The removal of Steve Bannon from his position as White House chief strategist is a positive and important development.
From the moment Bannon was appointed to this role, J Street and many other organizations have made clear that a prominent promoter of white nationalist bigotry and extremism should have no place in any presidential administration – let alone in such a senior position. Since that time, tens of thousands of J Street activists have joined with millions of Americans in demanding his removal.
After last weekend’s horrifying events in Charlottesville and the repugnant response by President Trump, there can be no doubt that far-right extremism poses a tremendous and growing threat to our country. Bannon is not the only White House official with ties to white nationalist hate. His removal must be followed by the immediate dismissal of Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka and any others who support or tolerate this dangerous bigotry.
Ultimately, no official or adviser can shoulder the blame for the president’s disgraceful conduct in the wake of Charlottesville. President Trump himself demonstrated with his own words and actions that he does not understand the core values of our country, the basic requirements of his office and the fundamental evil of white supremacism. There can be no more excuses for hatred – or for a president who defends it.