Last week President Trump referred to Congressman Adam Schiff as “Shifty Schiff.” Congressman Schiff is Jewish and referring to someone as a “shifty Jew” is just one of many old anti-Semitic stereotypes.
I have heard the argument that Trump just chose the nickname because it sounds like his last name (Schiff-Shifty), but the nickname is a slur against his ethnicity and religion. Just because someone’s name sounds similar to an ethnic slur against that person does not allow you off the hook for the slur.
This is not the first time that President Trump has made comments against the Jewish people. In August 2017 after the protests in Charlottesville led to a group of white nationalist/Neo-Nazi’s murdering a counter protester, Trump said that there were good people on both sides. Implying that Nazis are also good people is something I never thought an American President would say.
Trump has also railed against George Soros, who frequently donates to the Democratic Party, by calling him a “Globalist,” another very old attack against Jewish people, saying that they secretly control the world.
In October of 2018 a white nationalist shot and killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. While the shooter himself criticized Trump for not going after Jews enough, Trump’s consistent anti-Semitic rhetoric is partly to blame for the tragedy. Even today as many Jews around the world are observing the Yom Kippur holiday, there has been yet another shooting of Jewish people worshiping in synagogue.
The President should not be making these kinds of disparaging comments against the Jewish people nor should he be making them against any group of people. But sadly this is what we’ve come to expect from Trump.