Yes, I’m talking about the current President of these United States. He was able to say, after a week of avoiding the question, that antisemitic threats, attacks, and vandalism are “horrible and painful.” Curiously, this came after a tour of the Museum of African-American History, with, so far as I’ve heard, no mention of crimes against Black people. How that might fit together is a mystery too strange to contemplate. Still, he said some right words. He even said, “It will stop.” He talked the talk.
I’ve asked myself, “What would he need to do to show me he can and will Walk The Walk that goes with those words?” What can a President do to make it stop? I came up with two actions and a context.
THE CONTEXT: A Prime Time address on TV carried by all the services from the Oval Office with lots of PR build up, but no preview or leak of the content.
THE ACTIONS: Live on TV he would read aloud and sign the needed Executive Orders and/or Memoranda to accomplish two things. The text of those documents would be clearly seen and readable on screen.
Action 1: To return all the domestic, non-Muslim hate groups formerly included in the Terrorism Watch List to that list, immediately.
Action 2: Direct the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI and (if appropriate) the Director of Homeland Security to expeditiously, thoroughly, and aggressively investigate all reported hate crimes and prosecute the perpetrators and their organizations, and assist State and Local law enforcement systems in doing the same. He would make fighting hate crimes, regardless of who the victims may be, or who the perpetrators may be, a top priority.
Some might ask, “What about terrorism?” Is that not also a hate crime? Or, rather, are not hate crimes, whom ever toward or by, not terrorism?
That is what really walking that talk would look like. That is what truly keeping the Presidential Oath of Office in this regard would look like.
Might he do this? I’m not holding my breath. Words are easy for him. And, some people do seem to have taken this President’s election (and, his choices in some of his advisers) as a sign that their time has come to have permission to act out their hatreds. He would be disappointing them. But he has said he does not share their prejudices, and that may be true. His actions will speak louder, in either direction, than his words.