Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"A pathetic asterisk of condescension"

A lovely denunciation of Trump's weak statement about antisemitism today:
Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect 12 hrs ·

Statement of Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, on President Trump's acknowledgment of Antisemitism today: 
“The President’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own Administration. His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record. Make no mistake: The Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration. The White House repeatedly refused to mention Jews in its Holocaust remembrance, and had the audacity to take offense when the world pointed out the ramifications of Holocaust denial. And it was only yesterday, President’s Day, that Jewish Community Centers across the nation received bomb threats, and the President said absolutely nothing. When President Trump responds to Antisemitism proactively and in real time, and without pleas and pressure, that’s when we’ll be able to say this President has turned a corner. This is not that moment.”
And here's Sean Spicer's whiny response (from TPM):
Spicer said he had seen the statement.
“I think he has been very forceful with his denunciation of people who seek to attack people because of their hate, because — excuse me, because of their religion, because of their gender, because of the color of their skin," he said. "This is something that he is going to fight and make very, very clear that has no place in this administration.” 
“But I think it's ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this that it's never good enough,” Spicer continued. “Today I think was an unbelievably forceful comment by the President as far as his denunciation of the actions that are currently targeted towards Jewish community centers. But I think that he has been very clear previous to this that he wants to be someone that brings this country together and not divide people, especially in those areas.”
“So I saw that statement. I wish that they had praised the President for his leadership in this area. And I think that hopefully as time continues to go by they recognize his commitment to civil rights, to voting rights, to equality for all Americans,” he said.
When has Trump ever denounced those who seek to attack people because of their religion, gender, or skin color? He himself has attacked Muslims and Mexicans, he apparently can't tell one Black person from another, and he has issued an executive order to target undocumented immigrants for deportation, as if they are the source of all evil in our country. This was not an "unbelievably forceful comment." It was perfunctory and off-hand. The president has shown no leadership whatsoever when it comes to condemning hate crimes and bigotry. He fosters bigotry rather than fighting against it.

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