When President-elect Donald J. Trump appointed Stephen Bannon, alleged anti-Semite, as White House chief strategist, Democrats and some Republicans were outraged. Now, those very same Democrats are voicing support for Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), verifiable anti-Semite, to become DNC Chair.
In November, Bannon was selected to fill the role of White House chief strategist and senior counselor to Trump. Bannon previously served as a Naval officer, investment banker for Goldman Sachs, and movie producer before becoming head of Breitbart News, a self-declared ‘platform for the alt-right’, in 2012. Under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has actively promoted Trump and published several allegedly racist and anti-Semitic stories. In August, Bannon left Breitbart to join the Trump campaign as its CEO.
The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have condemned Bannon’s selection because of his perceived bigotry and anti-semitism. Though these left-leaning groups castigated Bannon, the Zionist Organization of America as well as former Breitbart Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, came to his defense against the claims of anti-semitism. Shapiro, who left Breitbart in March due to Breitbart’s response to the Michelle Fields incident and its perceived alt-right pandering under Bannon, claimed, “I think Steve is an asshole, but I don’t think Steve is an anti-Semite,” and believes that Bannon is not a member of the alt-right. Though Breitbart has published stories that are allegedly anti-Semitic, the only evidence of anti-semitism and bigotry against Bannon is shoddy at best, coming from unsubstantiated testimony in court documents from Bannon’s divorce.
The Democrat reaction to Bannon’s appointment was one of indignation. Former presidential candidate and self-described ‘democratic socialist’ Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) slammed the appointment, calling Bannon a “racist” and calling for the appointment to be rescinded. Democratic heavyweight Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called Bannon a “bigot” and a “white supremacist”, also urging Trump to rescind. In a speech on the floor of congress, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) roasted Bannon, calling on Trump to, “Rise to the dignity of the office of the president of the United States. Instead of hiding behind your Twitter account, and show America that racism, bullying and bigotry have no place in the White House or in America.” Nevertheless, Sanders, Warren, and Reid, along with a host of other ‘progressive’ democrats in Washington don’t seem to mind anti-Semitism when it takes place in their party.
When Rep. Keith Ellison announced he would be running for head of the Democratic National Committee, he recieved support from many prominent members of his party. Bernie Sanders, speaking to the National Federation of Teachers, said,”Now is the time for a chair of the Democratic Party who has a very different vision of the party than those in control today. Now is the time for Keith Ellison to become chair of the Democratic Party.” Ellison also picked up the endorsement of Senator Reid, who claimed, “My friend Keith Ellison is a terrific leader and a strong progressive who knows how to get things done.” Senator Warren also voiced support for Ellison, saying,”“I admire Keith’s values, his grit, and his dedication.”
But what are Keith Ellison’s values? Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, insinuated in 2007 that Jews were behind 9/11, comparing the attacks to the Reichstag fire and President Bush to Hitler. Though he later clarified and apologized for his comments, they earned him the scorn of the aforementioned Anti-Defamation League. Ellison accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from terrorist front groups during his 2006 House bid. He has been affiliated with the Nation of Islam and has repeatedly defended and later denounced the group’s leader, Louis Farrakhan, a noted homophobe, misogynist, and anti-Semite. His criticism of American Israel policy and Israel generally, calling Israel an “apartheid state”, has led a bevy of pro-Israel and Jewish interest groups to oppose his nomination. Haim Saban, a major Hillary Clinton campaign donor, has condemned Ellison as , “clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel,” condemning his run.
Anti-Semitism and bigotry is always disgusting, dangerous, and reprehensible regardless of which party it’s coming from. It should draw sharp condemnation from all sides of the political spectrum. The allegations of Anti-Semitism on Bannon’s part, should they prove true, should disqualify him from serving in the White House; Ellison’s anti-Semitism should likewise stop him from serving as DNC head. It’s unacceptable for Congressional Democrats to censure alleged anti-Semite Steve Bannon while exalting and endorsing proven anti-Semite Keith Ellison.