The Resurgence of Antisemitism and Hate

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A sign outside the entrance to the David Posnack Jewish Community Center after people were evacuated because of a bomb threat, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, in Davie, Fla. Photo Courtesy of salon.com

James Hill
CONTRIBUTOR

Animosity toward Jewish people and immigrants have skyrocketed as of late.

In the last two months, there has been 100 bomb threats sent to Jewish community centers and schools. Around 100 gravestones were vandalized in Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia in the same week. Two Indian men, who were mistaken to be Iranian, were attacked in Kansas City by an assailant who reportedly shouted, “Get out of my country!”

Parents are beginning to pull their children from schools due to the frequency of these threats. 50 students that attend a Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Orlando, Florida have withdrawn and 12 families removed their children from a center in Albany, New York.

These events are stirring up memories from those who have already suffered far more than any human should.

“My father’s a Holocaust survivor, and I just called him up, and he’s crying on the phone,” Dr. Jamie Husyman said to CNN affiliate WSVN. Huysman also has a child in a JCC that received a bomb threat.

President Trump addressed these hate-fueled acts during his address to Congress on Feb. 28.

“Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said.

Trump condemning these acts is meaningless considering he only added fuel to the embers of hate during his campaign.

He generalized Mexican immigrants as “murders” and “rapists.” Trump’s immigration ban originally was for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” On CNN, Trump said he thinks the entirety of “Islam hates us” and not just radical Muslims, who hate everyone including other Muslims.

Trump might not have said anything ill toward the Jewish community, but he did not need to. His biggest fans, the alt-right, have that covered.

The alt-right is a “movement” centered on white nationalism. This group has been accused of whitewashing clear racism, white supremacism and neo-Nazism. The man who coined this phrase, Richard Spencer, is a white supremacist. Spencer repeatedly quotes Nazi propaganda and has openly been critical of Jews.

“One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,” Spencer said about Jewish people in a speech in Washington.

During the same speech, he said that America belongs to the whites. A major idea among alt-righters is an all-white country would be a utopia.

“America was, until this last generation, a white country, designed for ourselves and our posterity,” Spencer said. “It is our creation and our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”

President Trump, whose daughter practices Orthodox Judaism, can never fully separate himself from the alt-right and their backwards beliefs since he hired Steve Bannon, who was the head of the alt-right Breitbart News, as chief White House strategist.

Bannon says that he is not racist or anti-Semitic but he is “happy to pander to those people and make common cause with them in order to transform conservatism into European far-right nationalist populism.”

Bannon had some disturbing remarks to criticisms from the media toward him.

“Darkness is good: Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing,” Bannon said.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump said he would not even considered hiring Bannon if he thought Bannon was a racist.

President Trump may have thought he was tapping into the silent, rural communities that are angry over the lack of blue collar jobs, being unable to speak without offending someone, being called homophobic just because they are Christian and just wanting the government to leave them alone. Trump may have believed that speaking negatively toward Mexicans, Muslims and “saying how it is” would be just the thing these people wanted to hear. In doing so, Trump unknowingly made it socially acceptable to hate again.

The only redeeming factor of the alt-right is hating political correctness. As liberal from a tiny, rural Iowa community filled by deep red conservatives, the only way to win a discussion about social issues or politics is to speak your mind without a filter. When you speak honestly without worrying about upsetting someone, it makes you seem genuine.

So, if you are a firm believer in the alt-right and all of their crazy ideas about how American society should be, your way of thinking is obsolete. If you believe Jews, blacks and Muslims are lesser than you, I do not consider you American. You are not welcome here.

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