Saturday, March 11, 2017

Interesting insights into current antisemitism and other bigotry

"The person, or people, responsible for the bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers plan to frighten Jewish people. They also want to make terrorizing Jewish people into a normal, everyday occurrence. Harassment campaigns work in part to lower the barrier for entry to hate. 
"That’s part of why President Trump’s suggestion that the threats were hoaxes intended to damage him proved so dangerous. If the threats are just a hoax, why not prove they’re a hoax by calling in a hoax threat yourself? If hate isn’t serious, people who aren’t serious about hate can participate too."
Vandalized Jewish cemetery in University City, Mo.
where my mother, grandparents, and many other relatives
are buried. But it's not just personal!
This insight into antisemitism seems very useful to me. I am deeply troubled by the recent and rapid spread of antisemitism and bigotry -- as of course are many other Americans. The clear encouragement of such attitudes by the current administration is even more troubling. The article  "GamerGate Can Teach Us About Anti-Semitic Attacks" byNoah Berlatsky, from which this quote is taken, offers a number of insights into what's most problematic:
"Anti-Semitism doesn’t require individuals who participate in it to hate Jews, or even to care about Jews. Anti-Semitism is a way to structure hate and violence. Once the structure is in place, anyone can participate, whether they are personally invested or not. Prejudice doesn’t require intent. You don’t have to hate Jews to commit anti-Semitic acts."
Police investigating a bomb threat at the Jewish Community Center in
Ann Arbor where I live. But it's not just personal!

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