Much like anti-Blaông chồng 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 like the ones recently made by DeSean Jackson & Niông xã 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 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 hyên ổn, his contrition was enough for Fox, which is keeping hyên ổn on as host of its hit competition series “The Masked Singer.”

Both Jackson và Cannon have sầu pledged khổng lồ educate themselves on the subject, a move sầu 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 learn more is sincere or simply self-preservation. I genuinely hope it is the former. No group owns suffering and no one is too old lớn grow.

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

For 40 years that conversation has stuchồng with me. I didn’t have the vocabulary to express or fully understand it back then but I knew enough khổng lồ feel that there was something fundamentally wrong with the name “Jewtown” và how it was talked about. Despite growing up in the segregated South, I never heard my relatives speak ill of White people and I’m sure no one felt that line of thinking — that shorthand stereotyping — was harmful.


By the time I got to lớn college, I had become intrigued by the message of Minister Louis Farrakhan and 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/prothử nghiệm 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 lớn Washington, D.C., khổng lồ hear Farrakhan tóm tắt his thoughts on what Black men needed lớn vì chưng khổng lồ uplift our communities. I fondly rethành viên all of us singing along lớn “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead as we approached the đô thị.

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

I tried my best to ignore the occasional anti-Semitic sertháng that reminded me of the day I was told to “jew the price down.” Eventually Farrakhan’s repulsive words about the Jewish community became too much for me to ignore. I just don’t believe you need to 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 white devils? Nah, man, that just ain’t how I’m built. And if a popular leader were to refer to lớn my community as Blaông chồng devils, I’m sure the response would be adjusted accordingly.


As I said earlier, my family didn’t mean any harm with their stereotypes, they just didn’t know any better. Jackson & to lớn a degree Cannon also voiced a laông chồng of clarity on the issues in their subsequent apologies. (“I feel ashamed of the uninformed & naive 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 the reaction lớn racists’ remarks. It doesn’t explain why some Black people feel that disparaging Jewish people is an essential element lớn liberation.

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

In fact, I believe 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 nội dung of our character. I hope before the next person of note — Blaông chồng or otherwise — decides to lớn giới thiệu some thoughts on an entire group of people they rethành viên that.

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