Anti-Semitism in the White House?

DAILY DOSE OF FACTS:

  • An anti-Semite is a person who is a person who is hostile to or prejudiced against Jewish people.
  • According to the ADL, anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses nearly doubled from 2015 to 2016.
  • On Thursday, February 16, Donald Trump refused to respond to a reporter when he asked how the White House plans to address the recent bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers.

 

SO WHAT’S GOING ON?

In January, 48 Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) in 26 states and one Canadian province received almost 60 bomb threats. On January 9, 18 and 31, most of these threats were made in rapid succession. Nearly 60 bomb threats.

 

SO WHAT IS THE WHITE HOUSE DOING TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?

On Thursday, February 16, Donald Trump held a press conference and was confronted with a question by Jake Turx, a Jewish reporter with Ami Magazine. Turx was aware of Trump’s defensiveness and prefaced his question about the rise in bomb threats against JCCs accordingly. He stated he did not see any evidence that Trump or the staff were anti-Semitic and mentioned Trump’s Jewish grandchildren. He then asked why the dozens of bomb threats to JCCs not being addressed by the White House and how the government is planning to take care of an uptick in anti-Semitism.

Trump’s response was felt around the room. He interrupted Turx that his question was not “simple” and “easy.” He also told the reporter to sit down as he continued to defend himself and not answer the question.

Then, Trump stated, “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.” This statement, which, regardless of how you feel about Trump, is false and not what Turx asked. Anti-Semitism is a real issue and by deflecting this important question about bomb threats to JCCs, Trump is wasting an opportunity to hold his staff accountable to address the threats made about Jewish American citizens.

Later on during the conference, Jared Rizzi, the White House correspondent for Sirius XM followed up on Turx’s question. Rizzi said, “It’s not about your personality or your beliefs. We’re talking about a rise in anti-Semitism around the country. Some of it by supporters in your name. What can you do to deter that?”

Again, Trump was defensive. He said that it was his political opponent’s supporters that were making him seem anti-Semitic.  Again, Trump did not answer the question.

Click here to watch the segment of the conference.

 

SO IS ANYTHING BEING DONE?

The FBI stated that the bureau and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are “investigating possible civil rights violations in connections with threats to Jewish Community Centers across the country.”

Currently, there has been increased security and panic among parents. Children have been withdrawn from programs due to the fear of attacks on JCCs. Those sources of funds are causing centers to have to cut their budgets and lay off staff.

As of February 20, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has just responded to the latest string of bomb threats to JCCs. He responded “Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom. The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”

Although there has been a response by the White House, no action has taken place to stop these threats.

 

SO WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

There has been a significant rise in anti-Semitism across the world and increased acts and expressions of bigotry surrounding the U.S. presidential campaign. Last year and this January proved to have increasingly high numbers of local anti-Semitic incidents.

The chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Anti-Semitism Task Force stated, “The rhetoric around the presidential election not only legitimized bigotry against all minorities, as we’ve seen through a variety of statistics, but also included specific coded and overt anti-Semitic expressions. That climate on the national level affects the local community too.”

In short?

You should care because if history has taught us anything, it has taught us that increases in violence and harassment against minorities, whether based on religion, gender, race, sexuality or other identities, can have terrible and destructive consequences.

 

 

SO WHAT DO I THINK?

 

If you know me, chances are you know what I think about this issue. Anti-Semitism has run deep throughout the world since the Jewish faith began. The Jewish history is plagued with slavery, murder, blame, and, of course, the Holocaust.

I will never forget the day that I was torn away from my naive world with the words,

“I hate Jewish people.”

I never imagined a person I knew could hate a group of people. The years following this statement were filled with news and quotes far too similar. I still don’t fully understand this kind of hatred, but I’ve learned that hate is inspired by fear.

I think Trump’s fear of being called an anti-Semite and racist are preventing any real action to be taken place to address the recent bomb threats on JCCs. I think that because Judaism is in the minority, that some people see Jewish people as “scary” and “different.” I also think that my ancestors would be proud of me for writing this article. I think each time someone stands up for a minority group that the world is made a bit better.

 

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ABOUT THIS?

THINK

Think about what you say. Do you make jokes about minority groups or religions? Do you use derogatory language towards individuals who have different identities than your own?

Don’t stick to once source of news, whether that be CNN, FOX, or another leaning news source. Diversify your information by reading local newspapers or articles from news sources that are from a different racial or religious perspective.

 

STAND UP

Stand up to your government and demand correct answers to questions posed in new conferences. Write to your local legislation and press. Are there resources you can lend to your local Jewish Community Centers?

I honestly don’t know if we can make the Trump Administration tell the truth and do away with “alternative facts.” I do think that writing to local and state government can only help. Even if you email or letter ends up in a pile, at least it makes the pile bigger and bigger until it can no longer be ignored.

Standing up to your government and prejudice is not easy, but rather necessary. Everything you say or do about or for a minority group can have an effect on the way others perceive that group.

 

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What Do We Do Now? (A Message To Every Voter)

If you’re reading this, you know my opinions. If you’re reading this, you know that the election is near over. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably curious about what the future holds. And, believe it or not, you have a say in that future.

Yes, Trump is leading and will probably win the United States Presidential Election of 2016. Yes, the House and the Senate are pretty red. But you can have a say in the future of this country.

If you voted, for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or a third party nominee, you have added your voice to history. If you didn’t vote, you have wasted your right to exercise your voice, a right which millions have died for and continue to die for. Although I do believe in the incredible freedom that we have in this country to choose what we do, I cannot understand why you have wasted your right. I’m not sure if you thought that this election was unimportant or if you were ‘protesting,’ but I urge you to take a look at the closeness

I highly doubt no matter who you voted for, that you agree with 100% of their political, economic, and social stances. It is for that reason, why I urge you, even if your preferred candidate has won the election, that you continue to use your voice.

 

Use your voice to protest the vetting of Muslims or to continue to learn more about a terrorist organization that does not represent a religion.

Use your voice to fight for the protection of Roe v. Wade or to fight for your belief in a fetus’s rights.

Use your voice to understand the implications of fracking and pipelines on the environment or go to ND to stand up for a marginalized community.

Use your voice to utilize your freedom of speech and increase awareness of your fact-based opinions on platforms that are not only Facebook and Twitter.

Use your voice to fight for the BLM movement or don’t…though I can’t understand why.

Use your voice to understand the implications of Russia’s actions during this election and learn more about the one-sided hacking that Russia has gotten away with. We need to worry about this.

Use your voice to call for an increase in gun restriction laws or practice gun safety with your own firearms.

Use your voice to fight against prejudice on the LGBTQI community or learn more about your religious leaders’ views about tolerance to this community of human beings.

Use your voice to have a dialogue with other Americans in a productive way to learn about their opposing views.

Use your voice to rally behind a cause you believe in, and do not sway or support silently.

 

I can’t tell you what to believe in. No one can force opinions into a person’s mind. But I sincerely urge you to use your amazing gift of freedom to learn about different viewpoints. I urge you to not rant on Facebook for four years. I urge you to go to Standing Rock, to go to a BLM event, or to sign your name on petitions. I urge you to respect the human dignity of your fellow American citizens, though you do not agree with their values.

As an American citizen, you get to read and learn and speak and scream and stand and VOTE for what you believe is right. Have the courage to stand up for everything and anything. Do not complain or go by idly for an entire presidential term.

 

And, to all of the Trump supporters and to my friends who voted for him:

I do not agree with your values, ideas, or beliefs that coincide with his, but I do respect you and your right to an opinion. I hope that you can respect my right to my voice, which is all I can ask. I congratulate you on your preferred candidate’s win, but now we are faced with the difficult task of uniting an incredibly divided country. A country that is angry and in pain.

 

I truly believe in the power of our voices, and I hope you do as well. Today, I don’t stand with him or her. I stand with a country that is in need of change and unity. I hope you do as well.

Why I’m Not Voting For Trump (Besides Him Being a Terrible ‘Human Being’)

Let me first say that these are my individual opinions. I am voting for Hillary Clinton because I align with most of her stances on key issues that are important to me. I encourage everyone to not decide on a candidate based on who they see on CNN/FOX the most. Instead, learn about their positions on issues that are most important to you. Pick the candidate you think will positively impact our country. Don’t pick someone for the wrong reasons. And… don’t pick Donald Trump.

  1. Trump doesn’t believe in climate change.
    • For 400,000 years, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have never been over 300 parts per million…. Now? It’s 400 parts per million. That’s a 100 parts per MILLION in under 70 years. But yeah no, climate change isn’t real.
    • Due to this increase, the acidity of surface ocean waters is increasing, because of the absorption of carbon dioxide. The amount of absorption is increasing by 2 billion tons per year. Not sure if you heard, that’s 4409245600000 lbs.
  2. Doesn’t believe we should prioritize green energy.
  3. He believes in absolute gun ownership and doesn’t think our country needs to have more restrictive gun laws.
    • US: guns: 2.97 gun homicides per 100,000 people in 2012
      • Australia: no guns –> 0.14 gun homicides per 100,000 people in 2012
    • 372 Mass shootings in the United States in 2015
    • 80% of people who carry out mass shootings obtain firearms legally… proving the need for a better screening process. It’s common sense.
  4. Doesn’t believe Planned Parenthood should be government-funded.
    • Disregarding personal beliefs about abortion, the costs of cutting funding to Planned Parenthood (PP) would be detrimental.
    • More than half of the nearly 3 million people who use PP each year could lose access because they rely on public health programs. 4 in 10 women who get care from a family planning center say it’s their main source of health care.
    • PP is a trusted health care provider and provides crucial health services such as:
      • “nearly 4.5 million STI tests and treatments, including HIV tests;
      • over 900,000 cancer screenings and preventive services;
      • more than 3.5 million contraceptive services; and
      • approximately 65,000 family practice services — including treatment of chronic diseases and authorization for hospital care.” (istandwithpp.org)
    • Well why can’t other providers be put in place?
      • In 2011, five clinics were slashed in an effort to defund PP. These clinics offered HIV testing. In March 2016, Mike Pence (YES THAT ONE) declared a state of emergency due to an unprecedented outbreak of HIV… rooting from… YOU GUESSED IT… the town where those clinics were closed.
  5. He thinks that law enforcement should be allowed to use racial profiling.
  6. He believes in the Mexico border wall.
    • Besides this being financially impossible (more than $6 billion to construct, conservatively, and $49 billion to maintain for more than 20 years), it’s almost physically impossible (you know… because of mountains?). (Oh and Mexico won’t be paying… cause duh. Calderon won’t have it.)
    • The wall will ruin our relationship with one of our most trusted trading partners.
    • The wall has been tried before and failed.
    • There are 18 federally protected species found along certain sections of the California border and more than 39 federally endangered, threatened, or candidate species that live along the Arizona border. Conservationists won’t have that.
  7. Doesn’t think GMO labels should be mandatory.
  8. Believes waterboarding should be a legal interrogation option.
    • Even though it’s been proved that false information is more than often gained from this torture technique, he believes in it.
    • According to the UN Convention Against Torture, torture is “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession.”
    • There are horrible forces and people in this world using techniques, but the United States is not, and should not, be one of those places. Human dignity and respect for life should be prioritized. There are other methods of interrogation and defense that can be used without degrading the human person.

 

I’ve excluded racist comments and sexual assault comments from this post. But take them into account. I have, because they are equally important. I just wanted to give a clearer picture of the opinions of Donald Trump without the haze of bigotry that surrounds him constantly.

I urge everyone to vote because your vote matters!