Mainstream silence regarding anti-Semitism is loud

Communities are finally starting to realize that racism still exists, and the younger generations are mad about it. Opinion.

Romy Ronen ,

Silence!
Silence!
iStock

These past few months have been difficult, not just because COVID is taking over the world but, mostly, because communities are finally starting to realize that racism still exists, and the younger generations are mad about it. Those who are outraged post on their Instagram stories every day and call themselves activists. I don’t mean to suggest that performance activism isn’t a ‘thing,’ and that it isn’t dangerous, especially when the individual knows maybe three facts total about the issue they claim to care about with all their heart and soul.

Almost every single person I follow on Instagram has been dedicating their account to post artsy little graphics about why we have to be anti-racist. It should be obvious, but in the politicized world we live in today, a basic human right has to become a movement. I hope the public understands that these graphics can be created in minutes. I’ve been making them for about two years now as only a fraction of my work in campus activism and I’m not special. In fact, there’s an entire Jewish and non-Jewish community of activists who promote a pro-Israel narrative and negate antisemitic rhetoric. Not to say that every single student my age has to be an activist on their campus, but this ‘tiresome’ work of signing petitions, posting, having ‘tough’ conversations, and engaging in protests isn’t actually new to me or to anyone who has been making an effort to make our world a better place.

It’s ironic that some of these individuals that work so incredibly hard to fight for all communities don’t get supported back. As a Jewish ideal, many Jews feel a need to be social justice leaders and to support refugees around the world. Those same leaders are realizing that the support they bear for others is rarely ever reciprocated.

Romy Ronen
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Case in point: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver, DeSean Jackson. It took days for another player on the team to denounce his remarks and many of current and former players quickly came to DeSean’s defense. It took a week for the Philadelphia Eagles to penalize DeSean Jackson publicly.

On my Instagram feed of 827 followers, the only users who posted about his blatant antisemitism were Jewish. Sadly, not a single non-Jewish user on my feed posted about it. The Jewish community finally ‘saw the light,’ noticed this innate hypocrisy, and posted about how it’s disrespectful not to post about antisemitism if you claim to be anti-racist or against all hate.

Less than 24 hours later, SHEIN, a clothing company that has now become extremely popular had a Swastika pendant necklace on sale. It was advertised and public for the world to spend $2.50 on. Once again, only Jewish users posted about this act of hatred. Some influencers on social media even defended SHEIN’s antisemitism, claiming that since it was once a symbol of peace, and a ‘white man’ made it the opposite, it should still be up on their website and sold to the general public. The fact that this was even defended in the first place should cause grave concern.

My message is this: please continue to post and to spread awareness, but please include Jews in your community conversations and activism. Don’t ignore our existence and the oppressions we faced for centuries.

To be honest, the silence from everyone, when it comes to fighting for Jews in America, is loud and it’s deafening. Albeit the Jewish community will continue to stand by our values and will support all communities, it is important for the world to know that we won’t stop fighting for us, too. We won’t stop defending ourselves, and we won’t stop speaking out. We are waiting for the social justice warriors of 2020 to use their powerful voices to support us, the Jews.



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