American Antisemitism Has Many Forms, All Must Be Confronted

American Antisemitism Has Many Forms, All Must Be Confronted

A brief look into American antisemitism, an abhorrent creation.
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In America, there is oftentimes this prevailing belief among its citizens that we have advanced beyond discrimination in most forms. Even isolated incidents are disregarded as simply that; an isolated incident. However, it still exists, and one kind that is seldom discussed in America is antisemitism, which America has a long, embarrassing history of. Considering the recent rise in hate crimes across America, especially against Jews, this is something that should be discussed in the public sphere.

First, these beliefs and actions are still somewhat prevalent. Many people believe in the fairly antisemitic theory that the Rothschild family controls everything. There was an uptick in people who believed in the idea that Jews "controlled Wall Street" and that they infiltrated the government following the Great Recession. Going further back, you have individuals such as Henry Ford, who helped the infamous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" be proliferated throughout America. Hell, stereotypes involving the infamous hooked noses, yarmulkes, and money are still seen in comedy and other means of entertainment. Disgusting.

Second, these beliefs are especially rampant in our universities. Though anecdotal, there are many stories of having swastikas carved into property, having fliers distributed alleging Jewish involvement in 9/11, members of various far-right/far-left groups stating that "Hitler did not finish the job." Hell, even "Heil Hitler" has been found quite a few times over the past year, according to the ADL. Various horrifying incidents perpetrated by individuals of various political ideologies. What's worse is that the number of incidents, according to the ADL, went up 96%. Ninety-six percent. That IS "deplorable."

This sentiment is also found in American politics. Some modern-day characters, including Holocaust denier Art Jones, have been repudiated across the board. Others, however, such as Paul Nehlen, candidate for Paul Ryan's seat, have been semi-elevated. People like Nehlen, who tweet out (((echo))) to denote Jews, or refer to people as having "Zionist masters," have gained considerable clout via Twitter and other social media platforms. Going further back, you have president Nixon, who complained about "all the Jews in the government." The red scares of the 20th century associating Jews with Communism, therefore making many enemies of the state in the eyes of the populace. All awful.

This may seem a bit disjointed, but this is a subject that is important to me. Discrimination of any form should be intolerable, but oftentimes it seems as if antisemitism is under-reported (potentially due to the fact that there are relatively fewer Jews in America). Whether it be Louis Farrakhan saying Jews engineered the slave trade, or Paul Nehlen/Art Jones/Richard Spencer saying American Jews essentially weren't for America, antisemitism is an evil which should be confronted, especially with the documented rise in hate crimes against Jews in the past year.

Discrimination is a plague of society, and it needs to be eliminated, somehow, some way.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Sun Times

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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You Shouldn't Be Ashamed Of Your Black Hair, Don't Let Anyone Tell You Differently

Growing up in predominantly white schools changed the way I felt about myself, including embracing my hair, but other people's opinion shouldn't stop you from embracing the beauty of your culture.

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Throughout my entire life, something I struggled with was my hair, even though I never really talked about it. I had never been very confident in it, and as I started to do it on my own, I struggled with keeping it healthy and eventually had to keep cutting it short to hide how damaged it was (still is).

I was constantly straightening it and got to a point where I was relaxing it every 3-4 weeks instead of the minimum point of 2-3 months. Every time it looked frizzy in the slightest, I'd text my mom and ask if she'd be able to lather on the chemicals that night. I thought what I was doing was okay and that my hair would somehow manage to become healthy again on its own, but it took me a really long time to admit to myself that I was damaging my hair because of my own insecurities.

This is the first time I'm being completely honest about all of these thoughts.

My first encounter with negative opinions about my hair was when I was in preschool, K4 to be exact, at a predominantly white school. I don't even remember much of it myself, but my mom would tell me how I would come home crying about kids calling me names such as "poodle" and would just constantly pick on me. All because of my hair. Sure, it may not seem that much now, but I was 4 years old. So, my mom decided to relax my hair, thinking that it'd make everything better.

But here comes the third grade. I was new at school and my only close friend was the only other black girl in my class. When my hair had gotten a bit wet during a relay race on field day, a kid in my class touched it and proceeded to ask why it felt like wheat grass.

That's when I stopped letting people touch my hair.

Constantly throughout middle school, I'd get told I had "white girl hair" and black girls would thrust their hand up my scalp to feel for weave tracks. This just encouraged me to do even more damage. But during the summer in-between grades, I would get my hair braided, and friends would text me asking "Why would you get a weave?" Just a few months ago, I had friends saying "I'm glad you never get a weave. I hope you never do that to your hair." This discouraged me from taking the precautions I should have been using to keep my hair protected, its fragile state not being made for being chemically straightened but to bounce freely as natural curls.

It had been almost 5 years since the last time I have braided my hair or done any protective styling in general because these things and the negative way my "friends" talked about me for it were sticking with me, making me think it was wrong to protect my hair. But now I plan on embracing the beauty of my hair and doing whatever I want, and whatever I think is necessary to help it while looking absolutely gorgeous while doing it, no matter what these "friends" think about it.

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