Some­thing poi­sonous in the air

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

In ad­di­tion to the van­dal­ism re­ported in the Feb. 28 Pol­i­tics & the Na­tion ar­ti­cle “Philadel­phia po­lice probe top­pling of 100 head­stones at Jewish ceme­tery,” the Jewish com­mu­nity cen­ter here in Asheville, N.C., re­ceived a bomb threat last week, a rather un­usual oc­cur­rence in a town known na­tion­ally for its em­brace of di­verse be­liefs and peo­ples. Per­son­ally, I think a line can be drawn from the White House to the in­ci­dent here, as well as sim­i­lar ones around the na­tion. All bets are off as to just how far this ugly trend may go and what other groups may be tar­geted.

But it will go on, of this I feel cer­tain. I fear there’s some­thing poi­sonous in the air that wasn’t there be­fore, or, if it was, hadn’t been given li­cense to ex­press it­self so openly. Pres­i­dent Trump’s re­cent con­dem­na­tions of “hate and evil” ring hol­low in my ears. It’s a bit like a man ac­cus­ing oth­ers of be­ing a health risk to the com­mu­nity while re­fus­ing to ac­knowl­edge he and those clos­est to him may be a ma­jor car­rier of con­ta­gion.

Joe El­liott, Asheville, N.C.

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