Biases Impact Our Perception of the World… Even How We See Antisemitism
As someone who considers himself fairly objective, this is a very difficult article to write and a very difficult thing to confess; I have biases. I have biases in sports; when I see LeBron James, I do not see the best NBA player of the last 15 years. No. I see a whiny primadonna who does not have enough self-confidence to admit he is bald and shave his head. I have biases in dogs; the English Bulldog is the most superior of any dog breed and anybody that has a dog under 15 pounds owns a cat with weird DNA. However, the most despicable bias I contain, and one that is prompting this sort of mea culpa, is that I have biases as it relates to antisemitism.
When I see antisemitism on the left, I recognize it as a different strain of hatred from the right. Yet, if antisemitism is antisemitism, then it should all be bad. No qualifiers. However, I just cannot bring myself to get as riled up at antisemitism from the right. It is awful and bewildering, but I do not see it as a threat. My biases are playing a role. I know this. But how could someone so learned in Jewish history and persecution almost shrug off a certain strain of antisemitism? Three reasons: (1) I have biases (2) the right’s antisemitism strikes me as pathetic but is more of a product of hatred towards anything non-white; hating Jews is just another item on their idiotic laundry list of hate and (3) the left’s antisemitism actually scares me more because Jews seem to be the only people they will not defend and their movement is growing more mainstream.
Let us get some things out of the way before we take this quick dive into the world of biases and antisemitism. All antisemitism is horrible and should be denounced. Those engaging in it are either evil, ignorant, or have been brainwashed into thinking horrible things about the Jewish people, Israel, and anything else connected to Judaism.
To clarify the three reasons I see a difference in left versus right antisemitism and perceive the left’s to be more worrisome, let me put all my cards on the table so you know where I am coming from: I am a Jew who practices and believes in traditional Jewish values, brought up in a conservative Jewish household with parents who believed in traditional Conservative American values (that is Jewish conservatism and American Conservatism). So that takes care of reason No. 1; I am a fairly staunch American Conservative who leans towards Libertarianism (i.e. if you are LBGT, you rock and if you like to do the drugs, go and have fun getting absolutely baked). So when I see antisemitism from the right, I might dismiss it more easily than from the left (I do not think this to be the case, but it might be true, even if I believe Steve King should be tarred and feathered and THEN kicked out of the Republican Party).
Now, onto No. 2. I do not worry as much about the antisemitism of the right because of the people that are propagating it. They and their notions are pathetic. The antisemitism of the right is laughable. These are the neo-nazis who are so illiterate and downright stupid they have trouble actually quoting from Mein Kampf. They think David Duke is a man worthy of respect. Their mental acumen is so glorious they are part of a cabal that allowed a black ordained minister to wrest control of one of their white nationalist groups. The heirs of Socrates of John Locke, they are not.
But more importantly, their numbers are the most pathetic things about them. They believe in the superiority of the white race… In America… in 2019. Good luck with that. Statistically speaking their ideas for a better future will be almost next-to-impossible to achieve within two generations, if not the next one. Quick aside; the number of white nationalists and white nationalists groups in America is in fact dwindling. And yes, if you adhere to the SPLC’s definition of what constitutes a hate group, YOU are the one with the biases. The SPLC is a cancer and has done much more harm than good, making it easier for White Nationalists groups to exist under the radar.
But their antisemitism is nothing new and we have dealt with this type of antisemitism for more than a millennia. These buffoons have latched onto Jewish stereotypes like blood libel and Jews secretly running the world because it would physically cause them mental pain to come up with anything new. Go on Gab for five minutes and it becomes abundantly clear their kind and their threats are relegated to outskirts of society and the internet.
However, their hate is decidedly different from that of the left; their antisemitism is just another ingredient in their “white-power” cauldron that includes hate for Blacks, Latins, Jews, and squirrels maybe? I am not quite sure, they seem to hate everything. Worse, they are completely ignorant of the land they claim to love. They have never read George Washington’s letter to the Jews of Newport. Bring up the idea Hebrew had a chance at becoming an official language, and they will look at you like you have two heads. This is all to say, the antisemitism of the right comes from a place of ignorance and pure stupidity. It can be laughed at and shrugged away because it is, in fact, laughable, and the overwhelming majority of Americans see right through their idiocy.
But the antisemitism of the left? That is growing. Antisemitism, in general, is growing in America. And unlike the hate of the right, this antisemitism is not on the fringe. Have antisemitic thoughts, leanings, or obvious declarations? You are good enough to be half of the faces on a Rolling Stones cover. Constantly make antisemitic remarks? You can get away with a hollow apology and go right back to them less than two weeks later. Long phone calls with overtly antisemitic members of the British Parliament, someone who defends Hamas and terrorists? Totally cool if you are on the left.
Worse though is that it seems Jews are the only people NOT worth defending to the leftists. Socialism and Venezuela? Fine. Communism and the Soviet Union? Great social programs. Support for terrorist governments? A cause everyone should be behind. But ask American leftists to defend Jewish people and their right to exist in a sovereign state? That is a bridge too far. All you will get is claims of apartheid, which makes you realize people have no idea about other country’s histories.
I know I have my biases. I know it is probably appalling to some people I laugh at the antisemitism of the right, the antisemitism of the white nationalists. I admittedly do not take them seriously. They do not wield any real power in America today. However, the antisemitism of the left is growing so powerful that a sitting congresswoman can continuously fire off antisemitic trope after antisemitic trope and the leaders of the Democratic party will bend the knee and keep her on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Do it once and you get a scolding. Do it a second time and it is too much trouble to specifically call it out. These are the new members of the Democratic party in America. The members the media is fawning over and defending left and right are outright antisemites. They are not even hiding the ball. So yes I have my biases, but tell me, are my biases making me paranoid, or is America in the dawning of a new age of antisemitism driven by the left? Sometimes you are paranoid, but sometimes people really are watching you. I fear not enough people are watching where the antisemitism of the left is going. Or if they are, they just do not care. Unfortunately, we have seen before where this path leads…