No one knows whether Stephen Bannon, President-elect Trump’s choice as chief strategist, is racist or not. It’s too easy to throw around the word, which tends to shut down debate immediately. That does not mean, however, he should be allowed within the walls of the White House.
Saying he should be “given a chance” is like saying “give intolerance a chance.”
The former executive editor of Breitbart News attracts white supremacists, anti-Semites, homophobes, and self-described racists like a flame draws moths. That’s why he doesn’t belong in the people’s house. We can’t take the risk of like-minded people soiling the home that belongs to the entire country, not just his followers.
Breitbart News draws white supremacists like a flame draws moths
Bannon rose to prominence last summer, when he joined the Trump campaign after championing the latter’s candidacy on the pages of Breitbart News. The site is responsible for incendiary stories with headlines such as “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy,” “Lesbian bridezillas bully bridal shop owner over religious beliefs,” and “There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews.”
“We’re the platform for the alt-right,” Bannon told Mother Jones magazine, although he focuses his own energy on curbing immigration and the “globalist” trend in economic and political affairs. As executive editor, Bannon would have signed off on these headlines and the accompanying stories. He would’ve set policies that encouraged misogynist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, race-baiting language.
Will he encourage similar thinking in the White House?
His appointment this week rightly drew howls of protest. The Anti-Defamation League called for Trump to rescind his hiring, which does not require Senate approval. However, many other Jewish groups said nothing about the appointment, prefering to wait and see. This is hard to understand, given that Breitbart News compared Planned Parenthood’s legal abortion services to the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust, the most singular event in modern Jewish history.
Every American who believes in respect, tolerance, and diversity should cry out against Stephen Bannon and his views. If he joins the White House staff, it’ll take years to wipe out the stain on America’s values.
What do you think of Mr. Bannon?