Debbie Hall
Debbie Hall

Westboro Baptist Synagogue

Once upon a time, the majority of Jews in America that I encountered were of a liberal mindset.  They believed in doing good in the world.  They believed in the civil rights movement.  They believed in equality for the gay community.  They believed in Rabbi Hillel’s Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  I’m not sure when the shift took place, but it seems that rather suddenly, a very large portion of the Jewish community divorced themselves from that mindset.  They’ve become the bigots the Jewish community once rallied against.  They have more in common with the Westboro Baptist Church than they do with the tenets and traditions of Judaism such as Tikkun Olam and being a light unto the nations.

While Obama hasn’t been the best American president when it comes to Israel, he also hasn’t been the worst.  But you wouldn’t know that from their rantings.  They’ve taken their hatred of him and transferred it to every black American.  They make excuses for crimes against black people.   They become irate when black people riot.  They voice their disgust when black people hold marches against injustices.  So now we have Colin Kaepernick, a black man, who has taken a very public stance to silently sit during the National Anthem in protest of the injustices and inequities still faced by black Americans.  Guess what?   The very people who once marched in unity with Martin Luther King are now posting vile rants of hate-filled poison against Colin Kaepernick because he’s protesting – silently.  It seems that according to these Neo-Confederate Jews, black people cannot ever voice being upset about anything and should just stay silent and know their place.  And when President Obama decided to make a statement supporting Kaepernick’s right to a silent protest, they’ve taken those vile rants of hate-filled poison up several notches.  “Well black people hate us,” they’ll say.  “Look at Black Lives Matter, look at Nation of Islam, look at the New Black Panthers.”  My response to that is, “So what?”

Just because certain black groups display anti-Semitism, it doesn’t mean that we have to hate them back and deny the validity of those grievances against inequities in America that are well-documented as being legitimate.  I don’t have to like or be a member of any of those groups, but I can still be honest about racial inequities in America whether the people I’m agreeing with like me or not.  It requires the ability to think critically and to realize that people are complex and the over-simplified process of categorizing people into Box A, Box B, or Box C is to tragically succumb to the lowest common denominator.  People who should be smart enough to see the complexities are either too lazy, or not that smart after all.  What I do know is that I will maintain my position of standing up for what is right and I will be continually grateful for my ability to see the complexities that every issue known to man has, and evaluate them accordingly.  Fear and hatred are ugly emotions and the only people they hurt are the bearers of those emotions, not those who are the subject of those emotions.  If this post upsets you, it’s time for you to take a good look in the mirror.

About the Author
Debbie Hall is a writer and activist living in the diaspora.
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