Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Open Letter From Jewish Leaders Should Be From All Of Us

(Cartoon image is by David Fitzsimmons in the Arizona Daily Star.)

After the tragedy in Pittsburgh, Trump didn't even suspend his political hate speech for one day. He did however say he might go to Pittsburgh. I hope he doesn't, because he is likely to try and turn it into another self-serving political event.

Many others feel the same way. After hearing he might go to Pittsburg, 11 Jewish leaders penned an open letter to Trump -- a letter that has now been signed by over 36,000 people. That letter, which was read outside the White House on the day after the shooting, is printed below.

Personally, I would take it further. Decent people around the country should make it clear that Trump is not welcome in their cities either -- until he apologizes for his odious behavior and learns to act like a decent human.

Here is the letter from Bend The Arc:

President Trump:
Yesterday, a gunman slaughtered 11 Americans during Shabbat morning services. We mourn with the victims’ families and pray for the wounded. Here in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, we express gratitude for the first responders and for the outpouring of support from our neighbors near and far. We are committed to healing as a community while we recommit ourselves to repairing our nation.
For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.  
President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce 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.  
President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you stop targeting and endangering all minorities.
The murderer’s last public statement invoked the compassionate work of the Jewish refugee service HIAS at the end of a week in which you spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America. He killed Jews in order to undermine the efforts of all those who find shared humanity with immigrants and refugees.
President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you cease your assault on immigrants and refugees.
The Torah teaches that every human being is made b’tzelem Elohim, 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.  While we cannot speak for all Pittsburghers, or even all Jewish Pittsburghers, we know we speak for a diverse and unified group when we say:
President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you commit yourself to compassionate, democratic policies that recognize the dignity of all of us.

Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh Steering Committee

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