Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, committed a colossal, foot-in-mouth faux pas that I lack the words to accurately express. Spicer made the comments during Tuesday’s White House Press Briefing, April 11, 2017. He was attempting to make a statement that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in one respect, compared unfavorably to Adolf Hitler; “Hitler didn’t even sink to the level of using chemical weapons,” Spicer said in comparing Al-Assad’s use of sarin gas against Syrian civilians who oppose him. Of course this statement is factually incorrect in addition to being offensive and inflamatory. Adolf Hitler directed the use of poison gas as one of the principal means of exterminating the Jewish people. At one point, 6,000 Jews were gassed to death every day in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp alone, according to the US Holocaust Museum. This is the second poorly crafted statement the White House has issued concerning Jewish People. The first was in late January when the Trump Administration issued a statement commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day and failed to mention the 6 million Jewish people killed during these atrocities. Not only did Spicer make the statement during Passover, but he tried to defend his original statement before finally apologizing.
I’m not sure if Spicer’s statements are a deliberate attempt to “white-wash” history by diminishing atrocities committed by white supremacist, or if Spicer was attempting to use, “alternative facts”, another absurd notion Kelly Ann Conway, Counselor to the President, attempted to introduce into the English lexicon when she tried to defend President Trump’s claim that 1.5 million people attended his inauguration.
Regardless of Spicer’s motive, he had to have known that Hitler gassed, incinerated, and tortured millions of Jews to their death. Why even go there? Everything about the current administration’s ties, to the “Alt-Right”, Steve Bannon, and a seeming preoccupation with fringe extreme right wing organizations, right down to the Naziish inspired hair cut Spicer sports, leaves a bad taste in your mouth. These are the types of inaccurate, insensitive, inflammatory comments and thinking that too often occur when everyone has the same ideology, background and thought process. We are hopeful that President Trump’s removal of Steve Bannon from the National Security Council is an indication that he is moving away from his ties to groups that espouse this extreme ideology.