Letter: Not welcome in Pittsburgh

Published 8:42 pm Friday, November 2, 2018

Following the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history, 11 members of Bend the Arc — a Jewish Partnership for Justice — in a letter written Sunday accused the president of “deliberately undermining the safety” of minority groups, and said he is not welcome in Pittsburgh until he denounces white nationalism.

“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted … you have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.” The group also said Trump is not welcome until he also stops targeting minorities, immigrants and refugees.

The president has “spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America.”

Email newsletter signup

“The Torah teaches that every human being is made … in the image of God. This means all of us” …“In our neighbors, Americans and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.”

The politically conservative Daily Caller News Foundation found 92 percent of all “ideologically motivated homicide incidents” committed in the United States from 2007 to 2016 were motivated by right-wing extremism or white supremacism. According to the Government Accountability Office of the United States, 73 percent of violent extremist incidents that resulted in deaths since Sept. 12, 2001, were caused by right-wing extremist groups.

The day of the synagogue massacre a white supremacist murdered two unarmed black people in a Kroger store.

According to the Anti-Defamation League and other studies, hate crimes increased 34 percent in 2016 and 57 percent in 2017. 2018 is keeping pace with 2017’s record number. For the first time in history, nine white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers feel emboldened to openly run for Congress.

What changed in those two years to account for such an increase? For the first time in my 70-year lifetime we had a candidate, now president, who encouraged supporters to commit violence against his rivals and critics, and called the press the “enemy of the people.” Dan Rather decided Trump was a danger to the country when he hinted in a campaign speech on Aug. 9, 2016, that the “Second Amendment people” should assassinate Hillary Clinton.

During the Kavanaugh hearings Trump said all people should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but at his next rally he celebrated his attendees chanting “lock her up” about Diane Feinstein who had been found guilty of absolutely nothing. I watched tape of another of his rallies where he was talking about “crooked Hillary,” and an attendee clearly shouted “Shoot her!” Trump then mentioned Maxine Waters, and an attendee shouted “shoot her, too!” Any other president would have said, something to the effect of “Stop that! We don’t imprison or shoot our opponents in this country.” Those supporters are the mob that Republicans accuse Democrats of being.

This privileged man is the eternal victim. He is aggrieved and gives his supporters tacit permission to feel aggrieved as well and to act on their grievances. Many, undeniably, have! In this election we must vote in a Congress that will be a check on this dishonest, ignorant man so clearly unfit to be president.

Lonna Gooden Van Horn