Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The world lost a living legend in Elie Wiesel yesterday. Few people in history have done as much for human rights and the cause of world peace as he did. Wiesel stood for everything good and right in this world: tolerance, nonviolence, and humane treatment for all peoples around the world.

Wiesel continued his tireless advocacy because he knew as a Holocaust survivor that the world must not forget what happened in those dark days lest history see a repeat of human’s worst tendencies. What had befallen the Jewish people, Wiesel knew, could not be allowed to happen again to anyone.

It is a sad irony that Donald Trump’s brand of racist strongman politics should be rising in the year of Wiesel’s passing. But the irony takes on a more immediately angering turn: on the day of Wiesel’s passing, Donald Trump not only made yet another racist provocation on Twitter, he made a specifically anti-Semitic one. Here is Trump’s original tweet:

The obvious anti-Semitic associations don’t need elaboration here. Trump’s campaign did delete the tweet and replace the Star of David with a simple red circle, but the rest of the imagery remained. More importantly, it was obvious that wherever Trump and his campaign got the image was some hotbed of anti-Semitic white supremacy: Trump’s campaign almost certainly didn’t originate the image themselves.

It’s unlikely that Trump or what passes for his communications team is overtly anti-Semitic, but the fact that someone pulled up that image from somewhere that does traffic in it is incredibly disturbing. That neither Trump nor his team immediately caught the fact that it was prejudicial is remarkable and speaks to the ongoing lack of professionalism, intelligence and common sense in the campaign.

Above all it shows what Elie Wiesel tried to remind us always: we must be ever vigilant against prejudice of all kinds, and against tyrants who would use it to do harm. The world must never forget.

UPDATE: As I and many others suspected, it turns out that the image was created by white supremacists. No surprise there. So who on his campaign is reading this offal and pulling material from it? Is it Trump himself? Manafort?

David Atkins

Follow David on Twitter @DavidOAtkins. David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.