Day 32-34: Bigotry
Reading from a prepared statement on Tuesday, Donald Trump called a recent rise in anti-Semitism “horrible” and “painful.” Trump’s statements come on the heels of a blatant rise of anti-Semitic actions, including over 48 bomb threats and the desecration of over 200 graves in St. Louis.
However, it sure has taken the President a while to decry anti-Jewish sentiment, and some previous actions have led many to question the integrity of the recent statements. Trump made some questionable tweets during the campaign, and recently failed to mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As with most Trump-related issues, it is important in this case to look at the man behind the curtain, Steve Bannon. Bannon’s news organization, Breitbart, has published many articles which are blatantly offensive hit pieces aimed to disparage Jewish people, although a Breitbart writer did publish a propaganda piece calling Bannon “A Friend of the Jewish People”.
As with many things, Trump’s anti-Semitism is not easily gauged. Last year during his campaign, he tweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton labeling her as a “corrupt candidate” and depicting her with a red David’s star shape associated with Judaism.
The same picture was taken off of an alt-right online forum, though it was later deleted. The alt-right have been known to express anti-Semitic sentiments amidst their white supremacist ideologies.
In the same statement, Trump vowed to “Fight bigotry, intolerance, and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.” This seems like a bit of a hypocritical statement coming from Trump, as his own bigotry is well documented. So while it might seem that Trump is turning over a new leaf, it is more likely that he was simply succumbing to pressure to do literally the least that he could.