Lunch Break is Over
Standing up for your community is not something that should come with terms and conditions.
This is something I wrote to myself and had no intentions of publishing. I was deeply frustrated with my experience and the rhetoric that was dominating the Jewish sphere of Twitter. Today, I learned that the main character of this post has been hired by none other than the ADL. So here it is, my thoughts on the matter.
“Whiteness protected you from the worst antisemitism had to offer”- was tweeted recently. I think that one sentence demonstrates how much ignorance and hate has seeped into the woke crowd. From the Christian antisemitism of the Middle Ages, to blood libels, Black Death conspiracies, Well Poisoning riots, the Strasbourg massacre, exclusion from land ownership, Court Jews, racial antisemitism, the Hep-Hep riots, Dreyfus Affair, Pogroms, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and of course, the Holocaust to today, whiteness has not served us well.
Including Jews in the modern concept of whiteness, isn’t a mere observation of conditional passing, or privilege. It cuts far deeper into the Jewish psyche of that fragile balance of our history, our sense of belonging in diaspora, and our continuous forced nomadic nature. We are living between racial hate lunch breaks. You don’t get to scold us because we got to sit down for a minute.
Friday, July 24th, 2020, Wiley wrote a series of antisemitic tweets comparing Jews to the Ku Klux Klan and calling them snakes. Worse than that, he tweeted “Hold some corn Jewish community you deserve it…”. The phrase hold some corn means “to be shot”. When confronted, he did not bother to deny, but double down on his hate.
The next day, I couldn’t help but be outraged at what seems like accusing Jews of racism, for their response to yet another vile display of antisemitism on Twitter. For wider context, this is all taking place during a month where Farrakhan is hosted by P Diddy for a special 4th of July broadcast, and various celebrities from Chelsea Handler to Nick Cannon, Ice Cube and others, are whitewashing Farrakhan’s antisemitism.
This tweet was neither special, nor original. Antisemitism dismissed, mocked, and turned against the Jewish community as a “cover” for greater evil, is an old and tired tactic of the far left. Ask any British Jew what they faced for the last five years. Furthermore, Smith has decided to mock the concern and pain of the Jewish community by posting an obfuscation and mockery of the term, Hold Corn.
For British Jews, the battle against antisemitism has been ongoing for years, mostly against an old white privileged man named Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, so Wiley being Black, is not and never was central to the Jewish community’s outrage regarding online antisemitism, more than him being British and famous. I’ve watched the British Jewish community organize and unite against hate with such courage and conviction, I can only wish American Jews will one day learn the same. So it was not surprising that within 24 hours, a campaign against hate was published, and a day without Jewish people online was declared through the hashtag: #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate.
The fact that Jewish activists on Twitter have taken that opportunity to not stand with their community, but in fact, berate and accuse them of racism, and mock their concerns, was far more painful to watch than British gentiles dismissing British jews with their concerns over antisemitism. These are members of our family.
The exact same reaction is something that I have personally experienced on Twitter when I spoke at length about the antisemitism of Farrakhan, Angela Davis, or Alice Walker. In each case, I’ve presented a far bigger case for my disdain, then just a blanket accusation of antisemtism. Nonetheless, doing so is more likely to label you a racist from people who regularly participate in antisemitism under the guise of antizionism, and their progressive zionist fence-sitters allies.
If your days are filled with lecturing Jewish people regarding their fight against antisemitism, and verbose tweets that utilize the language of the woke but really are empty gestures of higher morality, your net contribution is negative and harmful. The popularity of your ideas are constrained to fewer Jews, and your existence is a mere cover for dangerous and violent antisemites, who will use your identity as a shield.
Smith has invested far more time and resources into smearing, defaming and gaslighting MENA Jews, than she has standing against the blatant antisemitism of Wiley and others.
Her commitment to fighting antisemitism on the right is commendable and honorable, yet, there seems to be a blindspot, and perhaps some personal feelings and politics that come into play, other times. And though my response to Tema did not garner nearly as much support as her OP, Smith made sure to label it harassment and join in the calls of anti blackness.
On a personal note, I may never know what it’s like to be Tema. I am not a white passing JOC from Canada. But just as such, Tema will never know what it’s like being me. Born to Moroccan refugee parents in Israel. Having grandmothers who never learned Hebrew and were not able to till the day they died. Being an immigrant in a diaspora, and consistently having my identity set on fire because your Americentrist idea of “color” is continuously obfuscated to fit your political narrative. In fact, there is much Tema and others don’t know about me which I chose to keep private, which people seem to not respect.
Tema has never reached out to me to provide insight or education on what she thought was my lack of insight into anti Blackness. Instead, she picked the route of derision and dismissal, blocking me before I even knew who she was, while continuously joining in slander fests behind said block, including endorsement of my doxing. For someone to proclaim to be in a space of leading Jewish voices, this seems flat out mean spirited, petty, and sophmoric.