Irrational rationale for rioting and reparations

A Mid-Summer-going-into-Autumn nightmare that wants one group to get a free pass and preferential treatment over all other Americans. Op-ed.

Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin. ,

Black Lives Matter protest
Black Lives Matter protest

This past summer I have been in isolation from the dreaded Coronavirus in the Catskills and have had the opportunity to watch the drama unfolding since the death of George Floyd. Like most people I have been confused by all the noise and mayhem coming out of it all.The arguments that keep on being repeated by the media and the masses of protesters have common themes that basically amount to an ultimatum that one group of people be given preferential treatment over everyone else in America.

These are the arguments that keep on being spouted:

There is "systemic racism" in America.

This is a new term. It seems that people have forgotten their history.

Over a hundred and fifty years ago, in the 1860s, there was an American Civil War that resulted in the deaths of over half a million Americans in order to free the African American slaves.

Over fifty years ago, in the 1950s and 1960s there were the Civil Rights movements that granted rights and privileges to African Americans. This included Affirmative Action laws that gave preferential treatment to African Americans in education and the workplace.

African Americans have been appointed as judges and prosecutors, hundreds of African American legilators and judges on all levels of government as well as to the Supreme Court, such as Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and like Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch have served as Attorney General.

By the early 21st Century, the United States was enlightened enough to elect its first African American President and First Lady Barack Hussein and Michelle Obama. Not to mention the dozens of African Americans elected as members of Congress and the hundreds of African American mayors of cities big and small.

There is also the progress of African Americans in Hollywood, entertainment and of course in sports, as well as in the military where an African American four star general Colin Powell served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State.

So it seems that while it is tacitly acknowledged that "individual" or "private" racism has been all but eliminated, the activists have concocted a new excuse labelling it "systemic" or "institutional" racism, alleging that African Americans can't get good jobs and fair housing.

But if true, whose fault is this really? Noone's! Businesses hire on merit, not affirmative action. In a free and open free enterprise society like America if you earn the money then you can afford the housing you need. Besides there are all sorts of government programs that assist "low income" families to find cheaper subsidized housing. In now-radicalized New York City homeless people are being put up in now free-of-tourists luxury hotels at no cost indefinitely. You can't beat that. Where is the systemic racism?

There is violence perpetrated by white police in America against African Americans.

Funny, if you watch the news you will see so many African American policemen and police chiefs making the police non-racial in makeup. Police respond to crime, not race. This is the reality.

To go so far as to call for defunding or eliminating the police is another manifestation of a delusion that claims that by somehow eradicating law-enforcement, it will "uphold" some form of "justice". Just how crazy and illogical is that? The Torah long ago COMMANDED the Israelites to appoint JUDGES and POLICE [shoftim veshotrim] in Deuteronomy 16:18: "Judges and police appoint for you in all your settlements..."

Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot, Chapter 3:2) warns: "Pray for the welfare of the government, since if not for the fear of it (the law) men would swallow each other alive"! Some fantasize that the police can be wished away and in their place ordinary civilians will enforce the law. Let's see, how exactly would that work during a robbery or a murder? The victim would dial "911" and there would be no police to answer on the pther side. So who to call? George Soros? Obviously this has not been thought through by those who think they can survive crimes without the intervention of real law enforcement officers.

The recent protests have been peaceful.

Yes, some have been peaceful. By the way, does pulling down statues of George Washington and Christopher Columbus count as a "peaceful protests"? No doubt some will claim that they are.

At this point it is not about African Americans fighting for more rights, but from a certain stage there are firebrands of all types and ethnicities joining in. As anyone who has seen the news in the last few months knows, the protests have not just been peaceful because clearly there has been violence, destruction of property, burning down of buildings, looting, and shootings, all recorded by security and media cameras.

Americans have noticed that the group called ANTIFA, meaning "anti-fascists," takes the law into its own hands and acts, well, like fascists!

Yes, it is true, it is cities run by Democrat mayors that have seen the most violence on their streets, precisely because they have ordered the police to "stand down" and not control the violent pillaging mobs. You can be sure that in these cities, the police are forbidden to use tear gas, water cannons or rubber bullets to stop the rioters who are deemed to be "justified" and "peaceful' - as they protest against "systemic racism" and "police violence" with their own systematic destruction of property and violence against anyone who gets in their way!

Black Lives Matter, Uber Alles!

This is the one sentence sound-bite cooked up ideology that justifies doing anything the rioters and protesters feel like doing. This is in fact one of the most racist declarations of modern times.

What is a Jew or any non-Jew to think? That his or her life matters less than another's black life. And it's not enough that it's a slogan but it must also now become part of the protests in the form of grotesque graffiti painted in bold on the streets of America. So let's see now, with Black Lives Matter painted on major streets and cars and trucks driving over it, and pedestrians and pets walking and doing their business over it, does that not insult the very slogan itself?

This they have not thought of, it seems. It's just another form of legitimate "peaceful protest" to go out there and have the mayor of New York City join you in splattering the letters of Black Lives Matter on the grand avenues and promenades of one of America's greatest cities.

History begins with the 1619 project.

Invented by none other than the New York Times. Why? That's when African slaves were brought to America. And everything is now supposed to revolve around that. No more discovery of the Americas by Columbus in 1492. No more great American Revolution and Declaration of Independence of 1776. No more great great victory by the North in 1865, No more World War One and World War Two Memorial days. Forget that 1920 was the year women got the vote in the USA, and so much more.

Let's begin to use a new civil "BCE/CE" before and after1619 to validate the Black Lives Matter slogan, reward the "peaceful" protesters, stick it to the police, and just go along with the ongoing lie, eradicating four centuries of incredible progress not just for African Americasn but for all Americans, men and women who have received untold bounties of liberty, equality and fraternity unparalleled in human history.

Socialism. A defunct political idea that became hip under the Bernie Sanders banner.

After all, Marxism is all part of "peaceful" protests - until it isn't! The new-found popularity of Socialism, Marxism, Communism is all very odd considering the collapse of the former Communist USSR.

Red China has become the super-rich dictatorial "factory of Capitalism" even as it keeps the police state and totalitarian methods of Communism to control its vast population. Ditto for Vietnam. Cuba is a shambles. Venezuela is a disgrace. And let's see if American style protesters would get away with burning down streets, pulling down statues and attacking the police in North Korea!

There is nothing like the greatness of America. What African Americans have achieved in the United States few Africans have achieved in the over fifty countries of present day Africa itself.


We haven't heard much from this crowd lately in the news, but that is only because the self-same activists are busy marching, protesting, fighting the police, pulling statues down, painting BLM slogans on the streets, advocating for far-left candidates in the upcoming 2020 elections, and just enjoying the free ride to mayhem that the Democrat run cities have given them.

But make no mistake about it, the same crowd that vociferously shouts for righting the wrongs of systemic racism, protests police violence, engages in peaceful/violent protests, fights for BLM and advocates for history to begin in 1619, reduces historic monuments to rubble, and loves Socialism and its cohorts and tactics, is the same crowd that hates Israel and is unashamedly antisemtic. This can be seen from the number of synagogues defaced and even burned down in the recent riots, and the rise of muggings in Jewish neighborhoods.

Reparations for slavery.

This is an old but bold demand that has been trending upward. Among some activists and some African American circles, in spite of all that they have attained in American society, they genuinely believe they are entitled to, at this point unspecified, reparations, meaning payments of money and other financial and material rewards for what happened until the slaves were freed in 1862 by the Emancipation Proclamation.

From the end of the American Civil War in 1865 to the 1960s African Americans were set free from slavery and then from segregation. They were granted huge amounts of rights and benefits during the era of Civil Rights. All the doors of society were flung open to people of all races and creeds to the point where it is illegal to discriminate against anyone. Untold trillions of dollars have flown to African Americans via myriads of government programs and benefits. Government, the law, the judiciary and politics and all of society are open to them. Academia, entertainment, show business, is open to them.

Affirmative Action has paid lots of "reparations" as Wikipedia puts it:

Affirmative action in the United States is a set of laws, policies, guidelines, and administrative practices "intended to end and correct the effects of a specific form of discrimination" that include government-mandated, government-approved and voluntary private programs.

The programs tend to focus on access to education and employment, granting special consideration to historically excluded groups, specifically racial minorities or women. The impetus toward affirmative action is redressing the disadvantages[ associated with past and present discrimination. Further impetus is a desire to ensure public institutions, such as universities, hospitals, and police forces, are more representative of the populations they serve....

Affirmative action policies were developed to address long histories of discrimination faced by minorities and women, which reports suggest produced corresponding unfair advantages for whites and males. They first emerged from debates over non-discrimination policies in the 1940s and during the civil rights movement. These debates led to federal executive orders requiring non-discrimination in the employment policies of some government agencies and contractors in the 1940s and onward, and to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited racial discrimination in firms with over 25 employees.

The first federal policy of race-conscious affirmative action was the Revised Philadelphia Plan, implemented in 1969, which required certain government contractors to set "goals and timetables" for integrating and diversifying their workforce. Similar policies emerged through a mix of voluntary practices and federal and state policies in employment and education.

Affirmative action as a practice was partially upheld by the Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), while the use of racial quotas for college admissions was concurrently ruled unconstitutional by the Court in Gratz v. Bollinger (2003).

So now all this is deemed to be insufficient. More money must be coughed up. And naturally, the BLM, Socialist, peaceful/violent, statue-destroying, anti-police protesters and believers in systemic racism want their share of this new "American dream" - that is fast turning into everyone's nightmare.

Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin is president and founder of the Jewish Professionals Institute. An alumnus of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin and Teachers College, Columbia University, he has dedicated his life to Jewish outreach and education, served for 7 years as full-time director of Sinai Heritage Centers in Manhattan and 3 as an AJOP trustee, .among many oher endeavors.