Letter to the editor:
Ya Basta Bre!
The recent and ever-increasing violence, terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism in the U.S. is alarming. Each one of us has the responsibility to assure that in addition to being respectful of others’ beliefs and practices, we speak out whenever inequities or misguided perception are present.
Most hate crimes, anti-Semitism, etc. are based on ignorance. Each one of us has the responsibility to educate when the opportunity arises. Uninformed individuals need to be reminded that, as Americans first, we are guided by a set of values, embraced by most if not all religions, of respect, tolerance and understanding of others. Similarly, those that deviate from American values and laws should understand that actions have consequences.
Individually and collectively, we should all be proactive and subscribe to the Ladino/Spanish refrain; “Ya Basta Bre!”- Enough is Enough!
Dr. Albert Barrocas, Atlanta
Letter to the editor:
Over the last decade, I’ve had hundreds of op-eds in Georgia newspapers and online, publications which reflect my progressive anti-racism views on controversial topics. On every issue, my views as a Southern Jew are the same as most African Americans, not surprising given my past.
However, your 12-30 column, “Jewish Atlanta Reacts to New York Anti-Semitic Stabbing,” clearly left out a key element of the issue: black anti-Semitism. Surprisingly, there’s a hesitancy to ignore black anti-Semitism in both the Jewish and general media.
As similar ADL surveys since 1992 have shown, black anti-Semitism is not a recent thing. Bigotry towards Jews is nearly two-thirds higher in the black community. The Anti-Defamation League 2016 survey that found that 23 percent of African Americans held anti-Semitic views.
Numerous black leaders have long condoned it and, in some cases, promoted it. To give just a few examples among the many:
*Rep Omar’s “Benjamin” remarks, etc.;
*Tamika Mallory, organizer of the Women’s March, called anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, “the GOAT,” i.e. “the greatest of all time;”
* Mallory stated: “Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people;”
* Per Farrakhan, “the powerful Jews are my enemy,” and “the Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.” (Mallory was there and did not object);
* Farrakhan praised Adolf Hitler, calling him: “a very great man;”
*Jesse Jackson stated: “That’s all Hymie wants to talk about, is Israel; every time you go to Hymietown, that’s all they want to talk about;”
*Alice Walker, author and activist, states in the New York Times: “In [David] Icke’s books there is the whole of existence.” Mr. Icke blamed the Jews for the Holocaust.
Unlike most whites, I have a long relationship with (and compassion for) the African American community. My first jobs were with the poverty program, working under black men/women. My territory included the rural Georgia county where Alice Walker was raised. When I received threats to burn down my trailer because I was a “n*****” lover, I left.
I eventually went into the healthcare industry and established the first national GPO minority vendor program, working with major companies and hospital systems to set goals and establish minority set asides. I now do volunteer mentoring of primarily black businesses.
Which, once again, is why it pains me to see that the bigotry of anti-Semitism is more accepted in the black community versus in America as a whole. It’s personally disturbing that the Black Caucus came out against a specific declaration against anti-Semitism based on Rep. Omar’s original comments.
House Minority Whip Rep. Clyburn stated: “There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors. It’s more personal with her … I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”
My father, a refugee, lost all of his grandparents to the Holocaust. Was he not living in pain? Does Rep. Omar’s pain supposedly negate his? Is this a contest Rep. Clyburn?
African American leaders like Clyburn must change their one-sided views. They need to come forth and declare that the Jewish and black communities should work in concert as they did back in the 1960s civil rights era. And, they must specifically condemn negative stereotypes regarding Jewish people for what they are: undefendable bigotry.
Al Sharpton, guilty of anti-Semitism in the past, has started this movement forward. Others must join him. Now, not later.
Jack Bernard, Peachtree City