Opinion

Bannon may not have said anything racist or anti-Semitic. He doesn't need to.

To the editor: Despite the fantasy that apologist Jeffrey Scott Shapiro would like us to embrace, White House advisor Stephen K. Bannon is not the good guy. He’s the self-professed alt-right (which is code for white nationalist) former Breitbart publisher who proudly offered his website as a platform for haters, attracting racist followers with headlines like, “Hoist it High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage.” (“I'm a Jewish American who worked with Steve Bannon. He is not a racist or an anti-Semite,” Opinion, March 2)

Remember, Bannon advises President Trump, whose executive order banning travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries effectively targets all brown people in America, judging by some of the reports of how it has been enforced in U.S. airports. Heck, anyone with a Santa Monica beach tan suspected of a minor crime like driving in a house coat if you’re a woman or driving too slowly on the 405 Freeway should fear persecution.

Forget due process. Rip up the U.S. Constitution. Bannon has arrived with his dystopian vision for a whiter America.

Marcy Winograd, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Shapiro, who identifies as Jewish American, has known Bannon for six years and has never “heard him make a single racist or anti-Semitic comment.”

In my 81 years as a Jew, nobody has ever whispered words of anti-Semitism to my face. The few times I have listened to words of hatred for the Jews was when the commenter was not aware of my Jewishness.

Up until now explicit Jew hatred has been socially unacceptable. That has changed.

Bannon and President Trump do not have to say anything anti-Semitic out loud. They just have to take their time in unambiguously condemning the recent threats on Jewish community centers and desecrations of Jewish cemeteries, and let those who harbor a dark concealed hatred conclude that the evil of anti-Semitism is now acceptable.

Stephen Sloane, Lomita

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To the editor: It appears that Shapiro could have saved me considerable time reading his defense of Bannon by re-arranging his paragraphs a bit. He should have opened with a line he buried far into his piece:

“None of this is about hatred of foreigners. It is about taking care of your own. There is a difference.”

Really? What does it take to be classified as one of Bannon’s “own”?

So if you are not a member of the group Bannon and his supporters consider their “own,” you don’t get taken care of? Please tell us what particular classification of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation one needs to possess so we may be “taken care of” by Bannon.

After all, none of us wants to be a “foreigner” in his particular worldview. There many historical examples to show what happens to “foreigners” when the Bannons of the world take charge.

I have to thank Shapiro for exposing the truth about his former colleague at Breitbart. But he certainly could have done it with fewer words.

Greg Starczak, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: In his defense of Bannon, Shapiro seems to forget the example of Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon’s national security advisor and later his secretary of State.

Kissinger, a Jew, was surprised by the Nixon tapes, which revealed that the president harbored anti-Semitic beliefs.

Many racists are sly enough to hide their views from people who would be offended by them.

Fred Glienna, Pasadena

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