Anti-Semitism: Breaking the Stereotypes

We’ve all been trained since infancy to believe that stereotyping is wrong.

We’ve also been trained—almost potty-trained—to believe that the worst possible form of stereotyping is anti-Semitism, because unless it is immediately stamped out wherever it appears, it will inevitably become a raging brushfire leading to mass murder and even World Wars.

Since I’m a good, honest, clean-living, righteous, and truth-seeking man who peeks under rocks where few dare to tread, I’m here to discuss three stereotypes about anti-Semitism that never get discussed:

1) The stereotype that all anti-Semites are white.
2) The stereotype that the only possible cause for anti-Semitism is an aimless and blind form of “hatred.”
3) The stereotype that anti-Semites are subhuman.

Regarding the idea that all anti-Semites are white, even the ADL’s own polling contradicts this. According to their 2016 survey, 23% of African Americans hold “anti-Semitic views,” compared to 19% of Hispanics and only 10% of whites. Interestingly, American Hispanics born outside of the US are the Jew-hatin’est of all, with nearly a third harboring negative opinions about the Tribe.

According to Jewish historian Edward S. Shapiro, 1991’s Crown Heights Riots—a murderous three-day clash between blacks and Jews in Brooklyn that was partially egged on by Al Sharpton—was “the most serious anti-Semitic incident in American history.”

“A rigid double standard about which groups are guilty and which are innocent is the very essence of social inequality.”

And now it appears that black violence toward Jews is worming itself into the Big Apple and its immediate environs again. And yet again, white people are getting blamed for it. Last month when two black people—at least one of whom was sympathetic to cuckoo Black Hebrew Israelite theology—shot up a kosher market in Jersey City, Rep. Rashida Tlaib blamed it on “white supremacy.”

And just last week, when epically failed presidential candidate New York Mayor Bill de Blasio commented on the machete attack at a rabbi’s house in the heavily Orthodox New York suburb of Monsey where a black man stabbed five people during a Hanukkah celebration, he, too, blamed it on white people, especially Donald Trump:

We saw it in Charlottesville….We have also known for years that there are white supremacist forces that organize to do violence. We know the militias in certain parts of the country. They targeted law enforcement. These right-wing militias have been targeting the police for years in this country. This is not the time for partisan discussion, but it is time to say that some of the most hateful speeches come from Washington, DC. What we need our president to do is be a unifier, a soothing positive voice, reminding us of what we have in common as Americans.

Do you see the word “black” in there anywhere? Me, neither.

The last month or two have seen a wave of black-on-Jewish attacks in New York, especially Brooklyn, home of the Crown Heights Riots.

A 30-year-old black Brooklyn woman was arrested for a December 27 incident in which she allegedly smacked three Orthodox women in the face while screaming “Fuck you, Jews!”

Police are looking for a group of black teens in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section who in late December allegedly assaulted two Jewish boys, aged 6 and 7, in a residential building’s lobby.

On Christmas Eve in Williamsburg, three “brutes” surrounded an elderly Jewish man and allegedly said, “Jews, Hitler burned you; I’ll shoot you.”

On New Year’s Day in South Williamsburg, two black women approached a Hasidic man and screamed, “I will kill you Jews!” When he attempted to photograph his attackers, they allegedly grabbed the phone, shoved him to the ground, and threw the phone in his face after breaking it.

Last week, surveillance video emerged of a group of black teens assaulting a Hasidic Jew with a chair—twice.

Since none of the anti-Semites in these attacks was white, a writer for the Jerusalem Post describes this as “inconvenient antisemitism”:

There are far-right white supremacists and everyone else. This Manichean worldview of antisemitism and racism means we are only comfortable with one type of perpetrator. An angry white man….When dealing with the wider world of antisemitism in the US, that crosses racial lines, it is more difficult to confront. In the US, since it is difficult to accept that minorities might also be racist, the elephant in the room of black antisemitism is not mentioned….This is partly because the general view of racism in the US is that racism is not just about racism but about power.

Right, and according to the narrative, blacks don’t have any power, so when they stab and shoot and throw chairs at Jews, it’s not racist. The narrative also seems to dictate that since Jews are a “minority,” they don’t have any power, either, and therefore can’t possibly be racist.

And if, say, some random mentally ill black person hacks up five Jews during a Hanukkah celebration, the pundits will find a way to blame it on white supremacy, anyway. News accounts made a point of noting that Grafton Thomas, the black suspect in the machete attack, had searched “Why did Hitler hate the Jews” on his cell phone.

So if they’re not directly blaming white people, they’re blaming white ideology. Just don’t blame blacks. Or Jews. For anything. Ever. Or you will pay. Forever.

Did it ever occur to anyone that we all might get along better if the blame were spread around? If we didn’t quarantine goodness in one group and evil in another?

There’s a certain deceptive genius in terms such as “anti-Semitism” and “homophobia” and “misogyny.” They seem to imply that the groups being targeted couldn’t possibly have behaved in any way that would lead anyone to dislike them. No, it’s strictly the hater’s problem. Such hate exists in a vacuum. It has no root cause beyond the fact that, well, they’re hateful people. Anti-Semitism is caused by anti-Semites, homophobia is caused by homophobes, and misogyny is caused by misogynists, point, set, match.

No one ever talks about a cause for anti-Semitism. One risks being called an anti-Semite merely for wondering whether there might actually be a cause. I’ve been saying for years that anti-Semitism is depicted as this mystery virus that inexplicably occurs wherever Jews show up. It’s framed as our most horrifying and urgent problem—one that must be stamped out at the risk of another global war, because if we don’t fight another global war to prevent it, one which by necessity will involve the deaths of millions of people, then, um, millions of people might die. That is, if you know, we don’t do something first.

But they never ever seem to look for a cause of the problem beyond the voodoo word “hatred.” In fact, you may risk sudden career death for wondering aloud whether the cause could possibly be any more nuanced or intricate than that.

And what’s stranger is that 99% of “intellectuals” and “academics” and “researchers” and “experts” appear to have swallowed such a childish and hollow explanation. And I’m probably lowballing my estimate. It’s probably safer to say that these days, only one in 10,000 intellectuals feels safe wondering aloud whether “hatred” might not be the only factor causing this extremely important problem which may very well lead to the end of the world.

What is absolutely verboten to suggest is that anti-Semitism, even a particle of it, is a reaction to Jewish behavior. If you were to mention that most anti-Semites throughout history accused Jews of refusing to assimilate and of being openly hostile to their host culture, those accusations wouldn’t be addressed. Instead, you’d be called an anti-Semite.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but it feels like gaslighting.

It’s OK to say that whites cause not only all of their own problems, but those of almost everyone else. It’s not only OK—it’s required.

But the worst thing you could possibly say right now at the dawn of the 2020s is that the very notion of “anti-Semitism” ignores that all human groups—and I’m including Jews as human, not that it’s a compliment—are involved in an endless struggle for resources and land and influence, and in this struggle, it is ridiculous and dishonest to assert that any group is innocent.

If you have the merest grasp of history, you’d understand that the group which winds up getting blamed is not necessarily the guiltiest one—it’s the group that lost the power struggle. That’s simply how power works—the winners get to depict themselves as the good guys and the losers as the bad guys.

A rigid double standard about which groups are guilty and which are innocent is the very essence of social inequality. If you’re going to even roll out of bed and pretend this is a society, you should realize that for it to function harmoniously, you can’t have some groups presumed innocent and others presumed guilty. It’s a recipe for endless chaos.

And while we’re talking about breaking stereotypes, how about we ditch the stereotype about the “anti-Semite” being a subhuman monster who deserves extinction? After all, isn’t the main problem with “anti-Semitism” supposed to be the fact that it depicts Jews as subhuman monsters who deserve extinction? Isn’t that supposed to be the problem with all “bigotry”? Am I the only one who perceives the deep hypocrisy in merely flipping the script?

As annoying and rotten and unlikable and two-faced and dishonest as we all are, can’t we at least admit we’re all human?

Obviously not. Sadly, part of being human is the stubborn refusal to see all humans as human.



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