When it comes to the fight for social justice, so many young people are coming out to lend their voice. There are still Black Lives Matter protests happening, with people calling for justice. There is an overwhelming amount of support for issues regarding black lives, women, and LGBTQ+ people. This is a wonderful display and it gives me hope for future generations.
However, anti-Semitism is something not spoken about as much. Despite various hate crimes towards Jewish people on the rise, searching for a mention of it in today's social justice activism is like looking for a needle in a haystack. In addition to that, celebrities are spouting anti-Semitism in rapid succession. It's quite disturbing to say the least.
Ice Cube came under fire recently for posts made on his Twitter account. He posted memes which contained anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish people. The rapper claimed the posts in question weren't anti-Semitic, but rather pro-black. The problem with this, is it seems to place blame on Jewish people regarding anti-black racism and the history behind it.
Nick Cannon spoke with Professor Griff on his podcast and landed himself in a similar controversy. Griff was previously a member of the group, Public Enemy. He was kicked out of the group for his anti-Semitism. In an interview, Griff called Jewish people "wicked." Cannon's choice of such a guest on his podcast was strike number one.
During the show, Cannon would not only get two more strikes, but get out of the game completely. He went on to show support for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, such as the Rothschilds and others. He also claimed black people couldn't be anti-Semitic, since they are Semitic people. In addition to all this, he claimed people with less melanin in their skin were naturally more "savage."
Cannon released a statement following the controversy, but declined to formally apologize. ViacomCBS followed suit by cutting all ties with Cannon, citing his refusal to apologize as their reason for doing so. Cannon eventually did apologize, claiming he met with Rabbis to better understand the issue. After his apology, Fox announced they would keep Cannon as the host of "The Masked Singer," claiming he appeared "remorseful."
After the J.K. Rowling debacle, I've learned that just because someone is ignorant, it doesn't mean they're willing to learn. Rowling clearly only "researches" from sources that are compatible with her echo-chamber. She's not interested in learning why people, trans or otherwise, were offended by her statements.
If Cannon wants to get in the general public's good graces again, he's going to have to prove himself. He's going to have to prove that he is genuine in his desire to learn why he was wrong. It has to be sincere and not just a ploy to keep a job hosting a television show.
The sad part is, there were plenty of people who defended Cannon and didn't feel he said anything wrong. Diddy even offered Cannon a position at his own network, Revolt. The network previously broadcast a speech from Louis Farrakhan, which Cannon voiced support for in his podcast. Farrakhan has been known to make what I believe are anti-Semitic statements.
The main problem with the discourse surrounding Cannon's comments is the fact that very few seem to understand why his statements were anti-Semitic. Prior to the Holocaust, Hitler rose to power by convincing citizens Jewish people were responsible for the failing economy. He saw the unfortunate state Germany was in and used that to his advantage. People were successfully brainwashed and this is what led to the murder of 6,000,000 Jewish people.
This is why conspiracy theories like the Rothschilds and others are so harmful to Jewish people. Jewish people are taught about their own history growing up, including the Holocaust and what led to it. The Jewish community is very aware of this mindset. "Never again" is a phrase taught to ensure awareness. Therefore, when signs of it begin to show, they step in to make sure that kind of horror doesn't happen again. It's an important and necessary form of self-defense.
Speaking of self-defense, this is also behind one of the many misconceptions people have about Israel. Historically speaking, Israel is the original homeland of the Jewish people, created before the Holocaust. Following the second World War, many Jewish people wanted to return to their homeland. They wanted to be in a place where they felt they belonged. They wanted to feel safe.
This is why it's important for Israel to be recognized as the homeland of the Jewish people. I often hear people claiming Israel wants to become an ethnostate. I don't believe this to be true. People who aren't Jewish live and work in Israel. There are a lot of Arab citizens in Israel. I don't believe their goal is to drive those people out.
Another misconception I believe people have about Israel is their treatment of Palestinians. When people mention human rights violations against the Palestinian people, most of the time it sounds like Israel is merely defending themselves or protecting themselves from future attacks. It sounds to me like most of the critics of Israel would rather they just sit back and allow their land to be wiped off the map.
Most people don't talk about the way Israel warns Palestinian civilians about their planned attacks. They send out messages detailing when and where these attacks will be carried out. However, the Palestinian leaders want the civilians to stay in those areas. Those leaders have also shut down every proposal of a possible two-state solution. I believe the Palestinian leaders are terrorists who want Israel wiped off the map and its people dead.
This is why its so disheartening to see Bernie Sanders completely misinformed. I understand Jewish people all feel differently about the Israeli government and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in general. I'm not suggesting all Jewish people should think a particular way. However, I don't think Sanders' criticisms of Israel are based in fact.
It's also not a good sign that his supporters include the likes of Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. All of these women are highly critical of Israel and have made statements which I believe are anti-Semitic.
Tlaib claimed the Holocaust gave her a "calming feeling." She claimed her words were taken out of context, but I don't believe that to be true. It sounded to me like she was "calmed" by Jewish people dying in the Holocaust because of the way Jewish people took back the land from Palestinians in its wake. AOC defended Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitic statements that Jewish people have dual loyalties and wealthy Jewish people control Republicans in Congress.
Linda Sarsour claimed that Israel is "built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everyone else." She later claimed she was referring to Israel's nation-state law. The law states that Jerusalem is Israel's capital, national self-determination in the State of Israel is "unique to the Jewish people," and Hebrew is the state's language. Arabic was previously an official language and is now designated to having "a special status in the state."
I don't believe this is asserting Jewish supremacy. I think this is asserting that Israel is the Jewish homeland. Let me know how you would feel if an entire country turned on you, gathered your people up, and thew you in concentration camps where you were gassed to death. Tell me how important it would be for you to have a place where your people were accepted, safe, and assured that kind of terror wouldn't happen again.
Many people who criticize Israel claim that they're not criticizing the Jewish people, but the Israeli government. I fully accept that point of view. I think you can criticize Israel without being anti-Semitic. However, the problem comes when people either focus only on Israel or hold it to a higher standard than other governments. This is where many people feel criticism of Israel becomes anti-Semitic.
AOC has stated several times that criticizing Israel isn't the same as being anti-Semitic. While this may be true, it doesn't negate that the other words of these women say otherwise. AOC's criticism of Israel seems even more questionable, since she claimed she isn't completely educated on the subject. How can someone take this woman seriously when she admits not to even know what she's talking about?
I'm sure you're wondering how these women can be anti-Semitic if they're endorsing a candidate like Bernie Sanders. Racist people love their tokens. Just like racist white conservatives love Candace Owens, these women flock to Bernie Sanders. They feel it gives validity to their argument and shields them from criticism. The next time something anti-Semitic comes out of their mouth, they can say, "But I campaigned for Bernie Sanders!"
My point is, anti-Semitism is still alive and spreading. It's depressing to hear the amount of hate crimes against Jewish people this past year in just New York City alone. It's also rising in other areas, and it still occurs all across the country. In addition to that, we have celebrities and political figures (intentionally or not) encouraging this mentality.
Some people say that we need to only focus on the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality. They say this isn't the time to have this discussion. I disagree. We can hold two thoughts in our head at once. It's become clear to me that anti-Semitism is gaining power in all different facets of life. There's no better time to start speaking out against it. The time is now.