Where’s the Outrage?
It’s time to reclaim our humanity and dignity through deliberate action, not just words, and with a heightened sense of urgency demanded by the atrocities witnessed. True dignity is expressed by acknowledging the human condition, the suffering, the imperfection; the missteps, and the potential for real change.
Outrage: NOUN; an extremely vicious or violent act; a deep insult or offense; great anger, indignation, etc. aroused by such an act or offense
Anti-Semitism: hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group. The term anti-Semitism was coined in 1879 by the German agitator Wilhelm Marr to designate the anti-Jewish campaigns underway in central Europe at that time. Nazi anti-Semitism, which culminated in the Holocaust, had a racist dimension in that it targeted Jews because of their supposed biological characteristics—even those who had themselves converted to other religions or whose parents were converts. This variety of anti-Jewish racism dates only to the emergence of so-called “scientific racism” in the 19th century and is different in nature from earlier anti-Jewish prejudices. The persistence of anti-Semitism into the 21st century and the marked rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the early decades of the century have prompted new consideration of how to define and combat the phenomenon, which has both incorporated old tropes and taken on new forms.•
The Insidious Creep of Antisemitism*
The year 2022 was barely underway when a British Pakistani man took a rabbi and three others hostage during a Shabbat service in Colleyville, Texas. From there, antisemitism continued to spread, with the number of antisemitic hate crimes in New York, for example, more than doubling from 2021. To discuss New York City’s efforts to combat the alarming rise of Jewish hatred, Hassan Naveed, executive director of New York City’s Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC), joined AJC’s People of the Pod to explain how his office coordinates agencies across the city to curb the rise of antisemitic hate crimes.
New York City was one of more than 30 other major cities that did not report its 2021 hate crime statistics to the FBI, limiting the nation’s understanding of how widespread incidents have been, especially as anti-Israel protests increasingly targeted American Jews. Efforts to isolate pro-Israel students also proliferated on college campuses, such as the University of Vermont and the University of California Berkeley Law School. (Read more below.)
Rapper Kanye West, also known as Ye, posted antisemitic tropes for his social media audience of more than 50 million, shared antisemitic conspiracy theories during TV and podcast interviews, exalted Adolf Hitler, and, on social media, threatened violence against Jews. White supremacist Nick Fuentes joined Ye for part of his media tour, including a meeting with former President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Nets basketball star Kyrie Irving promoted an antisemitic film and book to his more than four million followers on Twitter. Titled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” the book and film rooted in radical Hebrew Israelite ideology deny the Holocaust and blame Jews for the transatlantic slave trade. His endorsement made both items bestsellers on Amazon, prompting an AJC petition urging their removal.
Where’s the Outrage?
Here are just a few examples of “in the headlines” outrage expressed in recent years:
- The #MeToo movement, which has brought attention to the widespread problem of sexual harassment and assault.
- The Black Lives Matter movement, which has protested against police brutality and racial injustice.
- The protests against the COVID-19 pandemic were sparked by concerns about the government’s response to the crisis.
Outrage is a powerful emotion that can be used to motivate people to take action. When people are outraged, they are more likely to speak out against injustice and demand change.
So where are the headlines? Where are the protests? Where is the outrage against Jewish hate?
Our question is not just about the media or the headlines —where’s the outrage from across our communities? Why aren’t these voices being heard?
Tell Your Story
We believe in the power of storytelling to raise awareness and to humanize the issue for wider audiences. Anti-Semitic incidents are occurring every day and by sharing these stories we hope to shine a light on the impact anti-Semitism has on individuals and communities around the world.
If you have been personally affected by anti-Semitism, please share your story with us below so that we may share it with the world. Your voice matters. Do not remain silent.
Help us help you by amplifying your voice across the world. It is only then, through awareness and outrage that real change can happen.
Editor’s Note: Read more below and please add your voice/bring your story to our upcoming SALON 360° discussion.