I am the grandmother of a Jew of Color. To me she is just my granddaughter. Like me, she is a Jew. Actually because of me she is a Jew! Farrakhan’s antisemitism applies to her exactly the same way it applies to me. So why aren’t we all standing together against it?
You know the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? This picture got a hundred times that and some of them were my own. You might be surprised to learn that a virulent antisemite is not a unifying factor in the Jewish community on Facebook.
The question arose from the ashes of a discussion as to whether we can criticize the appearance of a virulent antisemite who sat at center stage at a beloved celebrities funeral. I said hell yeah. My reason was simple. Farrakhan, sitting on a stage two seats away from former president Clinton makes him acceptable. It desensitizes us to his hate. He is mainstreamed.
In a Jewish Facebook group that I’m a member of, it was brought up that the Jews of Color in the group were uncomfortable with the discussion. The reasons boiled down to how they viewed the discussion. It felt to them as an attack, because the majority of those taking a stand against Farrakhan’s prominence at the funeral were white.
I found this disturbing. I was saying we’re all Jews and should be fighting Jew hate together because Farrakhan’s Jew hate is not meant just for me. Neither is David Duke’s or Jeremy Corbyn’s or Mahmoud Abbas’ for that matter. Of that list only David Duke hasn’t achieved a level of mainstream acceptance.
As Jews we have suffered thousands of years of hate. We have been conquered and dispersed. The history we should have had was stolen from us. As Jews we need to stand shoulder to shoulder against Jew haters. Today it was Farrakhan but it will be someone else next. I am not “just another white person” as someone said to me in the group, I am a Jew just like you.
My stand against Farrakhan was for all Jews. My fight with antisemitism is for all Jews. We are a people that may be like no other, but we are the Jewish people. Twelve tribes that make up one people. From the many, one.