On Friday, President Joe Biden dropped a tweet that in one fell swoop urged political leaders to condemn antisemitism, white supremacy, and Holocaust denialism.
The simple statements, which neatly fit into Twitter’s 280-character limit, came one day after Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, appeared on Alex Jones’ Infowars to openly praise Adolf Hitler and Nazism. (“I like Hitler” is a direct quote from West.) The appearance was the latest instance of ugly anti-semitism by West since tweeting in October that he was going to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”
As it so happens, Biden’s message also follows Donald Trump’s dinner with West and the virulent anti-semite, Nick Fuentes.
I just want to make a few things clear:
The Holocaust happened.
Hitler was a demonic figure.
And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides.
Silence is complicity.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 2, 2022
Some Republicans, including Mitch McConnell and Susan Collins, have spoken out against these high-profile acts of antisemitism. But others have either been far too mild in their criticism—or altogether silent. Fox News host Tucker Carlson hasn’t said a peep, despite hosting West on his show three days after West’s “death con” tweet. The Twitter account for Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee didn’t delete a controversial tweet praising West until yesterday’s Infowars appearance, when apparently the antisemitism became too overt for even the GOP to pretend it wasn’t happening. Others, like Mike Pence, have expressed regret at Trump’s dinner with Fuentes but claimed that the former president was not an anti-semite himself.
So Biden’s tweet today raises a curious question: If the president can unequivocally denounce antisemitism in a single tweet, why is it so hard for some on the right to do the same?