Monday, January 07, 2008

Blacks & Jews Together: A Complex Alliance?


"Blacks and Jews Unite" - The headline instantly brought to mind hopeful images of reconciliation. Like the undated photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (pictured left) marching with Jewish leaders.

Of all places it was in the pages of the frequently reactionary and sometimes cartoonishly conservative New York Post that I caught site of a headline that sent me to my computer to blog. Massive props to assemblyman Dov Hikind stepped up to the plate and showed leadership as an American, as a leader as a man who understands the importance of reconciliation and synergy between different communities.

The need for a more coherent joint response from Jews and African-Americans is immediate in the face of rising incidents of racism and anti-semitism across the Tri-State region.

Just recently New York's local CBS affiliate WCBS Channel 2 broadcast an extremely disturbing report about hundreds of headstones being toppled over in the PoileZedek Jewish Cemetery in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The Jewish Press reports that hate crimes against African Americans and Jewish citizens have increased by 25% in the New York. Are we moving backwards?

I went to few a Websites and was quite surprised at the tone of conversation going amongst Jewish New Yorkers; I'm talking conversation threads where people who are hostile to Hinkindd's initiative are basically saying, what's the point of even trying to have a dialogue with black folk, they're all anti-semites?

I've spoken with two of friends of mine who are Jewish; they suggest the threads I'm reading are extremists and do not represent the mainstream views of most Jews in America.

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