In Tuesday’s Presidential debate, when asked a simple question about condemning white supremacists, the President could not simply disavow these groups. After their mention, the Proud Boys could barely contain their excitement. This is extremely dangerous.
We are gathering support for the Jewish communal statement below in which we urge political leaders and fellow Americans to unequivocally and explicitly denounce white supremacy, white supremacist organizations, and the individuals and groups who adopt and act on white supremacist and right-wing extremist ideologies.
Please sign on here to the Jewish communal statement below by Friday, October 2 at 10:00 AM ET.
We join today as representatives of Jewish American communal organizations in response to President Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacy during the September 29, 2020 Presidential Debate. The call to organizations like the Proud Boys, violent extremists with a long record of bigotry, to “stand back and stand by” immediately and dangerously galvanized groups and individuals supporting white supremacist ideologies.
White supremacy is a public safety emergency, a threat to American democracy and a global crisis. When white supremacists are encouraged by our own administration on the national debate stage, the security of the 2020 U.S. election is at stake as are the lives and safety of those routinely targeted by those groups. And the problematic impact of white supremacy in America exists both on the ground and online. Social media companies allow white supremacist groups to grow their membership. Algorithms and engagement metrics augment their voices. Troll storms torment their victims. Platforms are a mechanism for white supremacists to plan their attacks and even broadcast their violence.
We urge all our political leaders and all our fellow Americans to unequivocally and explicitly denounce white supremacy, white supremacist organizations, and the individuals and groups who adopt and act on white supremacist and right-wing extremist ideologies.
Jews as a people have a long history of being singled out, stigmatized, and blamed without basis during times of societal crisis. The Jewish community is not alone in experiencing these stigma. In times of great fear, uncertainty and unrest, the demonization of the other has had the capacity to encourage extreme violence fueled by bigotry, racism, hatred and antisemitism. Knowing the perilous reality of incitement compels us to call on all people and particularly all leaders to reject white supremacy and right-wing extremism.
Now is the time to condemn violence, not incite it. Now is the time to denounce white supremacy, not sustain it. Now is the time to encourage democracy, not jeopardize it.