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Our Guest Writer-Paul Schulkind-“Sensitive to Bigotry

Sensitive to Bigotry

By Paul J. Schulkind (August, 2010)

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish group I grew up likening to the ACLU and to the Civil Rights movement, to the fight against bigotry, anti-Semitism, and Holocaust horror, has recently sided with the racist surge allowing a Muslim cultural to be built in downtown Manhattan!

When I first heard this, I was skeptical that the ADL would do such a thing, so I went to its Web site. There, as I would expect, I found a list of incidents in which it claimed to have defended American Muslims against racism. But there was also the ADL’s most mealy-mouthed explanation I could imagine for siding with Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and many other bigots.

The Anti-Defamation League wants to protect “sensitivity.” That’s right. It wants to be “sensitive” to those who blame all Muslims for 9/11, to those who are offended, who with classic bigotry, blame a scapegoat chosen in gross ignorance and prejudice. The ADL claims this is not to necessarily agree with such sentiments, as if it could be anything other than agreement. It is support for something vile. It is on what any racist leader always depends. And it is quite valuable support when a Liberal group, especially the ADL, lends its august reputation for justice and freedom to such a racist crusade.

In the 1930’s, most German people were living in dire circumstances. Many or most who were gentiles, blamed, one way or another, Jews for their suffering. Did that warrant such “sensitivity?” Indeed, it was just such “sensitivity” that gave crucial support to the efforts to ‘remove’ Jews from everyday life, to take away the reminders they were considered to be of defeat and humiliation in the World War and the ensuing suffering.

From Newt, Sarah, and the average American jerk waving a flag from his German or Japanese car, I am shocked but not surprised. Neither am I, I’m afraid, much more surprised to see many Liberals rushing to join them. I understand Harry Reid is the latest. I at least appreciate President Obama’s initial comments against prejudice. But that is of only little help when so many find merit in practicing their racism, overtly or with subterfuge in language.

A famous poem by Martin Niemöller, who had initially been sympathetic to Hitler’s Nazis but was later imprisoned by them, offers a lesson about standing by, only speaking up when it was too late. Much of Liberal America has all ready been speaking up since 9/11 — against Muslims, decrying a claimed “Muslim threat” that they call the greatest issue of our time and biggest threat to “civilization.” Of course, there are those who are truly Liberal, who stand firmly for principles of individual liberty and equality, sometimes at great personal cost. Their values don’t change with the wind or, for example, after 9/11.

But many others have sadly been exhibiting the same eagerness in their latest attack on freedom as Liberals showed for McCarthyist repression before 9/11. Intertwined with the latest bigotry is the killing spree of two current wars, and maybe more to come soon, that too many Liberals also have endorsed, some enthusiastically, some for security ‘practicality,’ and some by merely supporting war candidates.

So, when will we speak up? And when will we learn? When will we learn what I was taught as a boy in citizenship class and when I was inspired by the persistent fight for truth by the Anti-Defamation League among others? The time to recognize and stand solidly against bigotry is not when there’s no more choice left.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 26th, 2010 at 8:36 am and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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