The Anne Frank Center is going after Trump for his weak condemnation of anti-Semitism.

For months, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect has issued statement after statement condemning the Trump administration.

Since entering the political fray, Donald Trump has gotten into his share of unexpected feuds. Whether he's battling the cast of "Hamilton," declaring the free press to be the "enemy" of the American people, hanging up on the prime minister of Australia, or reviewing the latest episode of "Saturday Night Live," there's no shortage of "Oh-my-God-I-cannot-believe-the-president-of-the-United-States-is-doing-this" drama to go around.

But while most of these feuds are blown-up distractions from larger issues, there's at least one that deserves more attention: Trump versus the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.


Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images.

When Trump compared the CIA to Nazi Germany, AFC Executive Director Steven Goldstein called Trump's words "a despicable insult to Holocaust survivors around the world and to the nation he is about to lead." And as Trump unveiled plans for a southern border wall and large-scale travel ban, Goldstein accused the president of "driving our nation off a moral cliff."

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY WEEPSAS PRESIDENT TRUMP TARGETSMEXICANS AND MUSLIMSStatement of Steven Goldstein, Executive...

Posted by Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The president has earned the organization's ire mostly for what he hasn't done — especially when it comes to threats against the Jewish community.

Over the past several months, Jewish Community Centers around the country have experienced a sharp uptick in bomb threats. In fact, just this year, JCC locations in 27 states and one Canadian province have received nearly 70 threats — all without a word from Trump.

Rabbi Hershey Novack walks through Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, where almost 200 gravestones were vandalized over the weekend. Photo by Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP.

The closest Trump came to addressing the issue — which quite rightfully has members of the Jewish community feeling alarmed — came in a tense exchange during last week's wild press conference. Jake Turx of Ami Magazine, an Orthodox Jewish weekly, tried to ask Trump about how the administration planned to respond to bomb threats. Trump cut him off, saying it was "not a fair question," and responded: "So here's the story, folks. Number 1, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. Number 2, racism. The least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican."

The response was bizarre, in part because Turx had prefaced his question by saying he didn't believe Trump or his staff were anti-Semitic. Trump responded as if it were a personal attack, and he went on to accuse "the other side" of carrying out these threats.

"But let me just tell you something: I hate the charge," Trump added, responding as though he had been personally accused of anti-Semitism. "I find it repulsive. I hate even the question because people that know me — and you heard the prime minister, you heard Benjamin Netanyahu, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, 'I've known Donald Trump for a long time,' and then he said, 'Forget it.' So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that."

On Monday night, White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters finally condemned the threats against JCCs using some especially vague language.

"Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom. The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable," said Walters.

Combined with the White House's decision to omit any mention of Jewish victims in its official Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, it comes off a bit like the administration is taking steps not to offend white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and members of the so-called "alt-right" who do possess anti-Semitic worldviews.

People protest the appointment of former Breitbart News head Steve Bannon to be chief strategist of the White House. Photo by David McNew/AFP/Getty Images.

The Trump administration may not be actively encouraging anti-Semitic violence, but it's not exactly going out of its way to discourage it, either — at least in strong terms.

In June of last year, the day after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, Trump called on President Obama to resign for refusing to acknowledge what Trump saw as the cause of it. "President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words 'Radical Islam.' For that reason alone, he should step down," Trump said.

Using that same logic, why won't Trump denounce these attacks by name? Why won't he directly address the victims of this terrorism? Why can't Donald Trump denounce white supremacy and white nationalism?

On Tuesday, Trump traveled to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. There, he finally addressed the threats against the Jewish community.

"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump said.

GIF from the White House/YouTube.

The AFC, however, isn't letting Trump off the hook that easy, calling his statement "a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own Administration."

While Trump has now at least acknowledged the problem, he still hasn't said anything about how he plans to address it.

"Do not make us Jews settle for crumbs of condescension. What are you going to do about anti-Semitism in [the] White House?" the AFC tweeted.

MR. PRESIDENT, YOUR TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE ACKNOWLEGMENT OF #Antisemitism TODAY IS NOT ENOUGH. Statement of Steven...

Posted by Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

And they're right. Trump hasn't put forward a plan to address anti-Semitic violence. In fact, there's been talk that the administration may actually rebrand the government's Countering Violent Extremism program as the Countering Islamic Extremism program. Funds that would ordinarily go toward countering neo-Nazis and white supremacists may no longer be available. The singular focus on Muslim extremists could very well make the rise of white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups even worse.

While so much remains up in the air, we can count on the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect to keep it real and put pressure on the White House to do the right thing.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

Keep Reading Show less
True

2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.