After the Pittsburgh tragedy, words don’t seem enough

I’ve never understood antisemitism.

As a Mexican-American man with little exposure to Jewish people up until college, that hate always seemed like one group of white people discriminating another group of white people for no good reason.

I never understood why if our country went to war against the Nazis in World War II, we would have Americans that would act like the enemy.

We are supposed to be the heroes, not the villains.

So it never made sense why ANY American would hate or promote hatred or fear towards the same group of people our soldiers died to save. It seems to me like a betrayal of our values and what our ancestors fought for.

Why save a group only to hate them and persecute them later? It seems to me at that point we become our enemy.

In the wake of The Tree of Life Synagogue shooting the words “I’m sorry”, “that’s horrible” and “what a tragedy” don’t seem enough. No words seem adequate to express the terrible feelings around this unfortunate event.

Presently, I have many close friends and loved ones that are Jewish. Any of them could have been in attendance. Although I am not religious myself I personally have accompanied many of them to their place of worship for festivities or ceremonies. It could have been me. Any one of us.

Then to add insult to injury President Trump shows up in an attempt to, let’s say, pay his respects or console people, both of which he failed to do as his response to this atrocity was that all they needed was an armed guard inside the place of worship.

The degree of disconnect in our Commander-in-Chief is astronomical. I later learned through a friend that the dinner on Air Force One on the return from the visit to the Tree of Life synagogue for Jewish staffers onboard was pork ribs.

One would assume that for a man who’s son-in-law is Jewish as well as his daughter (who converted) and grandkids, he would have a greater sensitivity towards the Jewish faith and culture. However, it’s not surprising. His track record shows the opposite. His failure to decry racism, sexism, antisemitism and his penchant for promoting fringe ideologies as well as violence towards those that disagree with him have led us here.

In the span of a week, two Trump supporters attempted to carry out their own schemes with the intent to kill people that Trump has in the past blamed or demonized.

Words do indeed matter, especially when they come from a man that is supposed to be a leader and a role model.

Words can influence and inspire as can silence. In this case what Trump is saying is just as important as what he is not.

By not taking action and not denouncing these vile behaviors he is basically silently condoning them.

“Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. ” — Elie Wiesel