A Jewish journalist has drawn legions of supporters after she accused her Jewish boss, who is also presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s son-in-law, of not standing up to the Trump campaign’s antisemitism.
New York Observer entertainment writer Dana Schwartz published an open letter to the paper’s owner, Jared Kushner, criticizing him of not condemning Trump for his racist and antisemitic rhetoric.
The letter centers around a tweet Trump sent out on July 2 accusing Hillary Clinton of corruption. It featured Clinton’s face against a backdrop of money, with text superimposed on a red six-pointed star.
The tweet elicited antisemitic comments from Trump supporters.
Soon after it was published, Schwartz pointed out the tweet could be interpreted as antisemitic.
Her tweet was re-tweeted hundreds of times. Trump later re-published a similar image, this time with the text inside a red circle.
Dan Scavino, Trump’s social media director, issued a statement saying he sourced the image from an anti-Clinton Twitter feed, and referred to the star as a “sheriff’s star.” But Mic was able to trace the trace the image back to a neo-Nazi Twitter account.
In her letter, Schwartz argued that Kushner was giving “tacit approval” to antisemitism by not condemning Trump for the tweet, or other antisemitic or racist remarks. While the 35-year-old real estate developer holds no official title on Trump’s campaign team, he has written speeches for Trump and is seen as one of his closest advisors (paywall). Schwartz wrote:
I’m asking you, not as a “gotcha” journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this. Your father-in-law’s repeated accidental winks to the white supremacist community is perhaps a savvy political strategy if the neo-Nazis are considered a sizable voting block—I confess, I haven’t done my research on that front. But when you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, you’re giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval.
Trump said “dishonest media” were behind the controversy.
Kushner later released a statement in response to Schwartz’s letter one day after it was published:
My father-in-law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife. I know that Donald does not at all subscribe to any racist or anti-semitic thinking. I have personally seen him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds. The suggestion that he may be intolerant is not reflective of the Donald Trump I know.
Schwarz has received an outpouring of support after penning the letter from celebrities and regular people alike.