Over the past two years, people in President Donald Trump’s inner circle have often faced backlash for making racist remarks or otherwise bigoted comments. Most recently, on the September 12th episode of Fox and Friends, Eric Trump made an anti-Semitic remark that raised many eyebrows—although the conservative hosts he was talking to didn’t seem bothered in the slightest.
Trump appeared on the show to defend his father’s presidency from backlash, even praising the administration’s response to Hurricane Florence (which has yet to make landfall). The president’s son also insulted journalist Bob Woodward, whose book, Fear: Trump in the White House, has already made headlines with its depiction of an executive branch in chaos. Trump called the book “sensational nonsense,” and then proceeded to use a term many are calling anti-Semitic.
The shekel is a currency used in both modern-day and ancient Israel. But the term has also been adopted by many neo-Nazi groups. Keegan Hankes, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, told HuffPost that the comment “certainly seems like a dog whistle”—suggesting that Trump purposefully used the term to appeal to white supremacists.
Hankes wasn’t alone in his interpretation of Trump’s word choice.
Those calling out Trump’s anti-Semitism included Jonathan Weisman, Deputy Washington Editor at The New York Times.
Others chimed in, too.
Woodward himself also weighed in on the issue, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Anderson Cooper 360°, “I just hope no one would talk like that.”
We’re glad the backlash to Eric Trump’s thinly veiled bigotry was swift. We need to call out this behavior whenever and wherever we see it.