September 24, 2018

Trump has become the Great Unifier

Trump has become the great unifier
No matter our differences, anyone who is part of a minority group can sniff out bigots who traffic in fear 

By David A. Lehrer                                                                                                                                              

I have spent my life working for civil rights, including 27 years as a representative of the Jewish community with the Anti-Defamation League. I lost count of the inter-group meetings I've participated in to craft agendas that reflected common interests.

There have been Muslim-Jewish dialogues, African-American Jewish leadership coalitions, Latino-Jewish roundtables, and Asian outreach. Living as I do in Los Angeles, I am part of the great California melting pot.

Some of our efforts to find common ground worked better than others. But no matter the issue of the day, we were always bound together by opposition to anyone who would promote bigotry, division and hate. That was always a transcendent concern.

Bigots who attack one group threaten us all. People who depend on prejudice and stereotypes against one segment of society don't have a singular target. They were more likely to harbor prejudice against other groups as well; it's their way of viewing the world and the other.

African American, Latino, and Jewish leaders might have disagreed on affirmative action or busing, but we were united in our condemnation of David Duke, Tom Metzger and similar demagogues.
And so we have Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate.

Trump can go to a He feigns outreach to the Latino community after disparaging Mexican immigrants as “>conflict of interest in hearing a case involving Trump.

He decries Mexican “hordes” flooding across the border bringing chaos in their wake, when the data show that Mexican migration is down, and that there is a “> crime committed by undocumented immigrants is less than in the general population.

He maligns an entire religion by pledging to bar all Muslim immigrants. His son He disdains women and demeans them with a long history of vulgar comments.

He goes lighter on the Jews, but has said he “likes little guys with “>I'm a negotiator like you folks.”

If he lies and disparages this assortment of groups, which groups are free from such blatant distortions?
He Trump clearly views others through the prism of stereotypes and thinks there is nothing wrong with assessing the world that way; indeed, he seems to beNo matter our differences, anyone who is part of a minority group can sniff out bigots who traffic in fear.
Trump's abysmal poll numbers among African-Americans hover at
“>19 percent. Jewish contributions to his campaign are a Efforts at building inter-group coalitions have a dappled track record. Over the decades, dialogues have not always resulted in common agendas.

But Donald Trump, by virtue of his stereotyping, bigotry, and wild assertions has become a cohesive force in a way he never intended. In Trump, we see a reminder of what we all fear in this land of diversity. Intent on turning back the clock on decades of progress, Trump has become, accidentally, the great unifier.