5/25/21: We Can’t Only Condemn Hate When It’s Convenient

After I watched the George Floyd incident last yr, I remember being sick to my stomach. Yes the incident itself was excruciating to watch…but so too was the way ppl were impacted after the event.

I try in all these posts to take as apolitical of a stance as possible & focus instead in my lane: MH. Whatever your take is/was on the Floyd incident, systemic or not, part of larger issues or not, there was a palpable feel in our country/world that Black ppl were hurting for having witnessed that kind of violence & hate in clear daylight.

I personally felt a wave of depression at that time…& the only explanation I could muster, was a feeling of sickness & unease for others. And it’s why, I was heartened to see so many ppl, & specifically charities in the MH space, show solidarity w blackout msgs on June 2. Of course, our pages participated: hate & violence against anyone is wrong. And yes I recognize that June 2 was not only abt one incident.

After 9/11 I remember feeling sick over the wave of Muslim violence/hate in this country. As if, bc those behind the incidents of 9/11 were of Muslim decent, Muslims HERE, many thousands of miles away, should be targeted??

With the understanding more recently, that the virus originated in Wuhan, there’s been a wave of Asian violence. Again even if you believe some of the bigger events in the news were not targeted specifically at Asians, we know events happened like: An elderly Thai immigrant died after being shoved to the ground. A Filipino-American was slashed in the face w a box cutter. A Chinese woman was slapped & then set on fire.

One incident is too many….& it was great to see charities in this space share yellow “Stop Asian Hate” msgs thru their platforms.

I was gonna keep my mouth shut abt the lack of msgs I saw from these same charities abt the wave of antisemitism that’s come over our country recently. But I started feeling that same depression as mentioned above (abt a group of ppl targeted), & my mind turned to: Why am I being quiet, as a Jewish man, when my own ppl are targeted (even more than usual)? Why am I not calling out the failure to speak out?

In the examples above, it’s impossible & fruitless to compare “levels” of pain, one group to the next…just like it’s impossible in the MH space to compare levels of emotional pain, one person to the next. And isn’t that the point? Waves of hate & pain & violence inflicted on a group, at any level, should be spoken up against! So it begs the question (again I’ll stay in my lane), where are most of these big/funded charities when it comes to condemning this type of hate, here, against Jewish ppl? Why so vocal w other incidents recently, & silence now. Need some stats? Twitter posts from May 7 to 14 found more than 17,000 tweets used variations of the phrase, “Hitler was right.” Explosives were thrown at Jewish ppl in the Diamond District, there’s been vandalism of temples & assaults of Jewish ppl: 190 reported antisemitic incidents in the US the wk the war started.

Global politics can be argued at another time. You may be pro-Israel, you may be pro-Palestine. Back to the 9/11 & Asian Hate examples – what happens in OTHER areas of the world is not an excuse to inflict hate & violence on those believed to “represent those ppl” thousands of miles away. So it begs the question, why wouldn’t these large charities make the same statements abt antisemitism that they’ve made abt hate/violence against other groups. Internal politics? Donor profiles? Political entanglements? Bc there’s always been silence abt antisemitism? Bottom line – if you stand against hate/violence, you either DO or you DON’T…& not only when it’s convenient to do so. As we continue to grow, please hold us accountable to those ideals. With our platforms, charities have reach. When we DON’T talk it speaks as loudly as when we do.

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