Appointment of Stephen Bannon to Trump White House Fans Flames of Hate, Must Be Rescinded

November 14, 2016

Warning: The links below lead to highly offensive content.

J Street has grave concerns about and condemns President-elect Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon to serve as chief strategist and senior counselor in the White House.

As the editor of Breitbart News, Bannon presided over the leading website and mouthpiece of the “alt-right” movement, which the Anti-Defamation League has deemed “a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists.” Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has promulgated a consistent stream of racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic rhetoric.

Bannon has an extensive history of championing the views of the extreme right in the United States and around the world. He and his website have a history of aggressively targeting individuals and organizations, including J Street, with vicious attacks that show no regard for basic decency and tolerance, or for the truth.

His appointment to serve in such a senior White House position is alarming and unacceptable. It sends the message that the views and policy preferences of the “alt-right” will be respected and taken seriously in the White House. It gives the many groups that Bannon and Breitbart have targeted – from women to Muslims, from Latino immigrants to African-Americans, from LGBT people to conservative Republican Jews who oppose the alt-right – legitimate reason to fear that their rights may be threatened by a Trump administration.

In the less than a week since Trump’s election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has received over 250 reports of hate crimes around the country – roughly the same amount that they usually receive in a 5-6 month period. This is an alarming outbreak of xenophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic hatred, and it could well turn into an epidemic unless those in positions of power – chiefly President-elect Trump himself – act swiftly and decisively to stop it.

Appointing Stephen Bannon to this senior position sends the opposite message by fanning the flames of hatred. Bannon’s views and statements are not a normal part of American political discourse and they cannot be treated as such. Nor can this appointment be treated as normal, acceptable politics.

We call on President-elect Trump to rescind this appointment immediately, and for all responsible leaders of the Republican Party to insist that he do so.

You may also be interested in

Read our statement on the election of Donald Trump