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.
Trump, speaking at African-American Museum, thanks Sen. Tim Scott.— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) February 21, 2017
"I like the state of SC…where I won by double, double, double digits" pic.twitter.com/cVgZM0GShh
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.
New statement from the Anne Frank Center: "Trump's sudden ackowlegement of Anti-Semitism is like a band-aid for cancer." pic.twitter.com/eh81LwBngi— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 21, 2017
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.