JALSA, along with Jewish social justice organizations across the country, has a long history of working to build strong relationships between communities of different backgrounds and fighting for justice and dignity for all people. In this post-election period, we are continuing our efforts to find ways to work together and build unity as a country.
Yet, for those who hoped that the hate-mongering of the presidential campaign might end with Election Day, the appointment of Steven Bannon as the President-elect’s chief strategist suggests such hopes are in vain. JALSA is outraged with this appointment. Bannon is associated with white supremacist writings and he has been accused personally of anti-Semitic statements. This is not simply a controversial appointment; this normalizes speech and action which is not acceptable.
In his role for Breitbart News and during the presidential campaign, he facilitated ideological themes which are direct opposites to our JALSA values: misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia. These are ideas that have no place in the White House.
Our incoming president has said he wishes to be president of all Americans and bring the country together. The appointment of Bannon, against the background of his website’s use as a platform for Alt-right fringe groups – white supremacists, KKK, Nazis, and others – is truly a move in the wrong direction.
What can we do about this choice?
The election has not diminished our right to speak out. We have seen strong public reactions against White House appointments and judicial nominations in the past. Now is the time for our strong reaction, urging against the appointment of Steven Bannon as chief strategist.
Here is how you can take action:
1) Call your U.S. Senators and tell them this is unacceptable.
If you live in Massachusetts, here is the contact information:
– Senator Edward Markey (202) 224-2742 www.markey.senate.gov/contact
– Senator Elizabeth Warren (202) 224-4543 www.warren.senate.gov/?p=email_senator
2) Contact House Speaker Paul Ryan at (202) 225-3031 and Majority Leader McConnell, (202) 224-2541 to let them know this is not okay.
3) Write letters to your local newspapers
4) Share news articles that call out Bannon’s involvement with Alt-right fringe groups. Use the hashtag #StopBannon on social media
5) Contact other people of influence in your networks who have a public megaphone and urge them to make a statement.
We also encourage you to take action by joining JALSA’s work! Help us stay vigilant and increase our ability to monitor actions at the local and federal levels where actions can make a difference.
– Volunteer to help plan actions around federal court appointments. (Thank you to the 30 people who responded to our most recent request for calls to the Governor’s Council about a MA court appointment.)
– Participate in our Task Force on Economic Inequality where we work to raise the minimum wage, encourage Paid Family and Medical Leave, and passage of a Fair Tax Amendment.
– Sign Up to work with our Environmental Justice Committee. We will not sit idly and ignore Climate Change at our peril.
– Make a gift or join with monthly contributions to enable our continued work.