Not only did Donald Trump sign an executive order on International Holocaust Remembrance Day banning refugees and imposing a religious test on those coming to the United States, but he also issued a statement the very same day that didn’t even recognize the Jewish victims.
It was a shocking change in messaging from previous administrations of both parties, especially given the fact that two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe was wiped out during the Holocaust.
On Thursday, we learned not just that the White House didn’t acknowledge the 6 million Jews who died in this genocide, but that they scrapped an original version of the statement which did recognize these victims.
The story from Politico:
The State Department drafted its own statement last month marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly included a mention of Jewish victims, according to people familiar with the matter, but President Donald Trump’s White House blocked its release.
The existence of the draft statement adds another dimension to the controversy around the White House’s own statement that was released on Monday and set off a furor because it excluded any mention of Jews. The White House has stood by the statement, defending it as an “inclusive” message that was not intended to marginalize Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
According to three people familiar with the process, the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues prepared its own statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day that, like previous statements, commemorated Jewish victims.
Initially, the fact that the administration didn’t explicitly honor millions of Jewish Holocaust victims seemed to be par for the course – another example of the White House being sloppy, incompetent, and offensive.
But the reporting notes that the decision by the Trump White House to change the statement was intentional, not accidental. They meant to omit any mention of Jewish fatalities.
The White House’s defense was that they were trying to be “inclusive,” since there were other victims, too, but that would mean that Trump was making an attempt to be inclusive for the first time in his political career – hardly believable.
As the Politico story noted, the administration’s statement drew immediate fire from critics on all ends of the political spectrum, but it received the overwhelming approval of a neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer – making the move by this White House perhaps a bit more understandable albeit still despicable.
Trump wasn’t trying to be inclusive; he simply wanted to keep his alt-right base happy.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.