A Less than Perfect Union: Trump’s State of the Union address does not negate the Islamophobia he inspires

Yesterday evening, President Trump addressed the 115th Congress on the State of the Union. Some, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and others, have described the address as a departure from President Trump’s polarizing, tumultuous, and chaotic first year in office. Notwithstanding, as Greg Sargent writing for The Washington Post noted, “The real core of the speech was his effort to rhetorically recast the key elements of that approach as unifying and conciliatory, without moving past them at all.” Thus, while President Trump’s State of the Union address did not feature the sort of flagrant Islamophobic remarks he has made in the past, his rhetoric, past and present, has emboldened many who share his distorted worldview.

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What Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Means to CAIR

I was born in Memphis, and reared in the Atlanta area. Thus, I was born in the city where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr. was assassinated, and came of age in the city that made Dr. King the man he was. For most of my life, I found myself fascinated by the man who would become an icon for justice. As a child, I often watched his speeches in awe, as a teenager, I dutifully read biographies of him, as a college student, I walked the same halls he once did as I pursued my undergraduate education at Dr. King’s beloved alma mater—Morehouse College. His legacy is part of the reason I became a Civil Rights Attorney. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my foremost influences, particularly as it relates to my desire to pursue the cause of justice.

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Director’s Desk: Mr. Trump: Do Not Move the Embassy!

For American Jews of my generation, the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War was a seminal event. In the official narrative propagandized by the mainstream Jewish community, the beleaguered Jewish State, surrounded by millions of fanatical Arabs bent on “pushing the Jews into the sea,” beat back a surprise attack by the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria only to emerge victorious. The Sinai, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights were conquered the Israeli Army. That such a seemingly miraculous victory was even possible confirmed, in Jewish eyes, the righteousness of the entire Zionist endeavor.

It would take many years to learn that this official Jewish narrative was built upon a foundation of lies and injustice.

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On Tweets and Tyrants

White supremacists and neo-Nazis have lauded President Trump as a champion of their causes, and have regularly celebrated his vile stances. Indeed, President Trump has made his worldview clear both as a private citizen, and as the occupant of the nation’s highest office. He did so again earlier this week with a series of inflammatory tweets meant to disparage Islam.

On Tuesday, President Trump retweeted three tweets from the Twitter account of Jayda Fransen, Deputy Leader Britain First, a racist, neo-facsist organization whose leaders have been prosecuted for hate crimes and incitement to violence. In short, the President of the United States, the man who holds the most powerful individual position in the world’s most powerful nation, has unapologetically endorsed the bigoted, Islamophobic views of a fringe, extremist organization by sharing these inflammatory videos.

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On Treason and Thankfulness

For American Jews who, like myself, have long been public critics of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and its draconian human rights abuses, the insults are nothing new. And one unfortunately gets used to these sorts of slurs on social media. Still, I was unprepared for this short email that arrived in our office on Monday morning this week…

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