Chanukah 5780 has been marred by a slew of attacks on Jews. While all the details are not known at this time, almost all of these instances seem to have antisemitism as the motive. Many of the attackers were also Black. This has prompted a flurry of outcries and anger from the Jewish community towards the Black community.
Trust me I understand the outrage. But outraged or not, you cannot push aside reason and logic and give into bigotry. Doing so makes you no better then them. It is frustrating and hurtful to see such willful ignorance grow like a weed. I’ve seen so many outcries for ‘Black leaders’ (and I have no idea who that would even be) to speak out and condemn antisemitism. Yet none have checked to see that many Black people have in fact done this. They lament about the growing antisemitic element that is running amok in the Black community. Yet, I’ve seen no evidence of this. Without a doubt, Black anti-semites exist; but they are not the norm.
For a while I was thinking that I was crazy…but then I did find a few responses on line that resonated my feelings during this discouraging time.
Y-Love Calling Out The Focus on Race
This really needs to be said: when a White person goes on a racist fueled attack or killing spree, most Americans look at them and wonder what went wrong with that person. What caused them to be so evil? What was their home life like? Were they abused? Are they mentally ill? Etc., etc. No one projects out to the White community to explain or condemn this person’s actions. Other White people aren’t put to task to explain this person’s behavior. And if you were to pose the question, “Why do White people hate Jews so much?”…few would entertain even responding to such a question.
Do you see the double-standard here?
Carly Pildis’s Curation of Black Responses to Antisemitism
Early in the day, Ms. Pildis, who is an staunch advocate for both Blacks and Jews (and those of us who are both), began to curate this list. She probably was also seeing this constant gripe from other Jews that the Black community and leadership were curiously silent in the wake of the attacks. Well that is #fakenews and this tweet proves it!
Elad Nehorai Smartly Writes a Request to Not to Jump to Conclusions
On Haaretz, Mr. Nehorai does an excellent job of explaining why it does no good to make blanket assumptions and get angry at an attacker (and/or the demographic they are a part of) without knowing the full story. He writes:
“… discussing anti-Semitism purely in terms of race is not just wrong and dangerous: it does not help us properly address the heart of the problem”Elad Nehorai
Others have carefully raised the points (elsewhere) that the attacker in the Monsey incident could have issues with mental illness. For better or for worse, this latest spree in attacks is concentrated in New York – which could mean there is a specific, localized force compelling people into these attacks. We just don’t know.
The Over-Simplification of Black Antisemitism is Torn Apart by Rebecca Pierce
In this article published on Jewish Currents, highlights that the affiliation of the Jersey City attackers (in regards to being a member of the Black Hebrew Israelite) is not confirmed. And since the attacker is dead, we will never truly know what the motivation was for them to kill innocent Jews (and a non-Jew) in public.
She also points out the possibility that even though the Nation of Islam and the Black Hebrew Israelites spew antisemitism as part of their doctrine, going out to murder anyone represents a very extreme interpretation of this dogma and these are rogue members engaging in these attacks.
Yael Shahar Reminds Us To Be Resonable in Regards To Synagogue Security
I support the rights allotted in the 2nd Amendment and I feel like there is nothing wrong with civilians owning and carrying guns. However, Jewish public spaces need to have a security plan and engaged trained individuals. The task of these individuals is then to protect worshipers/attendees. I do not want to be attending a synagogue where you have random members with guns on them who will get trigger-happy at any perceived threat. Mainly because in many places, I am that ‘perceived threat’.
MaNishtana States What I Think When I Read About Jews Being Afraid to Show That They are Jewish
This post is a start. Don’t be lazy and accept the idea that all Black people have this latent hate towards Jews and want to kill us. I can assure that they do not. Do not paint all Black people with a brush of discrimination. By doing so, you are no better then the most deranged anti-Semite out there.