth would have opened to swallow him up. If only that kind of justice could exist now. Not that I wish ill on the man. 8)>

  2. The scariest line in your post is that the AFL describes itself as “the long awaited answer to the ACLU.” So they are going to wage war against civil liberties. Can anything be more anti-American than that?

  3. I frequently call Miller trumps personal NAZI, I think I stole that from Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station. Sadly many on the right, even as they advocate for whatever autocratic, theocratic attack on our republic can’t see their own connection to fascism. They think liberty and freedom will come out of turning America into a “benevolent dictatorship”, although benevolent to who is left unspoken by all but the Miller types.

  4. What a horrible human Miller is. He recently married and had a child with his wife. All I can think of her is ewww, what is wrong with you? He’s the worst person on the planet because he has more brains than 45 and that’s scary.

  5. “Miller, as you may remember, was the architect of Trump’s family separation policy,,,” His family separation policy was meant to permanently separate those children from their parents; parents were identified by a case number, their children when removed were given a different case number. No way to trace where their babies and children were sent; what are the statistics on the number of parentless children due to Stephen Miller’s policy. Years have passed and babies are now little children and some of the children are now young adults. Do they have any rights to seek citizenship, be protected rather than punished by our laws, hold jobs, marry and start their own families? Their traumas did not end when Trump moved out of the White House; they remain in limbo, not knowing who they are, where they are from or how to reunite with their parents…if old enough to remember them. They remain the child victims of Trump’s administration.

    Miller, et al, remain in their elected positions as lawmakers, still making laws and still in power with the House majority turnover just days away. Happy Holidays!

  6. Miller is “shanda” on steroids.

    The article quotes Miller saying that what he calls “the equity agenda” represents one of the “single greatest threats to the survival of our constitutional system.”

    This would be laughable, if he and his kind were not the “single greatest…”

    Aging Girl. Miller’s wife also worked in the Trump White House. The two of them are a perfectt match.

  7. What a new revelation on the meaning of chutzpah this morning. In Jerusalem social circles, including several shabot dinners, “he’s got some chutzpah” had a more positive connotation meaning: assertive skills and demeanor to challenge the system. But then I never heard Jerry Lee Lewis’ rendition at any shabot dinner: You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain / Too much love drives a man insane / You broke my will / But what a thrill … Great balls afire?

  8. Aging agirl:
    worst of all,miller gets to raise a child in hate. a few decades back while stuck in traffic near portland ore,the CB radio was used in various attempts to know what was the backup etc. then theres a guy teaching his kid(boy) id figure about 2-3 YO to make comments about dirty truckers etc. dad was there pushing him along,when i spoke out good job there dad,teaching your kid to hate..end of conversation..seems sometimes being dragged out to the public forum shut people up. and of course this was long before the internet. twitter seems to be on the road to what trump counldnt do. (wasnt rich enough to buy a social media train)id be far more concern what musk and his muskivites will try next. you may want to take watch on who he hires next to control todays thought process. maybe a clean out/walk away of users of twit,and a falling stack price would clear some of the grift up. boycott anyone? and it wont cost ya a dime..
    also,texas was front and center during the big foreclosure in its courts to foreclose on property anywhere in the u.s. im sure
    mnuchin was a perfect son..

  9. If not for white male privilege Miller and his ilk would actually have to work for, compete for and earn their wealth and positions in society. They would fail miserably.

  10. AFL – another neat link in the Right Ecosystem of integrated money and full front assaults from the local school boards to SCOTUS. Where is our organized effort to combat it – in a thousand pieces going in a thousand directions. Not much of a fight ahead. IGIO.

  11. Chutzpah,

    It’s a perfect descriptor of for the slide towards fear and loathing.

    Moxie is the antithesis of Chutzpah.

    Moxie is waking up with energy, kind of like being woke? Maybe, that’s a stretch. But it also means having the Huevos, The Stones, The Bollocks, to combat the Chutzpah, but instead of Moxie, we have Schmatta!!! Schmatta an excellent descriptor in so many ways!


    Numbers the 16th chapter! Read that, I’ll wager you’ll find it interesting and exactly what you referred to.

    The Hebrews had a word, Emunah, The Yiddish language uses another term, Loyalti!

    And we can see in Numbers the 16th chapter, what happens when there is a lack of Loyalti in Emunah towards the “Got” of their forefathers!

    There absolutely are lessons to be learned, Deceitful or Faithless Mishegoss will always pay a penalty eventually.

  12. I learned about racism in Virginia in the 60s going to school there after avoiding learning about it in upstate NY for my first 18 years. To say it was one of the most disappointing revelations of my life about my species would be an understatement. It was even more so when wrapped in piety as it often was.

    My next discovery was that neither my attitudes about it nor racist attitudes could be changed by ordinary means and that launched a lifelong interest in cultures and how they define us individually and collectively. I suppose good from bad is also an old story.

    I am confident in the arc of the moral universe but also realistic about the rate of cultural change. It is meant to require multi-generational time spans to change. In the meantime what we have to maintain the arc is democracy to keep it out of power even though what culture uses to resist change is rumor, gossip, innuendo, and advertising/propaganda which can be greatly amplified by social/entertainment media. That’s what Stephen Miller is an expert at.

  13. Seems like every enumerated solution to a huge social problem founders on the rock of current human nature, from racism/xenophobia to science/fear and addiction/greed. Think about it.
    Watch the movie “Idiocracy” about the eventual takeover by the Entertained
    Also “The Marching Morons.”

  14. Calling Miller a “snake” is disgraceful to snakes. Maybe rat, or just plain vermin would be appropriate.

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