Democrats Defend Jewish Staffer Who Used Slur

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the Democratic National Committee’s new Jewish outreach liaison should be forgiven for her 6-year-old Facebook post that used the term “Jewbags.”

Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the DNC’s chairwoman, highlighted the problems that social media can cause in today’s society in standing by Danielle “Dani” Gilbert, who has apologized for the post. Both Wasserman Schultz and Gilbert are Jewish.

“She was 20 when she posted that picture,” Wasserman Schultz said in response to a reporter’s question at a Florida campaign event. “I spoke to my own children and gave that unfortunate posting as an example of how, no matter what you think is funny among your friends, nothing on social media is private.”

Gilbert was a former staffer in Wasserman Schultz’s legislative office. Her parents are financial supporters of Wasserman Schultz and President Obama.

After her appointment to the new role of Jewish outreach liaison for the DNC was announced, the conservative Washington Free Beacon unearthed the Facebook photos of Gilbert jokingly referring to herself and her friends using the terms “Jewbags” and the “Jew cash-money team.”

Gilbert apologized last week through a Twitter post.

“I apologize for any harm postings on my Facebook page made years ago may have caused anyone. I meant no offense,” she wrote.

Wasserman Schultz defended her aides bona fides and reiterated that she was highly qualified for the position she was about to undertake.

“I’ve known Dani Gilbert since she was 15 years old,” Wasserman Schultz said. “She’s a Yale graduate, a graduate of the London School of Economics, she has been my foreign policy aide for almost three years. And she’s incredibly poised, intelligent and that is not reflective of her maturity today.”

DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse defended Gilbert’s credentials in a statement sent to the news source BuzzFeed. In the statement, Woodhouse said that “no smear driven by the right-wing noise machine is going to impact her status as a trusted member of this team.”

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Democrats Defend Jewish Staffer Who Used Slur

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close