100 Senators, all 100 Senators do something, but not quite enough

One hundred Senators have signed a letter asking for an investigation into the rash of antisemitic actions taken against Jewish synagogues and community centers. Getting all one hundred to agree on anything is remarkable, and indicative of the seriousness of this problem.  Who missed the signals? Who didn’t think that among the Trump supporters there were those who were avid readers of Neo Nazi and White Supremacist media? They were there all along.

There was a blatant example at a Trump rally in Phoenix where a man abused members of the press in October 2016. “As the rest of the crowd broke into a chant of “USA! USA!” the man chanted, “Jew-S-A!” He made a hand gesture that some on social media said resembled hate symbols flagged by the Anti-Defamation League.” See also: Slate, The Hill.  So, what would inspire the basest of the Trump base to indulge in hateful actions?

Could it have been the installation of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon in the White House? It seems to me that is a clear signal that the misogyny, sexism, and White Nationalist slant of that publication was now acceptable in the highest realms of the US government.

Could it have been the announcement that the focus would shift from domestic terrorism to “radical Islamic” varieties in February?

“The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.”

Imagine, is the message here that if you are a member of one of the nefarious anti-government militias, one of the all too numerous antisemitic groups, one of the White Nationalist outfits, the spotlight will no longer shine on you?  Now, like cock roaches, you will be free to scamper about in the dark without the light shining on you all that brightly.

There’s no need to speculate why these unsettling bomb threats are being called in to community centers, schools, and synagogues.  There’s no need to cogitate too energetically about why three Jewish cemeteries were vandalized.  The answer is sitting in the Oval Office, saying “stop it, oh please, stop it.”  And nothing else.

However, the letter didn’t quite go far enough.  In August 2012 we were given horrifying proof that the troglodytes infesting the right wing couldn’t tell the difference between a Muslim and an Sikh.  Six innocent people died at the hands of a radicalized nitwit. Sadly, we’re not free of the Nit Wit Segment — not in Seattle.  Investigating a spate of nasty antisemitic actions is important, but it’s also important to protect other citizens as well. In Kansas there’s a fool who couldn’t tell the difference between a Sikh, a Muslim, or a Hindu. Worse still, the fools seem not to care — the person just doesn’t “look like us,” in Kent, Washington.

Among those other citizens are Muslims. The attacks are now so numerous that the ACLU has created an interactive map showing the incidence of anti-Muslim assaults and attacks. It’s not like the attacks, the mosque burnings, and the personal assaults have diminished. We know we have a problem when someone puts up an interactive map to keep up with the incidents. What might be used to justify these hateful actions?  Changing the focus of the law enforcement investigations from generic hate to specifically focusing on radicalized Islamic heretics?

The effort of the Senate is important and welcome, but it hardly goes far enough to stem the current activities of bigots and hate filled criminals who would attack anyone not of their own “tribe.”  Spreading stereotypes of Muslims, immigrants, and others simply becomes an excuse in fevered minds for assaults on their targets of choice. This must stop.  It must stop immediately. If the president won’t lead the effort, then members of the Senate and other top government officials must take up the burden. It is a burden not to be borne by the American public.

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