Trump Finally Directly Denounces Anti-Semitism After Weeks of Refusing To Do So
After numerous press events in which he'd vaguely condemned bigotry without directly mentioning anti-Semitism—and after 11 Jewish community centers were targeted with bomb threats on Monday—Trump went on the record to say that he denounces anti...
Below is what happened on Trump's 22nd day in office. You can find out what damage was done every other day so far on the Saddest Calendar on the Internet.
In a series of arguably insincere events, Trump took a tour of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. this morning, during which he took a moment to condemn the rise in anti-Semitic attacks since the election. "The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," he said.
"Anti-Semitism is horrible and it's going to stop and it has to stop," he later told MSNBC, adding that he denounces anti-Semitism "whenever [he gets] a chance."
This is, however, demonstrably untrue. Beyond his blatant omission of the Jewish narrative in his statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day—a holiday the United Nations established in 2005 to commemorate the six million Jews, two million Roma, and thousands of non-heterosexual and disabled people who died at the hands of the Nazis—Trump was heavily criticized heavily last week for telling a Jewish reporter to "sit down" after the reporter asked him about the uptick of anti-Semitism in the country.
"He said this was going to be a very simple, easy question, and it's not," Trump told the room, going on to insist that he was "the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life," though the reporter had not accused him of being anti-Semitic.
As reported on The Hill, Trump also refused to directly acknowledge the issue directly during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Wednesday. When asked about anti-Semitism, Trump responded by "citing the size of his Electoral College victory and referencing his Jewish son-in-law, White House aide Jared Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism when she married Kushner," The Hill notes. "Trump said only that he would 'stop long-simmering racism' but did not specifically refer to anti-Semitism."
Despite Trump's refusal to directly engage with the issue, anti-Semitic attacks have become a regular occurrence in the past two months. On Monday alone, at least 11 Jewish community centers across the country were targeted with bomb threats. (In all, there have been 69 incidents targeting 54 Jewish institutions in the first two months of the year alone, according to CNN.) In addition, police announced today that at least 100 headstones in a St. Louis Jewish cemetery had been vandalized, following disturbing reports of the desecration this weekend.
Notably, it wasn't until the Anti-Defamation called on Trump "to address ongoing threats to Jewish communities" that he spoke out.
That's bleak. Who's fighting it?
The Anti-Defamation League has been integral in the fight against anti-Semitism, not only domestically but worldwide.