American Heroes Ivanka & Jared Convince US President To Tepidly State 'Jew Killers Are Bad'
Children's host and professional decent person Fred Rogers advised us to "look for the helpers" during times of crisis. Saturday's mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- literally in Mr. Rogers's neighborhood -- sent most of us scrambling in search of "helpers," and it seems like we might've found them in the form of Ivanka Trump and her first husband, Jared Kushner.
The New York Times reported Sunday that it took the "importuning of Mr. Trump's Jewish daughter and son-in-law to craft a powerful statement of outrage at anti-Semitism" after the deadliest anti-Semitic incident in US history. To translate from fancy-schmancy New York English, "importune" means to "ask pressingly and persistently for" something. I presume it went something like this:
Ivanka: C'mon, say something bad about anti-Semitism! I (checks "word of the day" calendar) "importune" you.
Trump: Don't bother me with this right now! Have you seen my hair?
Trump: Fine! Man, you act like someone died.
Let's take a look at the results of all that "importuning."
No, that's just Trump tweeting about a baseball game on the same day 11 Jewish Americans were slaughtered by a sack of sentient feces who reportedly told police "All these Jews need to die." Here's the weak-sauce condemnation of anti-Semitism that Ivanka will no doubt include in her 2018 employee review.
"Extract the poison" of anti-Semitism? Who's writing Trump's barely human sentiments? It's probably not Ivanka because she was worn out from convincing her father to tweet empty words. When Trump suggests that we "unite to conquer hate" (like an especially preachy Prince lyric), he must mean after the World Series is over and once he's finished blaming his political enemies for the shooting.
During his remarks at the Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis Saturday, Trump boldly described the Pittsburgh shooting as "an anti-Semitic act." I wouldn't hand out any Nobels to the guy since the shooter flat-out confessed his anti-Semitic motivations. This is the "water is wet" or "gladiator sandals are unattractive" of moral declarations. Trump went on to claim, "You wouldn't think this would be possible in this day and age, but we just don't seem to learn from the past." I don't know about we, kemosabe, but it's not surprising that you don't remember the distant past of just last year when Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, and insisted Jews "will not replace [them]." You said there were "very fine people" on "both sides." The problem with Nazis is that they tend to kill the people on the other side.
This is like how Ronald Reagan twiddled his thumbs and let thousands of people die from AIDS. But it's not Trump's silence that contributed to these deaths. It's his enabling and almost blatant encouragement of bigotry. George Selim of the Anti-Defamation League reported a nearly "60 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 over the previous year, 2016" and "nearly a 90 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in K-12 classrooms in schools across the US." This is a stain on an administration that would rather scare Americans about threats from slow-moving caravans.
Ivanka and Jared apparently "urged" Trump to visit Pittsburgh this week, which is what normal presidents do after horrific attacks like this one without begging and pleading from the one adult child they like. I suppose they deserve "credit" for actually achieving something inside the White House, but a Pittsburgh-based Jewish group would prefer Trump "fully denounce" white nationalism before pitching bags of matzah at them for some photo op.
Personally, I'd like to join my Jewish brothers and sisters and kindly "importune" Ivanka and Jared to go fuck themselves.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.