I am an anti-anti-Semite

  • A man, walking on a Brooklyn street, was attacked.
  • Graffiti was spray-painted on a North Carolina interstate overpass.
  • A South Carolina middle school was defaced with graffiti.
  • An armed man entered a house of worship in Texas, holding congregants and a religious leader hostage.
  • A known conspiracy theorist network distributed propaganda in several states citing one group as the agent of COVID.
  • A community center received bomb threats.

The common elements of these incidents? All – and this is no exhaustive list – took place in January 2022. All acts of assault, harassment, lethality, or vandalism were aimed at Jewish persons and communities.

Antisemitism. Beliefs and behaviors – individual and institutional, situational and systemic – hateful of and toward Jews. Ancient in origin. Dating back to biblical times. And throughout history, the acts of violence against Jews, in their recurrence, in my view, remain ever-present horrible manifestations of our human capacity and willingness to demonize a people as “the other.”

As a Christian, I sorrowfully confess the historic hand of my faith tradition in the persecution of Judaism. As an African-American with Hispanic paternal roots, I acknowledge my personal history as one who has experienced (and, for the sake of the necessity of my psychic survival, remains alert to) discrimination based on my racial and ethnic identities; absent of any consideration, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., of the “content of my character.”

And as a Christian who believes that Jesus of Nazareth was…is the incarnation of God’s unconditional and impartial love and justice for all people at all times, I, standing in solidarity with my Jewish brothers and sisters, am an anti-anti-Semite.

© 2022 PRA

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