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Only Donald Trump Could Make News Headlines By Speaking Out Against Antisemitism

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | February 21, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | February 21, 2017 |

After four rounds of bomb threats in the last 5 weeks against Jewish Community Centers, and after considerable public pressure to do so, Donald Trump finally said the words “anti-Semitic” this morning in a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He said that “we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community at 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.”

It should also be noted that he also used the opportunity to brag about his election win.

In either respect, cool. He finally said it. Out loud. With his mouth. I am hopeful that the statement did not come with a wink. Nevertheless, for the Anne Frank Center (and most of us), it was too little, too late, lip service given under political pressure.

Here’s what I’m going to say about this. As I mentioned last week, my kids go to a JCC preschool. But my wife is also the assistant director of the JCC here. And I know this for a fact: Trump’s words and condemnations matter symbolically, but I can also say that — no matter what Trump does or does not say — the FBI, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement are taking these issues very seriously. They’re reaching out. They have been kind, responsible, receptive, and protective. They have been treating these bomb threats as hate crimes/Civil Rights violations since the beginning. There may be institutional problems, but at an individual level, the law enforcement community has been outstanding on this particular set of crimes.

In other words: Trump is a disaster, but our government bureaucracy is stronger than any one man, and most of the men and women who are actually being called upon to protect us are paying more than lip service. They’re doing their jobs.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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