Pittsburgh Does Not Want Him … Does Anybody?

Last Saturday, during a Shabbat service at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a man by the name of Robert Bowers entered the synagogue saying that “Jews must die” and shooting randomly at congregants, ultimately killing eleven.  His reason?  He blamed Jews for the migrant caravan that he has been told by none other than Donald Trump, is coming here to take jobs, kill people, and ruin the United States.  Sadly, Mr. Bowers isn’t very intelligent, so he believed the blatant lies that Trump spewed.

To set the facts straight, the migrant caravan is comprised of families – men, women and children – who are fleeing from the violence in their home countries, hoping to seek asylum in the United States, work hard, assimilate into our society, and make a better, safer life for their children.  Trump’s tales that they are criminals and even Middle-Eastern terrorists, that they were financed by George Soros in order to affect the mid-term elections, are nothing but lies made up in the scrambled mind of a madman.

That same madman now plans to visit Pittsburgh, ostensibly to offer his “thoughts and prayers”, but in truth for a photo op in the days leading up to the election.  Most of Pittsburgh, it seems, do not want him. At last count, more than 44,000 people had signed an open letter from the leaders of a Pittsburgh-based Jewish group who say Trump will not be welcome in the city unless he denounces white nationalism and stops “targeting” minorities.  Here is the letter:

President Trump:

Yesterday, a gunman slaughtered 11 Americans during Shabbat morning services. We mourn with the victims’ families and pray for the wounded. Here in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, we express gratitude for the first responders and for the outpouring of support from our neighbors near and far. We are committed to healing as a community while we recommit ourselves to repairing our nation.

For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.  

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.

Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted.  You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.  

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you stop targeting and endangering all minorities.

The murderer’s last public statement invoked the compassionate work of the Jewish refugee service HIAS at the end of a week in which you spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America. He killed Jews in order to undermine the efforts of all those who find shared humanity with immigrants and refugees.

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you cease your assault on immigrants and refugees.

The Torah teaches that every human being is made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.

This means all of us.

In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.  While we cannot speak for all Pittsburghers, or even all Jewish Pittsburghers, we know we speak for a diverse and unified group when we say:

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you commit yourself to compassionate, democratic policies that recognize the dignity of all of us.


Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh Steering Committee

It is time we all step up to the plate and hold Donald Trump accountable for what he says, for the lies he cannot seem to stop telling.  Yes, republicans, that means YOU, too.  If you continue to support his hate speech, his incitement to riot, then you must share the guilt, share the blame, when innocent people are killed because somebody, somewhere took his words seriously.  Words matter.  It’s time to stop the runaway mouth that is attached to the ‘man’ in the White House before more people die for no reason other than Trump thinks he’s funny.

Despite the letter, Trump and Melania are planning a visit to Pittsburgh today.  Perhaps Melania can wear her lovely jacket that says, “I really don’t care, do U?”  Nothing would surprise me about this pair of unconscionable, cold, cruel narcissists.  You know what would make my day?  If he and Melania landed, and nobody came to greet them on the tarmac, there was no waiting Mayor Peduto, no Governor Wolfe … nobody.  Nobody lining the streets cheering, nobody to greet him anywhere.  That is what needs to happen in order for him to see that there are consequences for his childish, dangerous behaviour.

18 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Does Not Want Him … Does Anybody?

  1. Dear Jill,

    The Pittsburgh community sent President Trump a message that he should have gotten a long time ago. His support/ tolerance of White Supremacists equals support of anti-antisemitism and anti-immigration. These 3 characteristics are tied together and are represented by too may of President Trump’s followers

    I’ve been wondering why some wealthy Jewish men and women have been supporting the likes of President Trump like Sheldon Adelson, Safra Catz and many others. Don’t they know that by supporting him that they are putting their Jewish brothers and sisters in harm’s way.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, the message Pittsburgh sent was loud and clear. I imagine some of his advisors tried to talk him out of going, but you know he always does exactly what he wants, no matter how foolish. I was pleased by the snubs by Pittsburgh … it’s about time he is forced to face the notion that words have consequences.

      As to Sheldon Adelson and the rest, their main concern is their wealth and power. Little do they care, I think, for anyone else, including other Jews. Rather like Dr. Ben Carson selling out his fellow African-Americans.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Yes! — “You know what would make my day? If he and Melania landed, and nobody came to greet them on the tarmac, there was no waiting Mayor Peduto, no Governor Wolfe … nobody. Nobody lining the streets cheering, nobody to greet him anywhere. ”

    That would make my whole year!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mine too! But I have to tell you … there were a couple of moments today that actually brought a smile to my face. The first was when Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell both declined Trump’s invitation to accompany him to Pittsburgh. And the second was when George Conway, a noted attorney who earlier turned down a position in Trump’s administration, denounced Trump’s plan to write an executive order to change the Constitution. George Conway, by the way, is Kellyanne’s husband!!! Can’t you imagine the dinner-table conversation this evening in their house? 🤣 🤣 🤣

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Nothing I can add except my outrage. Americans cannot let this man continue as its leader. Something has to happen to show him he is not wanted, not just in Pittsburgh, but in the United States of America, or even in North Ametica. Exile him to some island off Antarctica or northern Greenland, someplace he needs to worry about survival. Let him know what life is really like, where all the money in the world will do him no good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know I agree with you! I would love to see him wrapped in shrink wrap and dropped somewhere over Antarctica. But I’d also like to see his supporters suffer a similar fate, for it is their ignorance that got us into this mess, and they still seem to think he is great, even though he has proven time and again that he has not a shred of human decency.


  4. “What people say, what people do, and what people say they do are entirely different things.” – Margaret Mead. This sums up president Trump’s rhetoric and actions accurately. I have long supported HIAS, the oldest refugee organization in the world, and was shocked to learn that they were singled out by Robert Bowers. Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS said : “Hateful speech almost always leads to hateful acts.” That Trump refuses to accept and denies his complicity in the horrendous events that have transpired, speaks volumes about the integrity of the man. Consider these recent words from Kevin Liptak and Jeff Zeleny of CNN : “In the wake of the slayings at the Pittsbugh synagogue, Trump has demonstrated more grievance than grief.” That this same man will go to Pittsburgh in some feeble attempt to show solidarity and grief, for those same people that he has denounced, is beyond belief or acceptance…except in Trump’s world. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, my friend. I was pleased today to see that both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell refused Trump’s invitation to accompany him to Pittsburgh. Even they can see that he is in the wrong. Trump is lacking many things, not the least of which are integrity and human decency.

      Where have you been? Don’t you know I miss your propensity for loquacity when you aren’t around? Seriously, though, I hope all is well, and I have missed you … and Benjamin!


  5. Jill, it is not ironic that Trump and his sycophants are increasing their attacks on the media. It should not be lost on anyone that the newly elected Brazilian Trump is bashing the media.

    On top of the absence of his condemning the white nationalists that he has enabled, he announced yesterday, that he will sign an executive order to alter our constitution to say not all people born here are citizens, with an eye toward illegal immigrants having US children. (By the way, the President has no such authority and would lose in court).

    This gets back to the demographic instigated power play. With the declining majority of whites, there is an orchestrated effort to remedy the loss of that political impact. This was echoed by Steve Schmidt, a former GOP strategist noting this is part of the Koch long game, a strategy formulated back in the late 1990s. As a white independent voter and former Republican, this concerns me greatly. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quite so … I wouldn’t have expected anything else from him. They say that Jair Bolsonaro is just like Trump, only perhaps worse. I’ve only studied him briefly, but he certainly isn’t a man of great compassion.

      Yes, I read about his intent to sign such an executive order to alter the Constitution, which is not going to fly, even with Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court! I was also thrilled tonight when Kellyanne’s husband, George, denounced Trump for even thinking he had such authority.


  6. Trump will probably arrive there to the biggest welcome anywhere, ever.He will denounce all the things he usually actively encourages and will lay the blame for this event on the caravan of evil approaching the United States which will be full of Arab terrorists disguised as children. He will arrest all the children while throwing their ‘handlers’ out of the country and the children will be sent to Guantanamo Bay for questioning. Trump thinks he can talk his way out of anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I gather that he was not given a very warm welcome, and even the Mayor had asked him not to visit, for their focus was on the victims and they didn’t need Trump’s circus to deal with. He took Jared and Ivanka with him, probably for protection since Ryan and McConnell had better sense and declined his invite. There is certainly something missing in his brain … a sense of compassion & decency, for starters. I was hoping he would be shunned, and he largely was, as local officials declined to appear with him. And there were demonstrations and protests. He was definitely, I think, persona non grata.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t believe that he has the audacity to go to Pittsburgh, knowing how the people there feel! This just adds to his brazen need …to have what he is wants ….with no concern for anyone else , other than himself! No empathy!!!! No concern for the people in mourning. As you said, it’s all about the photo op! The two of them will push their way in, knowing they’re not wanted …..because their both narcissistic egomaniacs!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right … for him, it was a photo op, a chance to be seen and heard. Luckily, the Pittsburgh mayor and other officials largely shunned him, and he wasn’t given a platform to hold a rally, else I’m sure he would have. No, he hasn’t a single cell of compassion or humanity in his body, and we should stop expecting any. He caused those deaths in Pittsburgh almost as surely as if he had pulled the trigger, and then had the unmitigated gall to blame the people, blame the victims, saying that if they had been armed … grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


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