It was a relatively short article, in The Federalist, which is not one of my usual reads. In it, David Marcus tells us about the increasing anti-Semitic assaults in New York City:
An epidemic of anti-Jewish violence in Brooklyn is being virtually ignored because many of the assailants are black and Hispanic.
by David Marcus | May 10, 2019
Imagine that members of a religious minority were being frequently physically assaulted in America’s largest city at alarming rates. Imagine if members of that minority were being cold-cocked or spit on randomly for doing nothing more than being who they are and dressing how they dress. Imagine what a powerful and important story this would be to our country, how mobilized the media and government would be to stop it. But what if I told you that this is happening in New York City right now, and nobody seems to care very much? How can this be? I’ll explain it.
Orthodox Jews in New York City, specifically in Brooklyn, have experienced alarming rates of physical assault over the past year. The New York Police Department says that hate crimes in the city are up 67 percent this year. Of those, a whopping 80 percent have been anti-Semitic hate crimes. Just this week an Orthodox Jew just walking down the street was attacked from behind, punched in the head by an attacker who then ran away. In another incident this week, an Orthodox Jew was attacked by a group of men, one of whom shouted “You (expletive) Jew.”
This is an all too familiar story in Brooklyn these days, and there is a reason it isn’t being treated as a crisis by our media or government. That reason is that many if not most of the assailants are black or Hispanic men. In an article in The New York Times last October that was careful to point out, although without much evidence, that people of all descriptions are committing acts of anti-Semitism, Ginia Bellafante writes (emphasis mine), “In fact, it is the varied backgrounds of people who commit hate crimes in the city that make combating and talking about anti-Semitism in New York much harder.”
We should be clear about what this means. It means that if these assaults were being committed by white men in hoods or MAGA hats, it would not be “hard to talk about.” It would be a clear-cut case of bigotry that needs to be fought with every tool in our arsenal. Instead, journalists are wringing their hands about intersectionality, and careful not to indulge the narrative that these physical attacks are coming from blacks and Hispanics in bordering neighborhoods, even though that narrative is absolutely true.
There’s more at the original, and I find it poor journalism on Mr Marcus’ part that he fails to include hyperlinks to his sources. The link in the quoted part of his article was researched and added by me, not Mr Marcus.
Nevertheless, his point is correct: the credentialed media are, for the most part, not concerned with anti-Semitic assaults, at least not unless they are perpetrated by conservative white males.
Since these assaults are heavily concentrated in Brooklyn, I decided to look at the Salon.com archives of our favorite Brooklynite¹ writer, Amanda Marcotte. After all, shouldn’t such hate crimes committed in her own neighborhood have piqued her interest?
Through five pages of her archives — that’s 75 articles — I found exactly three which even come close to addressing the issue:
- Fox News and the synagogue shooter: Right-wing network airs similar views every day: San Diego synagogue shooter’s noxious “replacement” theory has become a regular feature of Fox News commentary (April 29, 2019)
Exactly six months after the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, and just six weeks after the mosque shootings in New Zealand, there’s been another white nationalist attack on a house of worship, this time at a synagogue in San Diego. As with those other murders, the alleged killer — a 19-year-old man named John Earnest — was a devotee of the fascistic “replacement” theory, which holds that white people are entitled to cultural dominance and that racial diversity and immigration are equivalent to a “white genocide.”
Replacement theory is an idea that’s been coursing through the burgeoning neo-Nazi and white nationalist movement for some time, offering outright racists an excuse for casting themselves as the victims of demographic change and justifying their violent anger towards people of color. Sadly, this toxic notion is not limited to the dregs of the internet, where it appears Earnest was radicalized. These days, anyone who flips on Fox News, especially if they watch prime-time commentators like Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingraham, will hear strikingly similar ideas.
Replacement theory is an elaborate conspiracy theory that is just as unhinged as it is hateful. Adherents believe that a cabal of secretive Jews are deliberately trying to undermine white hegemony by pushing anti-racism and feminism and other such social justice notions, sneeringly derided by white nationalists as “cultural Marxism.” These Jewish conspirators, the theory continues, exploit feminism to trick white women into having fewer babies while pushing for “open borders,” and all this is aimed toward the ultimate goal of “replacing” white people with Jews and people of color.
As civil rights organizer Eric Ward told Salon last year, white nationalists simply cannot accept that women and people of color are smart enough to agitate for equality and social justice all on their own, and therefore blame “a global conspiracy by Jews” for masterminding the whole thing.
- After New Zealand, we can’t view white supremacist hate as “just trolling”: Leftists were called paranoid for seeing the OK sign as a coded white nationalist signal. Turns out they were right (March 18, 2019) In this, Miss Marcotte tries to link the “OK” hand sign flashed by “Republican operative” Zina Bash with the same gesture made by New Zealand mosque bomber Brenton Tarrant at his court appearance. Miss Marcotte claimed that the OK sign was one “which white supremacists had been using as an identifier for more than a year at that point.” That some alt-right groups had so adopted the OK sign, which had been in use for decades led Miss Marcotte to assume that Mrs Bash, or any conservative who uses it must be sending a coded message.²
- Conservatives will use Jussie Smollett to hide the truth about hate crimes: They can’t: One false police report: Sure, it’s bad. But it can’t hide the steady drumbeat of violence coming from the right. (February 22, 2019)
Instead, (conservatives) want to cling to Smollett’s alleged misdeed, which was stupid and selfish but thankfully highly unusual, and did not seriously endanger anyone except himself, as a way to deflect criticism away from their own immoral behavior. But the problem of right-wing terrorism in America has become so severe, sadly, that even the most frantic hand-waving from conservative pundits cannot hide the truth.
Mr Marcus noted that the anti-Semitic assaults in Brooklyn would not be at all hard to talk about for the credentialed media, were they committed by white men in Make America Great Again hats, and Miss Marcotte went out of her way to roundly condemn the synagogue attacks in Pittsburgh and San Diego, because the assailants were wicked white men. Yet, when they happened outside of her “shoebox of an apartment” in a borough “which has been losing its soul to a wave of rich gentrifiers who are turning the place to a shopping mall,” if she’s written a single word about it I’ve missed it. I’m guessing that it’s because it wasn’t those “rich (white) gentrifiers” in MAGA hats, but persons the origin of whom does not fit Teh Narrative:
If anti-Semitism bypasses consideration as a serious problem in New York, it is to some extent because it refuses to conform to an easy narrative with a single ideological enemy. During the past 22 months, not one person caught or identified as the aggressor in an anti-Semitic hate crime has been associated with a far right-wing group, Mark Molinari, commanding officer of the police department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, told me.
“I almost wish it was sometimes more clear cut,’’ he said. “It’s every identity targeting every identity.”
Translation: It would be nice if these incidents were all done by white guys wearing swastika armbands, but it seems that some of the bad guys aren’t the right bad guys. Mr Marcus wrote:
I asked city councilman and candidate for public advocate Joe Borelli if he thought the city and Mayor Bill de Blasio were doing enough. He was succinct, “It seems like the outrage ended when they couldn’t tie these hate crimes to Trump.”
Perhaps Miss Marcotte wrote something condemning the anti-Semitism of Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI 13th District), anti-Semitism so bad and so obvious that even the Democrats moved to condemn it, before some of her fellow travelers got it watered down. But if she did, I couldn’t find it. Perhaps in Miss Marcotte’s twitter feed, which I am blocked from viewing, there’s something noting with dismay the anti-Semitism of Louis Farrakhan, of which I am unaware.
Back to the Times:
Of course, not everyone is caught. And, obviously, white supremacists are driving anti-Semitic rhetoric online. It is just that sort of hate speech that the Anti-Defamation League views as largely responsible for the near doubling in bias incidents toward Jewish children in schools across the country last year.
In fact, it is the varied backgrounds of people who commit hate crimes in the city that make combating and talking about anti-Semitism in New York much harder.
Kind of laughable in a way. It implies that, since not every perpetrator has been caught, we can just assume that some — perhaps many? — of those who got away had Klan hoods and MAGA hats in their closets. After all, the author wrote, without providing any documentation, that “obviously, white supremacists are driving anti-Semitic rhetoric online,” so it simply must be true. I just never knew that Linda Sarsour was a white supremacist!
But at least Mrs Bellafante included this:
When a Hasidic man or woman is attacked by anyone in New York City, mainstream progressive advocacy groups do not typically send out emails calling for concern and fellowship and candlelight vigils in Union Square, as they often do when individuals are harmed in New York because of their race or ethnicity or how they identify in terms of gender or sexual orientation.
They don’t? The “mainstream progressive advocacy groups” aren’t so concerned when Hasidic Jews are targeted? That’s pretty much in line with what Mr Marcus wrote.
Anti-Semitism by white conservatives is a bad, and stupid, thing, but it is not somehow worse than anti-Semitism by anyone else. Nevertheless, it seems, at least right now, that the anti-Semitic assaults in New York City have been committed by people other than white conservatives. I suppose that’s why Miss Marcotte, specifically, and the credentialed media in general, have ignored them.
And that tells us an awful lot about them.
¹ – Miss Marcotte made a great deal of her “partner” and he moving away from very red state Texas to Brooklyn, but it seems that they recently left New York City for foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia.
² – I’ve used gestural symbols many times before, but the OK sign isn’t one I use. It isn’t because I’m trying to avoid alt-right connections or anything like that — I hadn’t even heard of it being adopted by the alt-right until the silly kerfuffle over Mrs Bash using it — but that my normal gesture to communicate that things are good, OK or just general approval is the thumbs up.
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