Anti-Semitism is never acceptable

By Peter Rosenstein - April 24, 2018 12:00 am

Interesting like so many politicians before him District of Columbia Ward Eight councilmember Trayon White has taken to bashing the media for reporting on the things he has said and done. He doesn’t dispute those things but rather in a recent Facebook Live segment he says “I am not resigning, I’m not backing down, I’m not discouraged, I’m not depressed, so run all the media stories you want because my people are going to support me.”

It would be much better if instead he continued the process he committed to participate in and educate himself on the issues after claiming the Rothschilds were responsible for climate change.

While he was beginning that education process it was revealed he gave a $500 donation to Louis Farrakhan’s Saviors Day event from his constituent service fund. The fund for which he raises money from donors to help constituents in need. Clearly Farrakhan is neither a constituent or in need of White’s money. But then if it were his own money he gave it may not have become such an issue.

But White is being proven right some will support him. One of the first to speak out in his defense on her Facebook page is columnist Jonetta Rose Barras. She writes “In Washington, DC and around the country, the entire Jewish leadership seem to have pounced on a city council member Trayon White, who foolishly announced that “The Rothschilds are behind climate change.” Well this statement isn’t true. After he made the ill-founded anti-Semitic statement much of the Jewish community in Washington D.C., including the Jewish members of the Council, suggested he needed an education on the issues and they were happy to work with him.  They were willing to forgive his anti-Semitic remarks and he apologized for them

But now that it has been reported he gave $500 to the anti-Semitic Farrakhan from his constituent service fund Barras writes in his defense and gives him cover by suggesting it is ok to do what so many anti-Semites are doing today, basing their hatred of Jews on their dislike of what Israel is doing in relation to Palestinians. While it is not clear White has ever had a discussion on that issue it is totally unacceptable to let Barras get away with giving him that as a defense.

I am Jew and my father’s parents were among the six million Jews gassed to death during the holocaust. I don’t condone all the actions of the Netanyahu government in Israel. Israel is not all the Jews. Israel is a nation. We don’t condemn all Christians because the United States which many consider a Christian nation, does some horrific things to its own people. If Jewish leaders in America want better relations with blacks in America, they might start by looking at the hatred and brutality that is being perpetrated against people of color. But Barras would seem to disagree as she goes on to write “If the Jewish leaders in America want better relations with Blacks in America they might start by looking at the hatred and brutality that is being perpetrated against people of color. They might shift their focus from a lowly city council member to the broader issue of human rights. If they don’t they can be sure others will join Trayon White in becoming captive to conspiracy theories. After all the current sins of Jewish/Israeli leaders water those fears.” She takes the Farrakhan anti-Semitic position that hatred of Jews, all America Jews, can be condoned because they can be faulted/equated with some of the policies of the nation of Israel.

The new acceptance and openness of hatred in America can be partially laid at the feet of President Trump. A President who can equate the alt-right and the Nazis with the people who opposed them in Charlottesville. But I think Barras may have had these views before Trump. Trayon White should know the Jews in America make up only about 3 ½% of the population. Blacks make up about 13% of the population in America. Now I recognize like most other Jews I benefit from white privilege while Blacks must deal with the insidious institutional racism that exists in America. Every decent person must fight to change that if we are ever to see any kind of real equality in our country. But Barras suggesting anti-Semitism in the United states is ok because all American Jews should take responsibility for what the Israeli government does not only makes no sense it drives people further apart. That helps no one and accomplishes nothing.

Trayon White is elected by the people of Ward eight. They have a right to elect the representatives they want. But it would behoove the decent people of Ward Eight to help educate Trayon White on what anti-Semitism actually does and means rather than lend him false equivalents to allow him to continue to believe holding on to his, and not calling out other anti-Semites, is the right way for him to move forward.

Categorised in: ,