If Rep. Faso is serious about standing against white supremacy, we call upon him to do the following. First, he must support a formal censure of President Trump. Words of disappointment aren’t enough; this historic moment calls for a formal statement of disapproval by Congress to send an unambiguous message to all Americans that the president has failed in his leadership.
Rep. Faso must also demand that Trump advisor Stephen Miller, one of the leading proponents of white supremacy in the administration and a top supporter of the president’s recent decision to end the DACA program, be fired. It is unacceptable for proponents of white nationalism to hold positions at the highest levels of our government. With the departures of Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, Miller has become the leading champion of this violent, hateful ideology among the White House staff.
Finally, we call on Rep. Faso to support the removal of Confederate monuments from the U.S. Capitol. These statues have become rallying points for white supremacy and should have no place of honor in the halls of Congress.
Certainly, some legislators — including Rep. Faso — have spoken out against the evils of white supremacy, but words simply aren’t enough. When the person in the Oval Office, who millions around the world have historically looked to for moral clarity and leadership, tries to equate neo-Nazis and the KKK with those who oppose them, silence or half-hearted condemnations from members of Congress are unacceptable. Rep. Faso and his colleagues have a moral responsibility to not only oppose white supremacy and white nationalism with words, but to take actions that hold President Trump and his administration accountable for their failure to appropriately condemn and denounce these radical, hateful ideologies.
As the High Holidays approach, the Jewish community’s message to Rep. Faso is clear: You must choose a side. Will you passively align yourself with President Trump and his white supremacist allies, or will you take action against hatred and bigotry?
To make sure Rep. Faso gets the message, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action and allies in the district are gathering amidst the sounds of klezmer and gospel at 6pm on Sept. 18 at Academy Green Park in Kingston and marching to his office for a powerful shofar blast Just two days before the start of Rosh Hashanah,the sounds of the shofar will send a loud and clear message to Rep. Faso that he needs to side with the people who are united against oppression, violence and disrespect of our fellow human beings.
The High Holy Days aren’t just about acknowledging our mistakes and repenting; they’re about promising to do better in the future and expressing a willingness to be held accountable. Rep. Faso and his colleagues in Congress have an opportunity to redeem themselves for their present inaction in the face of white supremacy. But rest assured: If they fail to act now, their constituents will be ready to hold them accountable in the next election.