Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was ripped by an employee for failing to condemn the Presidential nominee’s recent anti-Semitic attack.
Dana Schwartz, a writer for a newspaper owned by Kushner, initially responded to Trump’s despicable tweet — a widely-condemned meme featuring a “Star of David” superimposed over a pile of money — in a tweet of her own.
But Schwartz decided to go a step further and pen the open letter to Kushner after receiving a flood of abusive and anti-Semitic messages from Trump’s supporters in reply to her initial tweet. Like Kushner, his wife Ivanka Trump, and their children, Schwartz is Jewish.
“When you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, you’re giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval,” Schwartz says in response to Kushner’s failure to call out his father-in-law’s bigoted vitriol.
“Please do not condescend to me and pretend you don’t understand the imagery of a six-sided star when juxtaposed with money and accusations of financial dishonesty. I’m asking you, not as a ‘gotcha’ journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this.”
The piece, “An Open Letter to Jared Kushner, From One of Your Jewish Employees,” has already gone viral and is a must-read. A portion of the letter is below:
I responded to the meme, calling out its blatant anti-Semitic imagery because people can play ignorant, blame the corrupt liberal media for trying to “get” Trump, but it takes only a basic knowledge of world history or an understanding of how symbols work to see a wall of cash, a Star of David, and the accusation of corruption and not see the subtext.
But deny or play dumb as you might, when I tweeted out my response, my worst fears were realized: his message, whether purposeful or inadvertent, was met with cheers by those to whom that star’s message was certainly clear. Mr. Trump’s tweet was seen as a winking promise to this nation’s worst and most hateful individuals.
He and his campaign deny that the image—which had been found, previous to Trump’s tweet, on a white supremacist internet forum—has any Jewish implications at all. Instead of acknowledging the obvious, he and his campaign used it as an opportunity to undermine the free media in the style of the most dangerous regimes in history, and mock those like me, who had been getting strangers on the Internet telling her to put her head in the oven for the past day and a half.
You went to Harvard, and hold two graduate degrees. Please do not condescend to me and pretend you don’t understand the imagery of a six-sided star when juxtaposed with money and accusations of financial dishonesty. I’m asking you, not as a “gotcha” journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this. Your father-in-law’s repeated accidental winks to the white supremacist community is perhaps a savvy political strategy if the neo-Nazis are considered a sizable voting block—I confess, I haven’t done my research on that front.
But when you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, you’re giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval. Because maybe Donald Trump isn’t anti-Semitic. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think he is. But I know many of his supporters are, and they believe for whatever reason that Trump is the candidate for them.
I can’t abide another defensive blame-shift to the media or to “politically correct culture gone amok.” David Duke, outspoken and explicit white supremacist, anti-Semite, and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, saw the image your father-in-law tweeted out, and to him the message was quite clear to him. Those aren’t stereotypical “sheriff” hands in the corner.
The worst people in this country saw your father-in-law’s message and took it as they saw fit. And yet Donald Trump in his response chose not to condemn them, the anti-Semites who, by his argument were obviously misinterpreting the image, but the media.
And now, Mr. Kushner, I ask you: What are you going to do about this? Look at those tweets I got again, the ones calling me out for my Jewish last name, insulting my nose, evoking the holocaust, and tell me I’m being too sensitive. Read about the origins of that image and see the type of people it attracted like a flies to human waste and tell me this whole story is just the work of the “dishonest media.” Look at that image and tell me, honestly, that you just saw a “Sheriff’s Star.” I didn’t see a sheriff star, Mr. Kushner, and I’m a smart person. After all, I work for your paper.
Edmund Burke once said, in times that are starting to seem more and more similar: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Well, here I am, and here we are. Both Jewish, both members of the media. And you might choose silence, but I’ve said my peace.