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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Kyrie Irving, Kanye West, and the Disturbing Surge in Antisemitic Violence

Words have consequences. Kanye West's infamous antisemitic social media outbursts and public comments have been followed by an increase in antisemitic rhetoric, including the self-proclaimed Goyim Defense League standing on a bridge over the 405 highway in Los Angeles making Nazi salutes while holding up banners stating "Kanye is right about the Jews." 

Brooklyn Nets' star Kyrie Irving has added fuel to the fire with a tweet promoting a film filled with antisemitic falsehoods. Irving has long trafficked in a variety of bizarre beliefs and conspiracy theories that comfortably coexist with antisemitism, so it is not surprising to me that he made his antisemitism explicit in a public forum. The Nets quickly condemned Irving's antisemitism, and it will be interesting to see what action--if any--the NBA takes. The NBA has repeatedly demonstrated that it cares more about profits than anything else, so it will be fascinating to see if the league considers antisemitism to be something that could have a negative impact on the league's cash flow. It will also be interesting to see if TNT's "Inside the NBA" show weighs in on Irving's tweet. "Inside the NBA" wields a lot of influence and power, and the studio crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O'Neal take pride in speaking out on important social issues.

Jews in the United States are not only being confronted with hate speech; it is open season on Jewish people in New York City--the city with the largest Jewish population in the world--and across the United States, with the Anti-Defamation League reporting 2717 antisemitic incidents in 2021, a 34 percent increase year over year and the highest number on record since the organization began tracking such incidents in 1979.

Note that media coverage of West's despicable statements often focuses more on how much money his hate speech has allegedly cost him, and less on the influence he wields and how his antisemitism appears to be an outgrowth of antisemitic trends with deep roots in the Black community; in 1998, the Anti-Defamation League reported survey results noting that antisemitism is nearly four times more prevalent among Black Americans than among white Americans, and there is no indication that the situation has improved in the past quarter century.

While most white people may rightly consider Louis Farrakhan to be an extremist figure who not only spews antisemitism but also harbors bizarre views--including that white people were created via eugenics by an evil scientist named Yakub--there is a tendency to ignore or downplay just how popular Farrakhan is within the Black community. The false, antisemitic tropes that he regularly spews about Jewish money and Jewish power resonate within the Black community, and are often repeated by prominent Black people who are not overtly members of his Nation of Islam, including Ice Cube, DeSean Jackson, and Stephen Jackson. Four years ago, LeBron James tweeted about "Jewish money" and then issued the classic "If I offended anyone" non-apology apology. I would not equate James with West or Irving--whose words seem to have a harsher and more malicious intent--but I would not dismiss James' comment as benign; fears and misconceptions about Jewish money and Jewish power drive antisemitic thought, which then becomes antisemitic action.

Some people counter that Farrakhan has some good ideas and important messages. That is the equivalent of saying that Adolf Hitler had some good ideas "but went too far," a notion spouted by many antisemites (including former Cincinnati Reds' owner Marge Schott). Farrakhan's primary message is hatred. Any other message that he has does not change that essential truth. If you think that Farrakhan must be given a platform because he allegedly has some good ideas, then you forfeit your right to criticize anyone who spews other forms of hatred but has ideas that some people consider to be good or worth considering. 

West's comments and the lies in the film promoted by Irving have their foundation in the antisemitism of Farrakhan, Kwame Toure, and other figures who may not be much noticed in the white community but have significant support in the Black community. One of the themes of this antisemitism revolves around comparing the horrors of slavery to the horrors of the Holocaust. Farrakhan and others assert--without any credible evidence--that Jewish people dominated the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

There is also a popular antisemitic trope belittling the Holocaust with false numerical equivalences, such as 400 years matter more than six years, or 100 million lives matter more than six million lives--which is a despicable way to talk about human suffering; in this context, it is worth noting that Judaism teaches that a person who saves one life has saved an entire world, emphasizing that every life has immense value.

A person with even a superficial knowledge of history can see how absurd such accusations and assertions are, but we live in a society rife with historical ignorance. The first thing to consider is that in 1933 (prior to Adolf Hitler's rise to power and the resulting Holocaust during which the Nazis killed six million Jews), 9.5 million of the world's 15.3 million Jews lived in Europe. In other words, deep into the 20th century most Jews had probably never met a Black person face to face, let alone played a major role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade dating back hundreds of years. The Jewish people were a persecuted minority in Europe for two millennia before this hatred culminated in the Holocaust. Jews were struggling for their individual and collective survival, not plotting to enslave Black people. It is worth noting that Farrakhan and others who promote antisemitic falsehoods about slavery conspicuously ignore the prominent role that Arabs and Muslims played not only in the trans-Atlantic slave trade but in the persecution of Black Africans to this day. The second thing to consider is that the Nazis' explicit goal was to kill every Jewish man, woman, and child who they could capture. That goal, combined with the technological prowess to make it a realistic possibility, is unique in human history. In contrast, slavery--while deplorable--is unfortunately a common theme throughout human history: people of all races and nationalities have conquered other races/nations and then enslaved the conquered for economic profit. Again, it cannot be emphasized enough how horrific slavery is--but it is not historically unique. 

Further, if the Jewish people had the power so often attributed to them, then the Jewish people would have used that power to stop the Holocaust or at least get rid of the immigration quotas that prevented Jewish people from seeking sanctuary in the United States (and other countries) during the Holocaust. 

Comparing one people's tragedy with another people's tragedy is not a productive exercise--but when antisemites insist on not only diminishing the horror of the Holocaust but then perversely blaming Jewish people for the trans-Atlantic slave trade it becomes a moral obligation to speak the truth about both historical tragedies. 

My Jewish ancestors did not enslave Black people; my Jewish ancestors faced genocidal hatred in Europe, and not all of them made it out of Europe alive. Kanye West and Kyrie Irving are spitting on the graves of Holocaust victims while pretending to be righteous advocates of free speech and alternative viewpoints. Antisemitic hate speech is not an alternative viewpoint; it is the first step toward violence, culminating in genocide, as history has repeatedly shown.

Black antisemitism is not a comfortable subject to discuss, but it is an even more uncomfortable experience for the less than six million American Jews who live alongside a much larger minority community that often lamentably focuses more on attacking Jews than on making common cause with Jews to fight hatred. Every time someone like Kanye West and Kyrie Irving spews antisemitism, racists like David Duke and the Goyim Defense League are thrilled--they hate Blacks and Jews equally, and would like nothing more than to see those communities at war.

Basketball Hall of Famer Ray Allen had a personal, annual tradition of visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. during his playing career, and he once explained why this was so important and meaningful to him:

I brought a friend of mine and he was an older black gentleman. And he, you know, he walked through and he had so many questions, and he couldn't believe that some of the things that he saw had taken place. And after we got done, we walked out and the first thing he questioned was, "What about slavery?" He was an older gentleman but, you know, it kind of made him angry, because he wanted to see something like that about the plight of the black people in America, about slavery. And I told him…I said, "This is about slavery." This is about people being enslaved and people being annihilated. And this is a lesson, so slavery doesn't happen anymore, so people don't believe that they're better than the next person. This is all about slavery. It just so happens to be spoken through the words of the Jewish people in the Holocaust, people who the Nazis tried to annihilate.

You take any person through the Museum, based on their experiences and their life, they're going to see different things. And they're going to talk about the things they want to talk about. But I think the most important thing is communication. That's a powerful, powerful tool, just talking about it and trying to understand it, and learn from it, and grow.

It would be nice to think that Ray Allen speaks for the majority of Black people, and that he is setting an example that others follow, but I am not so optimistic. Kanye West scoffed when the L.A. Holocaust Museum invited him to take a tour, and the museum was then barraged with antisemitic messages for having the audacity of trying to educate a person whose ignorance is breathtaking (and frightening, considering how many followers and supporters he has on social media and throughout the world). Antisemitism from the Left is a surging phenomenon, and Leftist movements that purport to espouse "progressive" anti-racist values have made a point of emphasizing that they view Jewish people as oppressors, not victims. Many organizations that are ostensibly focused on being pro-Black are rife with antisemitism, including but not limited to Black Lives Matter (to be clear, I am attacking antisemitism within BLM, and I am NOT attacking the notion that Black Lives Matter). I fear that the schism between the Black community and the Jewish people is being deepened in a way that will not be easy to fix.

I am focusing on Black antisemitism in this article not because it is morally worse than white antisemitism, but because Black antisemitism is tragic and because it fills me with profound sadness. Black people and Jewish people have suffered mightily throughout history, and to the extent that Black people lash out at Jewish people as opposed to working with Jewish people the suffering of both communities will be multiplied, not mitigated.

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posted by David Friedman @ 1:53 PM



At Saturday, October 29, 2022 2:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Niether made anti semite comments

One talked about how music industry pushes anti black imagery
And messages

Kyrie promoted a Hebrew Israelites book

At Saturday, October 29, 2022 3:54:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


It is sad that you don't understand that broadly stereotyping a group--such as saying that Jews control the media--is a hateful statement. Kanye West's tweets and follow up statements are textbook antisemitism.

The Hebrew Israelites are a racist and antisemitic group, as defined by the Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2015/history-hebrew-israelism

The book and movie promoted by Kyrie Irving is filled with lies and antisemitism, as noted by Rolling Stone: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/kyrie-irving-boosts-antisemitic-movie-peddling-jewish-slave-ships-theory-1234620125/

At Sunday, October 30, 2022 4:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is the statement "Jews control the media" hateful? Are most media executives Jews or not? This is a simple question about a fact of who is in charge of the media. Why is it that prominent blacks who decide to say something always get hammered with accusations of anti-Semitism but not accusations of lying? Are these black men wrong? Let's stop being passive aggressive and saying these statements are "hateful" and address the facts of the matter like real mean with reason.

At Sunday, October 30, 2022 4:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently watched Schindler’s List for the nth time with my partner, who had never seen it. Two things that struck me; I seem to cry more the more times I watch it as I get older, and I’m more and more surprised that many people haven’t seen it.

The other point that was interesting, is my partner asked how much of the movie was “played up” by Hollywood. This shows the amount of misinformation and distrust around, and the lack of education across the world. The sad thing about Schindler’s List, is that it probably was “played down” if anything. The real Holocaust was far more horrific.

I’m no doomsayer, but I’m really worried about a world that is slowly losing its memory and respect for true authority. If you can’t learn yourself, then respect academics. This is how we used to think, right? A world where everyone’s opinion is equal and things like Holocaust denial is rampant is scary.

What can people do to dehumanise us so they can accomplish something like this again? I hope we never let this happen again, but some would argue it is already happening in places.

At Sunday, October 30, 2022 10:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


No there not they not anti semetic

They simply say black people were the first Jews

This is folks making up stuff on them for expressing a truth people don't want to deal with

At Sunday, October 30, 2022 11:53:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Any statement that makes categorizations by group is by definition stereotypical. Stereoptypes do not promote greater understanding and often lead to hate. Here, the notion that Jews have disproportionate power and wield that power in negative ways is a classic antisemitic trope being promoted by both Irving and West.

If you think that it is OK for Kyrie Irving to promote the film that he promoted, are you also OK with someone promoting "Birth of a Nation" as a way to learn more about American history? After all, Irving claims that he doesn't hate anyone but is just trying to expand his consciousness.

West tweeted that he is going to go "Death con" (sic) on the Jewish people. Does that strike you as a statement of "simple facts"?

Also, it should be obvious that the number of Jews or Blacks or any other group member in a particular business does not mean that "the Jews" or "the Blacks" control that business, unless you believe that all Jews or all Blacks collude together. Do you believe that "all Jews" or "all Blacks" work together in some vast conspiracy? That is what white supremacists believe about Jews and Blacks. Whether or not they understand it, Irving and West are doing the work of the Klan and the Nazis.

At Sunday, October 30, 2022 12:04:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Yes, the real Holocaust was more horrific than what was shown in Schindler's List, and Schindler was the exception, not the rule, among non-Jews in Europe at that time.

Shoah by Claude Lanzmann is almost unbearable to watch, and yet must-viewing for anyone who wants to truly understand the horrors of the Holocaust.

It is not extreme to say that it is happening again. In France, supposedly a bastion of Western-style democracy, rabbis have told their congregants to not where yarmulkes (the skullcap worn by observant Jews) in public because they will then become targets for attack. Less than 80 years after the Holocaust, it is not safe to publicly be a Jew in France. As I noted in my article, we are seeing the same kind of thing in New York City, where Jews are being attacked on the street. This is one reason that I wrote this article, to bring to light that the words of prominent Black people have real life consequences for many people. Irving and West have great influence, and that influence is then reflected by how people act on the street. If someone you respect says that the Jews control the media and are harming Black people, then you may feel like attacking the next identifiable Jew you see on the street. Sadly, we are seeing this all too frequently.

Irving and West are rabble-rousers who are indifferent to--or, perhaps, happy about--the trouble that they are causing.

At Sunday, October 30, 2022 12:15:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


As discussed in my article (which includes links to articles with additional information), Irving and West are promoting ideas which have been proven false.

The Jewish people originated in the area now known as Iraq, and then migrated to what is now known as Israel. No one who originates from that region is Black. Now that DNA testing exists, studies have confirmed that Jewish people from around the world have common ancestry, which debunks the notion that Jews are just a religious group and not a national group, and also debunks the falsehoods being stated that Black people are the real Jews.

The sect that Irving is promoting has been rightly categorized as a hate group, and they have been involved in attacks against Jews, including recent attacks.

Either through willful ignorance or malicious intent, Irving is promoting lies that have a high probability of leading to violence.

Obviously, if you go back far enough, the scientific evidence suggests that all humans are descended from African ancestors, but that is not what Irving or West are talking about. No sensible person is denying that all humans are cousins and that we all should have equal rights. However, what Irving is promoting is a form of Black supremacy that is antisemitic at its core (and also anti-white in a broader sense, but it focuses on Jews).

At Sunday, October 30, 2022 3:47:00 PM, Blogger Kyle Falls said...


This is a very interesting topic and multi-layered. First off - and I say this as an older black man - you are not going to get the intellectual discussion you are looking for. This is primarily because most people either lack the ability or prefer not to think for themselves.

I will first acknowledge that I do not speak for the black community because frankly my views tend to be, for lack of better words, "alternative" to many of my brethren. I am also not one to be easily offended so I sometimes struggle with empathizing with others whom are verbally insulted. However, I do understand that I cannot tell others how to feel regardless of how I may interpret a derogatory term or phrase.

With that said - I have always wondered why many in the black community make enemies of other minority groups. To be fair, Anglo-Saxons are not the only racist groups whom target African Americans, but the black community has not done the greatest job of finding allies either.

Here are some key points in which you won't find discussed:

1. The reality is that it boils down to religion. Period. The hatred of Jews extends back to the matter that the Jewish religion does not accept Jesus as the son of God. Any animosity towards Jews is simply a derivative of that truth. Religious people are very quick to draw lines between people unlike themselves. There is a stat that 83% of Black Americans are Christian. As a black man, I can tell you that is pretty spot on. I am not a religious person however. Now, Black Hebrews are not traditionally Christian, but it is important to realize that most of African American culture is rooted in the belief that those whom do not acknowledge Christian beliefs live their lives fundamentally wrong.

2. Black culture is void of leadership. Many black leaders have agendas that do not necessarily align with the primary purpose of bettering African Americans. In many ways, black leadership mimics NBA leadership. It's a façade. Now that is not to say that all black leaders are agenda driven - I would never. A piece of me died when the great Bill Russell passed.

Regardless of ethnicity, it is human nature to look for authority figures, whether divine or human... especially humans deprived of their safety, rights, and opportunities. Black America tends to turn a blind eye to the downfalls of our leaders because of this. Louis Farrakhan is an absolute moron in my eyes, but to many in my community, he is seen as a strong leader that opposes white oppression. Because many lack the ability to think for themselves, they align with views of their leaders, regardless of how much sense they make. We see this everywhere. Most are not sitting around analyzing this stuff.

3. Black people have a culture problem. Does White America steal elements of black culture and put their spin on it to make a profit? Without question. In many ways black culture turns around and steals elements of other cultures to claim it as our own.... like stating that black people are the original Hebrews. No unbiased, intelligent takes this seriously.. but the reality is that these people are biased and many of them (like most) are not intelligent.

At Sunday, October 30, 2022 3:48:00 PM, Blogger Kyle Falls said...

4. There is a popular belief that pseudointellectualism is "in" right now, but people have always been stupid. They just now have the platforms to disseminate their thoughts. There is another popular belief that people are more sensitive today, I also just think that there is more technology for people to express their concerns.

Here is where it gets complicated for me: especially as a black man, I completely understand how generalizing one group is wrong on so many levels. I personally defy many black stereotypes. I am a frugal person and tend to be good with money. I've been called a "black Jew" several times before as a compliment in the sense that I think strategically financially. I can see how this can be offensive as well. I somewhat struggle to empathize with the claims that Jews dominate wealth in media sector unless the goal is to call all Jews greedy and power hungry. Then again, like I said, I am not one to be easily offended and it's not my place to break down how a term or phrase makes someone feel when I am not walking in their shoes.

Your last paragraph pretty much sums it up. Is every Jew a saint? Of course not. Have some Black Americans been taken advantage of by a Jewish person before. Likely. That is no different than a Hispanic or Asian person wronging a Black person however. It's wrong and stupid to generalize an entire group of people. It bothers me that Black people of all don't understand this.

There is a story that Kenny Smith tells about Bill Russell when he was his coach. Basically, the black players would talk down on the European players coming to the states to play. Russell asked him, "Who are you, as a black man, to not include anyone?". Things like that stick out to me.

I would love to continue this conversation.


At Sunday, October 30, 2022 4:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Unlike Ye, most Black people believe that George Floyd was murdered by those four cops, nor do any sane Black people think that slavery was a choice. If we're being honest, Ye should have been "canceled" when he first started spouting off anti-Black racist nonsense like these examples . And the "White Lives Matter" publicity stunt he pulled off with Candace Owens just weeks ago was blatant anti-Black racism. We all know what "White Lives Matter" really means.

I agree with you that his antisemitism is totally unacceptable. But so was his anti-Black racism. Which I would compare to the Blind Black Klansman character from Dave Chappelle's comedy skit, Clayton Bigsby. Just because Ye is Black doesn't mean that he's not bigoted against Black people, kind of like the trope of "self-loathing Jews" that were born Jewish but that are antisemitic themselves.

All this is to say that I get what you're saying about Jewish-Black relations, but Ye is not the best example to make your point as Ye is anti-Black and antisemitic. A lot of Black people are wondering why wasn't Ye cancelled with his anti-Black racism. The fact that he wasn't cancelled until he started attacking Jews as he'd attacked Blacks seems to make the point that Jews are part of the (white) power structure of the U.S.A. in a way that Blacks simply never have been.

To be clear, anti-Black racism and antisemitism are both horrible and Ye is dead wrong on both counts. But he was given a pass for the former but is only being called to account for the latter. Glad that he's being cancelled, finally, but what took so long?

At Monday, October 31, 2022 12:39:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Thank you for your detailed and well thought comments. I realize that my article may not lead to an intellectual discussion for the reasons that you mentioned, but this topic is too important to ignore, regardless of the comments or reaction that may ensue. Kanye West has more social media followers than the Jewish population of the world, and I suspect that many of those followers will support him regardless of what he says or does.

I think that you are correct that a lot of antisemitism stems from Christians (regardless of ethnicity) who resent Jews from a religious standpoint, but I am not sure that Christianity explains the antisemitism in the Black community which--as I noted in my article--is much more prevalent than it is outside of the Black community. A lot of Black antisemitism seems to find its roots in the Nation of Islam and other separatist groups that have no ties to Christianity.

Your comment about lack of leadership within the Black community seems on target to me, though I am sure that within the Black community that comment may not be well-received by some. Certainly, the popularity within the Black community of Farrakhan and others of his ilk is puzzling (and probably underestimated) outside of the Black community.

Cultural appropriation is probably a topic a bit outside the scope of the issues I discussed in my article, but it is an important topic.

I agree with you that people have always been stupid, but that the advent of social media has given a megaphone to stupid people.

Your last points are very important. There is a big difference between having an issue with an individual person as an individual versus having a problem with an individual person and then blaming every person who is the same race/nationality/religion as that individual person. To say that Jews--or any group--"control" a certain business is (1) not true, unless you believe that individuals are acting with a hive mind or actively colluding for a group goal and (2) the same kind of hatred that has been used against various targeted minority groups in various situations. The fear that Blacks would have too much power or too much control was used to justify racist laws in the past, so it is disappointing and sad that so many Black people apply this kind of rhetoric against Jewish people and against individual Jews who have achieved success.

The reality is that Kanye West and Kyrie Irving each have more money, more power, and more control than 99% of the people on the planet. They should use that money, power, and control for positive purposes instead of inciting hatred, but their defiant responses when confronted about their hatred indicate that they are not interested in promoting positivity.

At Monday, October 31, 2022 1:05:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I am not sure why Kanye West was not "canceled" for his previous offensive comments. I wonder if at least in part he got away with anti-Black statements precisely because he is Black and thus white people felt cautious about criticizing a Black person commenting about slavery.

I think that he is a relevant example of Black antisemitism because he is using his power and influence to broadcast antisemitic ideas that have deep roots in the Black community, as I outlined in my article. There is a line of thought connecting Kwame Toure, Farrakhan, Kanye, and Kyrie. It is lamentable that many people who may not fully buy these ideas nevertheless think that there is at least some truth there, as evidenced by some of the comments above.

Jews were not enslaved in America the way that Black people were, but I disagree with the notion that as a group Jews are part of any white power structure. For one, white supremacists put Jews and Blacks in the same category as inferiors who are not white. Further, even though some Jews have been very successful (which is also true of some Blacks, including Kanye and Kyrie), there are glass ceilings for Jews even in America--there has never been a Jewish President, and there are other roles which have rarely if ever been attained by Jews. Also, as I mentioned in my article, when the Jewish people faced annihilation during the Holocaust the Jewish people were not able to lift the immigration quotas in America and other countries; it is difficult to think of more convincing proof that Jews are not part of a larger power structure than that. It is not that long ago that many American communities had property covenants that prevented Jews from being purchasers, much like racism prevented Black people from moving to certain communities. The huge rise in antisemitic attacks in recent years, which both the Jewish community and the larger power structure have not been able to curb, also suggests that Jewish power is not quite what you seem to assume it to be. I see no evidence that Jews, as a group, exercise more power or exercise power more effectively than many other religious or ethnic groups. There are individual wealthy and powerful Jews, but there are many more wealthy and powerful individuals from other ethnic groups. It is interesting that Buffett, Gates, the Walton family, and others are not lumped together as Christians, but individual wealthy Jews who have their own personal interests (just as wealthy Christians have their own personal interests) are presumed by some to be colluding together. Anyway, if there is one thing that wealthy Jews agree about--based on voting patterns and charitable donations--it would be fighting racism and promoting multiculturalism.

Of course, the relative power of Jews and Blacks in America could probably not be adequately quantified in a book, let alone a paragraph or two, but--in general--I think that the paragraph above explains in broad but accurate strokes why it would not be correct to just lump Jews as a group into America's power structure.

At Monday, October 31, 2022 2:49:00 PM, Blogger Kyle Falls said...


While I don't entirely disagree with your points, Kanye never lost his support from the African American community after any of his comments. His music and clothing lines still receives plenty of money from black people. If his behavior were so egregious, he should not be supported.

A huge problem that Black culture faces is being viewed as a monolith. An even larger problem is that the black community voluntarily reinforces the idea that all black people must think similarly. No other ethnic community ridicules an individual of their kind like the black community when they have a belief that goes against the majority. Am I defending Kanye for some of his over-the-top commentary? Absolutely not.

The best way to "cancel" someone is to cut off financial support for them and the black community not only turns the other cheek for Kanye, but are in fact standing behind him right now.

Also, if you listen to his music, Kanye is clearly not anti-black. Does that make it OK to say anti-black things? Nope, but it's not the same.

At Monday, October 31, 2022 3:20:00 PM, Blogger Kyle Falls said...


A point that I forgot to add is that to the average black person, traditional Jews are simply a "sub-group" of "white people". People do not sit around to separate Germans from Italians from Jews... they are all "white" to the average person. If forced to acknowledge an individual's heritage, then yes, it happens, but at the end of the day, they aren't Black, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian.

Cognitive dissonance is powerful and black antisemitism is multi-layered:

1. Christians traditionally do not like Jews and most black people are Christians.

2. Black people are as equally racist as every other race and black supremacy myths are no more different than white supremacy, minus the fact that white people historically had and still have the power to uphold its beliefs.... and Jews fall under the very, very broad category of "white people".

3. Groups like the Nation of Islam preach to black empowerment and provide "strong leadership" to follow. Like most groups, many followers likely don't believe every point the organization stands for. People simply need something to believe in, some form of authority, something to fight for, and/or something to empower them.

It's very easy for black people to have a problem with Jews and it does not have to be a convoluted reason. The crazy part is that another group could be replaced and singled out for the exact same reasons. I think that expecting more from the human condition is setting yourself up for disappointment. People are fundamentally flawed and incredibly stupid on unbelievable levels.

To your last point - I partially agree with you. While Kanye, Kyrie, and other entertainers have more influence than 99% of people, the reality is that they are still flawed people and honestly probably aren't more educated science, politics, history, etc than your next door neighbor. This is a societal problem. We need to stop looking to entertainers for their opinions and viewpoints... Then again I'm also aware that people do not like to think for themselves so this would never happen. So in that case, maybe influencers should take on the responsibility of not encouraging hatred to the masses? Or maybe people whom aren't responsible enough to do this shouldn't be given the opportunity in the first place? But who is society to say whom is and isn't capable of living up the responsibility.. especially because not everyone will deem everything equally hateful? Sorry for the rant, but truthfully there is no real answer to this.

At Monday, October 31, 2022 3:51:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I think that you are correct that many Black people view Jews as just a sub-group of white people. Of course, the reality is that there are white Jews, Black Jews, Asian Jews, etc. Jews are not defined by race, and in fact white supremacist groups universally do not consider Jews to be white. If white supremacists gain power, Jews and Blacks will be marched side by side to the same fate.

Christian antisemitism is no doubt a potent source of antisemitism in general, but I think that Black antisemitism has other sources as well. Also, there have been strong Black voices against antisemitism emanating from the Christian community, including most notably Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Yes, I think that many Black people admire Farrakhan because they perceive him to be strong. The more that Farrakhan is criticized by people who are not Black, the more that some Black people perceive him to be strong.

I should add that the "shut up and dribble" comment or belief is idiotic, but it should be emphasized that before an athlete or entertainer speaks out about significant societal issues it is incumbent on that person to become educated about the topic at hand, and this obligation is even greater for a person who has millions of followers. Kanye and Kyrie are promoting ideas that have been thoroughly and completely been debunked by competent historians. It is not difficult to find the correct information. Rolling Stone, which would not be my primary source for historical information about topics beyond music/entertainment, did not have trouble finding properly sourced material debunking the vile movie that Kyrie promoted.

A major issue here that extends beyond antisemitism is the blatant disregard for facts/truth that is becoming pervasive in our society. There is a developing notion that there is no such thing as objective truth and that each person can have his or her own "truth." Maybe a person can have his or her own truth about his or her personal lived experience, but a person cannot have his or her own truth about who owned most of the slave ships in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade or about the documented histories of various ethnic groups and nations.

Kyrie's press conference doubling down on what he posted on social media is all but daring the NBA to take action. The NBA has not hesitated to fine players who utter slurs against various groups. An uttered slur is terrible, but not as damaging as promoting hateful propaganda to millions of followers. If the NBA is not going to take any action against a player who is openly promoting antisemitic propaganda then that is disgraceful (but, sadly, not surprising--antisemitism is the most openly and widely accepted hatred, as seen by the huge surge in violence against Jews that does not receive nearly as much media attention or government concern as violence against other ethnic groups).

At Monday, October 31, 2022 4:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The last "Anonymous" here. I think that most Black people did more or less write Ye off after his "slavery was a choice" comments and his support for Trump's "dragon energy" and so on. I think that it's fair to say that mainstream Black opinion is anti-Trump, therefore Ye has been an political outlier for quite some time. I suspect that many Black people feel compassion for him, seeing him as an apparently mentally-ill person who has spiraled out of control since his mother died a few years ago. I think that they see his anti-Black racist and now antisemitic antics as symptomatic of whatever mental disorders he apparently has. Moreover, although Blacks do tend to take entertainers more seriously than do other ethnic groups and this is a problem, I don't think that very many Blacks take Ye's comments seriously. Which is why I think that my comparison of him to Chappelle's Blind Klansman is apt. Blacks in general seem to see him as a native son gone tragically wrong. Nevertheless, Blacks should take his anti-Black racism, and, now, his antisemitism, very seriously indeed. To David's salient point.

Also, Kyle, I agree with you that Blacks tend to lump Caucasian Jews into white America as a whole, which is understandable given that so many ethnic whites including Irish, Poles, Italians, etc. have assimilated into the WASP standard of whiteness.

At Tuesday, December 13, 2022 6:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made great points and I agree with almost everything you wrote. One of your best points was that it is despicable to compare human suffering. Sadly, you then went on to compare human suffering, and to make things worse, you did so inaccurately. You wrote: "The second thing to consider is that the Nazis' explicit goal was to kill every Jewish man, woman, and child who they could capture. That goal, combined with the technological prowess to make it a realistic possibility, is unique in human history." That is sadly and shockingly ignorant and extremely offensive to historical groups who have suffered in such a way.

At Tuesday, December 13, 2022 10:42:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I did not compare human suffering. I described, accurately, what makes the Nazi Holocaust of European Jewry unique both in terms of goal and technological capability. I also described, accurately, the tragic truth that slavery is common throughout human history, and I delineated why slavery is different than genocide.

If you believe that there is another example in human history of one nation not only having the explicit goal--evidenced by numerous quotes by Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders, and recorded in chilling, meticulous detail in the Wannsee Protocol--to kill every man, woman, and child from a specific ethnic group but also having the technological prowess to achieve this goal, then I would be very interested for you to cite that example.

This is not about comparing human suffering, nor is it about counting how many people were killed in various historical events. This is about, as I worded it very carefully, the combination of the goal of annihilation with the necessary technological capability to annihilate the target population.


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