I would like to respond to the op-ed piece titled “Hate groups ignored for eight years” as both an American Jew and a veteran of the Yom Kippur War (1973).
I especially take umbrage with your conclusion, and I quote “Perhaps we owe Trump the benefit of the doubt in the same way Americans did for President Obama”.
If you look back in history it is precisely when we did give the benefit of the doubt to national leaders, Jews were either expelled from their homes or exterminated. To compare the small number of anti-Semites within the Occupy Wall Street protest to the 100+ white supremacist conference (in Washington DC) who pledged allegiance to Trump with a Nazi solute is more than a stretch, it is hurtful to the millions of Jews and Arabs (they are Semites too) in this country. More importantly, those in the conference, I believe were there to celebrate the increased level of hate crimes and anti-Semitic acts (Nazi symbols on cupcakes, really!) that have been reported since Trump has been elected. In other words they feel they and there hatred are now part of the American fabric.
I doubt that Obama or Pelosi were condoning the anti-Semitic sentiment of anyone in Occupy Wall Street, but rather were supporting the first amendment. I would compare Trump’s reaction to the nightly, protest of marchers in front of his Tower.
Most importantly I wonder how the current level of anti-Semitism and racism could have been avoided if our President-Elect would have conducted himself civilly (not pc) and denounced these hate group, before, during and immediately after the election. I also wonder what if Trump apologized to our current President for five years of undermining his very citizenship. If the language used during the election, founded on perpetual lies about American citizens and immigrants (I am an immigrant from Israel) was different and if the election was about not obfuscating the truth, but appealing to voters on positive change founded on our Constitution. Just wondering….
In reading your opinion I saw that you took the time to search for quotes that supported your argument, as well as caveat the reasonableness of your argument.
Nevertheless you were comparing two leaders and their response to hate.
I would argue that Obama, who was the receiver of Trumps racism ( birther movement) knows well that words matter, and words can also delude so that people act irrationally, regardless of past history and facts.