Letter: Rejecting anti-Semitism begins at home | VailDaily.com

Letter: Rejecting anti-Semitism begins at home

I am responding to the letter by Charlie Wick.

There is plenty of blame to go around in this current rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes, back to the Emperor Constantine, in fact, and today across the spectrum as I note. The dominant issue is the history of Christianity in the West as it is riddled with horrific anti-Semitism. Speaking as a Christian pastor and teacher, I always think it is wise to look in the mirror first before casting blame on others.

Indeed, as people have pointed out in online comments, you offer no documentation for your blame of Farrakhan for this current dramatic rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the U.S. Indeed, the accused perpetrator of the stabbing attack at the home of the New York Rabbi was from a Christian family, per the comment of the family’s pastor.

I prefer to have facts to back up my point of view. The exponential rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes is part of a documented increase in hate crimes since President Trump took office. That’s a fact, not a political point of view. These facts may be gleaned not only from the F.B.I’s hate crimes statistics, but also from academic studies of what is now called the “Trump Effect” on the rise in hate crimes per a study by two researchers from the University of Alabama and Loyola.  The researchers conclude: “Using time series analysis, we show that Donald Trump’s election in November of 2016 was associated with a statistically significant surge in reported hate crimes across the United States, even when controlling for alternative explanations. Further, by using panel regression techniques, we show that counties that voted for President Trump by the widest margins in the presidential election also experienced the largest increases in reported hate crimes.”

The rise in anti-Semitic attacks in this same period is the worst of the religious category in hate crimes increases, though clearly not the only hate crimes increase.

But one need not read reports or academic studies. There is plenty of documentation of the use of hate as a political strategy from Trump’s rallies.

An executive order here or there does not mean this political tactic of division is not the practice of the Trump administration. An EO is a piece of paper with a signature.

My point is we each have work to do in rejecting anti-Semitism. That starts by looking in the mirror. Honestly, it does.

Susan Thistlethwaite

Eagle County

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