New York – Following passage of a resolution in the U.S. House rejecting white supremacy and white nationalism, Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, released the following statement:
“Since the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last year, Bend the Arc has been calling on all members of Congress to firmly and unequivocally reject white nationalism. While we welcome the House resolution affirming that while nationalism has no place in our political culture and society, we must also call out the hypocrisy of members who stood by Rep. Steve King for years as he and his allies laid the foundation for the white nationalist agenda currently being championed by President Trump.
“For years, Rep. King has been demonizing immigrants and calling for a wall to be built between Mexico and the United States – policies that have brought our government to a standstill and animated hatred and violence in the white nationalist movement. Rep. King is an architect of the anti-immigrant hysteria we’re experiencing at this moment; his views are no different than those of Trump advisers like Stephen Miller, who leads the president’s efforts to abuse and victimize immigrants.
“This problem goes beyond Rep. King. Other members of Congress, like Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar, have expressed sentiments virtually identical to the ones that sparked this current controversy. In the last election, we saw neo-Nazis running as Republicans, and we saw the NRCC air an attack ad in Minnesota that used blatant antisemitic and racist tropes. This is about more than just embracing or rejecting the concept of “white nationalism”; it’s about the mainstreaming of rhetoric and policies that advance the white nationalist cause of excluding immigrants, people of color, Muslim people, Jewish people, women, and people with disabilities from society.
“Passing a resolution could be a start, but it alone is not enough. Mere words are not enough. Extremist policies that are cheered by white nationalists and white supremacists, and unchallenged by other members of Congress, must be stopped. Our collective safety rests on rooting out white nationalism in all its forms from our politics and our society.”