Anti-semitism and discrimination continues in the current climate


Anti-semitism continues in the current climate

In a time filled with events that will surely be added to our history books, including the COVID-19 global pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests, and many more monumental landmarks, it is absurd to ignore that racism and discrimination still occurs.

The amount of support that the Black Lives Matter movement is receiving can only be described as inspiring and well-deserved. This is a time to support others and embrace our differences, so why are Jewish people still experiencing anti-Semitism that is not addressed, not punished, and has little to no representation? My question remains, where is the support for the Jewish minorities facing constant confrontations with anti-Semites? There are people who just assume that since many Jewish people appear white, they have never faced hardships, such as discrimination and anti-Semitism. The root of anti-Semitism comes from Jewish people historically being targeted as an “other.” In a time that is being marked by standing up against hatred, why is the hatred of Jews being ignored? As sad as it is to say, as a Jewish high schooler, I have faced numerous anti-Semitic confrontations and discrimination. I understand the outcry for change, but this change needs to be consistent and for all minority groups. Activism is not activism if Jews are not included in the fight.

As a resident in a suburb just 15 minutes out of Philadelphia, I am a hardcore Eagles fan, as many readers of Eastside are. But I may not be for long. My unconditional support for my favorite football team was yanked away when I saw the disgusting and ignorant comments of wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Jackson posted an anti-Semitic message, wrongly attributed to Adolf Hitler, saying “Jews will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”

Should the Eagles fly with DeSean Jackson on the team? Certain people in the media chose to say that he is simply uneducated on the matter, that he doesn’t know enough about the past of Jews to make a comment that can offend people. I’m sorry, but when did the media get the privilege of deciding whether or not something is offensive? Educated or not, the comment itself used anti-Semitic language that targeted Jewish people.

Jackson’s post surfaced the internet on Monday, July 6, 2020. Today, as I am writing this, it is Saturday, July 11, 2020. In my opinion, the Eagles have not properly punished Jackson for his actions. Five days—it has been five days and this man who published his anti-Semitic feelings towards Jews has received minimal punishment, with the Eagles calling it a “teachable moment.” I’m confused. That statement was incredibly tone deaf. Recently, white players have made controversial comments regarding hate in this country and other NFL players were quick to call them out. Conversely, when this hate is directed towards Jews it is met with little to no peer resistance and tossed aside as a “teachable moment.”

If we are continuing to show examples of anti-Semitism in the current climate, referring to the past month, Shein is a widely used online shopping website that houses affordable clothing and swimwear. While surfing the site in hopes of finding a cute bathing suit, I came upon a suspicious item under the accessories tab. It was a Swastika necklace. Yep, for sale. For $2.50. A Swastika. For a company that is targeted towards young adults and teenagers to have the option of purchasing a Swastika necklace is absurd. Though the Swastika has been a symbol in the Buddhist religion predating the Holocaust, the selling of merchandise containing a Swastika can only be described as insensitive to the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, their families, and all Jewish followers. In case anyone is unaware of the meaning of the Nazi Swastika, it symbolizes the world that Hitler wanted, a world without Jews, African-Americans, and practically any race besides Aryan. What time period are we in? Is this 2020 or the 1930s? The company recently released a statement reading, “we made a giant mistake by selling a product that’s hurtful and offensive to many of you…” Though Shein expressed their apologies for the incident, this should have never occurred. The lack of knowledge and sensitivity that this company represents is the epitome of anti-Semitism.

Every single day on Instagram I see that the Black Lives Matter movement is represented by millions of people, because it should. But where is the support for the Jewish people? I thought this time period was supposed to bring everyone together, yet the Jews are constantly being pushed out of the enclosed circle of support. Instead of being the top target for Wentz this season, Jackson chose to pin his anti-Semitic target on Jews. I will say it again, activism is not activism if Jews are not included in the fight. It happens way too often when the Holocaust is minimized and forgotten. Jews have been persecuted from the beginning pages of our history textbooks, dating back to 250 C.E. Jewish people have dug themselves out of the miserable hole that is oppression time and time again, and have built themselves up into a strong and powerful community. In 2020, we should not be kicked back into the hole that we dug ourselves out of. The world came together to fight for the rights of Black people in our society, let’s do the same for our Jewish population. We should, we need to, and we will.