The following are remarks made by Diane, Chair of Bend the Arc:CU, during a Bend the Arc:CU organized rally at Rep. Davis's office on August 23, 2019, protesting his silence in regards to Donald Trump's comments about Jews voting for Democrats.
“We’re here to ask Rodney Davis to denounce Donald Trump for his inflammatory claim that Jews who vote for Democrats “show either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Well, I’m a proud Jew and here’s what I know. There were 450 White Nationalist Hate Groups in the US in 1999 and now there are 1020. There was a 50% increase in the number of hate groups in 2018 alone! There are 31 groups in IL being tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
As American Jews and allies, let’s be clear: Trump is putting Jews in danger to stir up his white nationalist base.
Claiming Jews are disloyal — that we are not full Americans — is a centuries-old antisemitic trope designed to isolate and endanger Jewish people. We know who mainstreamed antisemitic conspiracy theories that motivated the shooters in Pittsburgh and Poway: Trump.
And what has Congressman Davis done about it? Nothing. Beginning with Charlottesville, when Donald Trump said “there were very fine people on both sides”, Rodney Davis kept silent. When 11 Jews were gunned down by a white supremacist because of Donald Trump’s rhetoric, Mr. Davis didn’t contact anyone in the Jewish community to offer condolences for our loss. Ditto when Lori Gordon was murdered in Poway
By contrast, Senator Durbin came to my home and listened to us tell him our fears for 45 minutes. Carol Ammons took time to speak at our forum about the threat of White Nationalism to her own and other threatened communities. Betsy Londrigan met with us and listened in horror to our story about the Jewish woman in Whitefish Montana who is being terrorized and having the lives of her children threatened by Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer. In contrast, Rodney Davis refuses to support universal background checks and the restriction of assault rifles, two measures that would SAVE lives, not give White Nationalists more opportunities to murder us in our places of worship.
Rep. Davis, we are demanding that you finally denounce Donald Trump, not for his tweeting practice, but for making our Democratic home feel more like Nazi Germany than the United States of America, to which we have always pledged and will always pledge our allegiance regardless of its leadership. We demand that you support common sense gun laws that will remove the murder weapons from the hands of our assailants.”