There has, thankfully, been a lot of criticism of Donald Trump for failing to condemn a speaker at a town hall in New Hampshire who said American Muslims are a problem because they’re forming “training camps…to kill us,” and the president is a Muslim who wasn’t born in the United States. Paul Waldman, a senior writer at the American Prospect and a columnist at the Washington Post, instructs the Republican Party that it is alienating minority groups by harboring such views.
Waldman offers this reflection, kind of out of nowhere:
When I was young, my parents would often tells us about how many Jews were among the white people active in the civil rights movement, often at great personal risk and for some, like Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, at the cost of their lives. Part of that was about my parents’ pride in their people’s participation in a righteous cause, but it was also a lesson in empathy: Jews supported the cause because they knew what it felt like to be outsiders, to be viewed with suspicion or contempt, to have your country tell you that though you’re here, you’re not a “real” American. Jews in America may not have suffered to anything like the degree that African-Americans did, but they understood.
I grew up in the same community. I reveled in this good feeling, too. The attitude is now 50 years old and self-congratulatory; Waldman leaves out the persecution of millions of Palestinians by a self-described Jewish government that is more racist and Islamophobic than Donald Trump and derives its chief political support from US Jews. He also leaves out the degree to which Jews are now insiders, after whom Republicans, and Democrats, clamor for campaign contributions. It’s cooler to be an outsider.
The columnist is helping to popularize the word PEP. Progressive Except Palestine! For his Palestinian omission is glaring to anyone under 30; and it is about to become a sore question inside the Democratic Party.
Thanks to Donald Johnson.