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Liberal Journalists Showing Off Their "Good Racial Manners"
I recently read a column in the New York Times about the re-emergence of anti-Semitism in the United States and around the world.
The column begins with two well-publicized mass shootings at U.S. synagogues, one in Pittsburgh the other in Poway, California. The killers in both places were white supremacists.
Then the column moves on to a different kind of anti-Semitism, not the kind liberal journalists feel comfortable talking about.
Here’s how Bari Weiss of the Times tells the story: “Pittsburgh and Poway mark only the most violent examples of the anti-Semitism that is rising in this country. In the last week of August, there were three assaults on ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in Brooklyn – attacks largely not covered by the press perhaps because, as in a majority of anti-Semitic instances in New York, the perpetrators were not white supremacists.”
But if they’re not white supremacists, who are they?
If it wasn’t a neo-Nazi who beat a Jewish man with a belt outside a synagogue – calling him a “F***ing Jew” -- on August 31, who was it?
If it wasn’t a white supremacist who threw rocks at another Jewish man on August 29, who did?
And if it wasn’t a white Jew hater who struck a 64-year old rabbi with a large, heavy paving stone as the man was exercising in a park on August 27, who was it?
The Times won’t tell us. Liberal sensitivities won’t allow it.
But the journalists at the Times know what many Americans know: that for many years there’s been an ugly strain of anti-Semitism that runs through black neighborhoods in the nation’s big cities.
And New Yorkers know it runs through sections of Brooklyn where a tightly knit group of orthodox Jews live, along with African Americans.
When the Times tells us that the perpetrators were not white supremacists, that’s a polite way of saying they were not white at all, that they were black men who don’t like Jews – and that’s putting it mildly.
Normally, we don’t need to know the race or ethnicity of a criminal suspect. Normally, it doesn’t matter if the guy who robbed the liquor store is white or black or anything else. But in hate crimes it does matter. That’s why we need to know that the people who shot up those synagogues were white supremacists. And if there’s a strain of Jew-hating by some African Americans in parts of Brooklyn, hate that ends up in violence, we need to know that too.
And the recent attacks are not isolated incidents. There have been 150 anti-Semitic hate crime complaints in New York so far this year, more than double the number at the same time last year.
“Since 2017, [New York Mayor Bill] de Blasio has repeatedly claimed that the ongoing surge of anti-Semitic attacks in New York City is a strictly right-wing phenomenon tied to Trump and his supporters,” according to Tablet, an online magazine that focuses on Jewish life. “Faithful to the party line, he’s doubled down despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary documented in publications like Tablet and by the mayor’s own police department."
Another piece in the Tablet explains that in Brooklyn, "the victims are most often outwardly identifiable, i.e., religious rather than secularized Jews, and the perpetrators who have been recorded on CCTV cameras are overwhelmingly black and Hispanic."
Liberal journalistic sensitivity is also why we get so little news from the national media on the mayhem that routinely goes on in black neighborhoods of Chicago.
As I write this 1,920 people have been shot in Chicago this year; 357 were killed. In one weekend last month alone, nearly 60 people were shot, 7 were killed. Almost all of the gunmen and their victims are young black men.
In Chicago, it’s El Paso or Dayton just about every week.
Imagine if instead of black shooters and victims in Chicago, it were young white men in one of the city’s well-off suburbs who were being gunned down by other white young men. Would national news organizations stay clear of that story? Of course they wouldn’t. It would be Page One news.
As Lee Habeeb explained it in his Newsweek column in May of 2018: “Americans know none of the thousands of innocent young black men and women killed by other black men in our nation's third largest city -- and across America. There's a reason. A young black male's life is not worth reporting when it is taken by another black male. That's the real racism that prevails in America's newsrooms. The marginalization of black urban life.
“And there's a reason you don't know the names of all of those black victims," Habeeb continues. ... "[B]ecause the media doesn't much like the narrative. Journalists and activists can't blame the deaths on assault style weapons like the AR-15. Or the National Rifle Association.”
While that may be true, it's not only about guns. It's also about liberals, especially elite white liberals, who are afraid that they’d be giving ammunition to white bigots if they report about dysfunction in inner city Chicago.
And sadly, it goes even beyond that. It’s also about those elite white liberals wanting to show off their “good racial manners,” as the California scholar Shelby Steele has described it. They want to tell everyone that they’re the white people who aren’t bigots.
And if playing down black anti-Semitism or black-on-black violence is the price journalists have to pay to show off their good racial manners – it’s a small price, they figure, to let the world know how good they are.