So Nick Cannon apologized for making anti-Semitic comments on his podcast. How big of him. Business as usual. Nick and others like him have been making scathing anti-Semitic remarks, like forever, and with immunity. What a difference ethnicity makes to Hollywood and the intellectual elitist. A few years back when Mel Gibson made similar remarks while drunk, he was crucified (pardon the pun) by the media, Hollywood, and the self-appointed “racist” police in intellectually liberal America. He still has not recovered from that little episode, despite the fact that he must have apologized for a thousand times. I’m not excusing Mr. Gibson. His family is well documented as being anti-Semite and booze is the ultimate truth serum. In vino veritas said the Romans. “In wine one finds the truth”. But why were his apologies insignificant?
We have watched many a celebrity fall on the disgraced path to social and business ruin. Paula Deen admitted to using the “n” word many moons ago, and she was immediately pulled off the Food Network faster than one could say “y’all”. Frying chicken and being a racist is simply not acceptable. She also apologized, but was never reinstated. NPR fired Juan Williams because shortly after 9/11, he admitted in passing that he got nervous boarding a plane with Middle Eastern men. Roseanne Barr found similar response to her inane rants and also lost her show. They all apologized but none were forgiven by the networks, Hollywood, or liberal America. Juan Williams found a niche at Fox News as a regular member of The Five.
The “whip” is not evenly applied across the racist board. It all depends on which side of the fence you lean and who your friends are. It also depends on the bottom line. With the current “racism” excuse for bad behavior, Fox thinks that Nick Cannon’s belated apology is good enough in keeping him on. Obviously, this poor excuse of an entertainer has a lucrative following. Cannon’s show business friends seem to think that ViacomCBS who cut ties with him immediately and completely, were “racist bullies”. Really? The New York Daily News (July 20, 2020) reported that Fox accepted Nick Cannon’s “clear and remorseful” apology, and he is ready to be “educated and make amends”. How convenient.
To put everything in perspective and in context; on his June 30th podcast of “Cannon’s Class”, this classless ignoramus openly stated that one cannot be anti-Semitic because people like him are the original and “true” Hebrews. This statement was made to another genius of his ilk, former Public Enemy member Professor Griff. There is nothing profusely academic about the latter’s title. But obviously small minds think alike. Nick Cannon continued his rant by diminishing Jews to “people they want to be”, labeling Jews as pretenders to 3,000 years of biblical heritage. And Fox thinks that they can “educate” this moron. How reassuring.
The incongruity between who we go after and who we “educate” goes beyond disturbing. It digs deep into the psyche of a country that has been ripped in two by violence, bigotry, and pitting one group of people against another. Consistent in all this rhetoric is one elephant in the room that everybody ignores. Jew hatred. Referred to politely for lesser impact and annoyance as anti-Semitism. A comfortable label that is non-judgmental and non-confrontational.
Stephen Smith from the Jewish periodical Forward, has unabashedly “explained” the politically correct un-intrusive term “anti-Semitic”. Anyone who is Semitic is not necessarily Jewish. Arabs are Semitic. My own mother tongue, Maltese, is Semitic in origin and nature. A term that leaves room for apologies and excuses and lessens the blow of blatant hatred. Everyone in the Mediterranean is inadvertently, Semitic. A convenience that hardly necessitates much angst.
Recent protests insidiously linked “white privilege” to Jews. Greedy bankers with hidden agendas that sway governments. Consequently, Jewish neighborhoods in California and New York were targeted and vandalized. The symbol of choice for vandalizing Jewish property, cemeteries, and other Jewish assets remains the Swastika. Nothing else is required. The symbol goes through the heart of every Jew in the Diaspora. A reminder of systematic genocide of six million Jews because of who they were. Mr. Smith reminded us that it was Nazi Germany that created the pseudo “harmless” expression “antisemitismus”. Earlier on, hard core Jew haters used the expression Judenhaas; Jew hatred. Less confusing and to the point.
Which brings us to Mr. Cannon, who reinvented himself as Semitic. A generalization that softens the pure hatred underneath a public figure’s image of an entertainer. Hiding behind the equally insidious excuse of dislike for Zionists, the growing hatred for Jews in Europe and the United States remains unchecked. Not a day passes that Congresswomen Ilhan Omar from Minneapolis, and Rashida Tlaib from Michigan don’t make a hateful remark against Israel and Jews. They are given a proverbial slap on the wrist by their own party and left alone to spew hatred for another day. They might need to be sent to the same “educational” course as Mr. Cannon.
What I find personally unsettling is the acceptance of mainstream Christian leadership to include the Vatican who champion everything from immigration to racism, but quietly ignore the rise in Jew hatred. We still have not been told what was revealed in the Vatican archival reports from WWII. COVID put that little story on the back burner. Allegedly, the Vatican under the leadership of Pope Pius XII, remained silent as Jews were rounded up just “800 yards” from the Vatican. The Vatican is inviting Jewish leaders and others to view and make determination on the documents, but the questions still remain; why did the Pope stay silent? And why is the same church remaining relatively silent today?
Jews remain the silent minority. In the meantime, the likes of Louis Farrakhan, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, NBA athletes, entertainers, and Nick Cannon remain unscathed. There are no boycotts, no protests, no monuments, no writing on the street, no kneeling by members of Congress, no marches by politicians, and definitely no rioting. But the silence is deafening. Offending Jews remains a “no big deal” issue.
Feldman, K. (July 20, 2020). Nick Cannon will keep ‘Masked Singer” gig after apology. New York Daily News. Stars and Stripes.
Poggioli, S. (March 2, 2020). Vatican Opens Archives of World War II Era Pope Pius XII. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/02/811170588/vatican-opens-archives-of-world-war-ii-era-pope-pius-xii?t=1595314723579
Smith, S.D. (July 7, 2020). Debating Labels, stop calling it anti-Semitism. It’s Jew hatred. https://forward.com/opinion/450209/since-were-debating-labels-stop-calling-it-anti-semitism-its-jew-hatred/?fbclid=IwAR3OF38gYxxoZJJNSSonfDBx4aWOhtZrM_MEwYAqMUa1J2ENpf-U9IXouv8