With white supremacists cheering Donald Trump’s election, more than 100 Jewish historians have written a letter to the American people warning that the time for solidarity with ethnic minorities is now.
Writing in Jewish Journal, the historians look back in horror at the ugly bigotry that was unleashed during this year’s presidential campaign while saying that we cannot simply wait to see how Trump governs before making judgments against both him and his movement.
“Hostility to immigrants and refugees strikes particularly close to home for us as historians of the Jews,” they write. “As an immigrant people, Jews have experienced the pain of discrimination and exclusion, including by this country in the dire years of the 1930s. Our reading of the past impels us to resist any attempts to place a vulnerable group in the crosshairs of nativist racism. It is our duty to come to their aid and to resist the degradation of rights that Mr. Trump’s rhetoric has provoked.”
They end their letter with a plea to Americans to stand up right now and express cross-racial and cross-ethnic solidarity with one another, and to not let themselves be divided in the coming days.
“Hatred of one minority leads to hatred of all,” they write. “Passivity and demoralization are luxuries we cannot afford. We stand ready to wage a struggle to defend the constitutional rights and liberties of all Americans. It is not too soon to begin mobilizing in solidarity.”