Much lượt thích anti-Blaông xã sentiment isn’t always manifested by slurs, anti-Semitism doesn’t always come with a lighted marquee. It’s subtle — shrouded in absent-minded stereotyping, unchallenged colloquialisms, tepid rebukes of inflammatory remarks lượt thích the ones recently made by DeSean Jackson và Niông chồng Cannon or, even worse, no rebukes at all.

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Jackson, a star wide receiver with the Philadelphia Eagles, has apologized for his Instagram post of an anti-Semitic quote attributed to lớn Adolf Hitler; and Cannon has issued two apologies for anti-Semitic comments made on his podcast, “Cannon’s Class,” during an interview with Richard Griffin (aka Professor Griff, formerly the “Minister of Information” for the hip-hop group Public Enemy). For Cannon, though ViacomCBS cut ties with hlặng, his contrition was enough for Fox, which is keeping hyên on as host of its hit competition series “The Masked Singer.”

Both Jackson & Cannon have pledged khổng lồ educate themselves on the subject, a move that would have sầu served everyone better if they had done that before slandering an entire group of people with hurtful conspiracies và accusations. And of course one can’t help but wonder if this newfound desire to lớn learn more is sincere or simply self-preservation. I genuinely hope it is the former. No group owns suffering & no one is too old to lớn grow.

My first brush with anti-Semitism started at trang chủ. My family didn’t collect Nazi memorabilia or anything conspicuous lượt thích that. Growing up, one of my favorite things khổng lồ bởi vì was visit family members in Chicago. I loved the cookouts, music and trips to lớn the Maxwell Street Market many residents “affectionately” referred to as “Jewtown.” One day I asked a family member why it was called that và she said it was because before buying anything we had to first “jew the price down.”

For 40 years that conversation has stuck with me. I didn’t have the vocabulary lớn express or fully underst& it baông chồng then but I knew enough to lớn feel that there was something fundamentally wrong with the name “Jewtown” & how it was talked about. Despite growing up in the segregated South, I never heard my relatives speak ill of trắng people & I’m sure no one felt that line of thinking — that shorthvà stereotyping — was harmful.


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By the time I got to college, I had become intrigued by the message of Minister Louis Farrakhan và the teachings of the Nation of Islam. This was during the height of Gen X Afrocentriđô thị. I was wearing leather necklaces with medallions shaped lượt thích Africa, engaged in spirited conversations about “The Isis Papers” — Dr. Frances Cress Welsing’s bestselling 1992 book about the psychiatry of racism — while X-Clan was playing in the background.

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The first march/prokiểm tra I ever attended as an adult was the Million Man March in 1995. A bunch of us from college rode in a university van to Washington, D.C., khổng lồ hear Farrakhan giới thiệu his thoughts on what Blaông chồng men needed to lớn vày khổng lồ uplift our communities. I fondly rethành viên all of us singing along to “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden và Whitehead as we approached the thành phố.


It was incredibly powerful khổng lồ see so many brothers — young và old — gathered for the sole purpose of making a difference baông xã home page. Because of that day và Minister Farrakhan, I began reading more; worked to help underserved youth; even walked the streets with my church lớn disrupt drug dealers on the corners & discourage gang violence.

I tried my best to ignore the occasional anti-Semitic sermon that reminded me of the day I was told khổng lồ “jew the price down.” Eventually Farrakhan’s repulsive sầu words about the Jewish community became too much for me to ignore. I just don’t believe you need lớn tear another group down in order to lớn lift your group up. Exposing lies và dismantling unjust systems I’m all here for — but talk of Trắng devils? Nah, man, that just ain’t how I’m built. And if a popular leader were khổng lồ refer to lớn my community as Blachồng devils, I’m sure the response would be adjusted accordingly.


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As I said earlier, my family didn’t mean any harm with their stereotypes, they just didn’t know any better. Jackson và lớn a degree Cannon also voiced a laông xã of clarity on the issues in their subsequent apologies. (“I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naive sầu place that these words came from,” Cannon tweeted Wednesday.) But the ignorance of the offender doesn’t explain away everything about these recent episodes. It doesn’t explain why public chastisement over anti-Semitic comments is fairly muted when compared to lớn the reaction lớn racists’ remarks. It doesn’t explain why some Blachồng people feel that disparaging Jewish people is an essential element khổng lồ liberation.

Personally, I don’t think forcing a man onto his knees makes me taller.

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In fact, I believe sầu it has the opposite effect because it undermines the very principle that the struggle for echất lượng is rooted in: lớn be judged by the content of our character. I hope before the next person of note — Blaông xã or otherwise — decides to lớn nội dung some thoughts on an entire group of people they rethành viên that.