Imagine a headline in The New York Times which read “A Quiet Village is Bracing for an Influx of African-Americans.” There would – rightfully – be a tremendous uproar. Imagine if said article then went on to detail how a vaunted doctor said “It’s no longer my village, it’s a black village.” Pretend – just pretend – that an African-American business man said “a dozen protestors had yelled racist slurs at him, his family and other blacks.” And in the content of the article, pretend The New York Times spoke of how black people “often have six to eight children.”
And now – stop pretending. That exact article ran today in The New York Times – except substitute the word African-Americans (or Hispanics) for Hasidim. The article, headlined “A Quiet Village in the Catskills Braces for an Influx of Hasidim” is simply hateful and despicable. Last I checked, in the great United States of America, people are able to live wherever they choose – and that includes Hasidic Jews.
All decent people should stand up against discrimination of all sorts. If a developer wants to build homes for Jews, or Chinese people, or Martians, it’s his right. If people choose to buy (or rent), and live their lives and raise families, that’s the way of America.
As Ivan Turgenev said to Leo Tolstoy, “Truth is like a lizard; it leaves its tail in your fingers and runs away knowing full well that it will grow a new one in a twinkling.” Shabbat Shalom.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and respected public relations experts, and the best-selling author of “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations.”