Anti-Semitism is a noxious thought process which feeds off a stereotype, right? And all Italian-Americans are somehow, some way attached to La Cosa Nostra. All black people are thugs. All Hispanics/Latinos whatever, are illegal aliens. All men are serial rapists. All women are conniving bitches. You get the idea. The reality however is some Jews are precisely what anti-Semites say they are just as there are Italian-Americans in the mob, black thugs and illegal aliens of Hispanic/Latino whatever backgrounds.
How to define someone who is Jewish and fits the stereotype may be a little difficult, but allow a try from the standpoint of having grown up in the same atmosphere as most other ethnic Americans. That is, Italian-Americans are superior to everyone else. No one in my family said so, it was just understood. I suppose that is quite common in any ethnic household. It is therefore probably true in Jewish households. The stereotype regarding Jewish people is their condescension when it comes to non-Jews. That is the perception. In my era, the baby-boomer era, it was accepted that Jews thought they were better than everyone else, but those of us who weren’t Jewish, notably Italian-Americans, had the same view of ourselves. The difference was, we didn’t think of ourselves as the “chosen people”, we didn’t need to, we simply assumed it. Besides, there were far more of us than there were Jews and they rarely if ever associated with non-Jews so it didn’t matter what they thought of themselves or us much less us about them.
Stereotypes do have foundations in fact to a certain degree. As we age, we see that many times the stereotype not only fits, it describes people perfectly. And so it is when we take a balanced and objective look at Jewish people who occupy positions in the media. Take Jon Stewart for example. The darling of the left, he and many other Jews see no problem in offending Christians. It’s almost like black people demanding reparations for slavery. Jews in the media bashing or poking fun at Christians, Catholics especially, seem to believe it is their right, like payback for all that was done to them by Christians in the past, whatever case can be made to support or dismiss the conclusion. That’s the way a lot of us see things.
It isn’t a hatred for Jews that motivates anti-Semitism as much as it is having to put up with a vocal and truly distasteful subset of them who push the envelope in the name of some ragged philosophy, political viewpoint or comedy routine. Take a look at the movie “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” starring Andrew Dice Clay aka Andrew Clay Silverstein and Gilbert Gottfried. In the one scene, Gottfried is dressed as a Catholic bishop and is the object of a dominatrix played by Priscilla Presley. He is on all fours while she stands near him with a whip.
Sarah Silverman has made a career out of blaspheming Jesus Christ and spewing vitriol about Christians in the name of comedy. It seems the modus operandi of Jewish comedians. Every disgusting comment about Christians is couched in it being comedy, satire, biting wit and of course, freedom of speech. But let a Christian blister Jews in the same way, he is immediately labeled a hater, an anti-Semite, an abuser of free speech.
Why is the former acceptable, but not the latter? Is it really a matter of free speech? So be it then. But when anti-Semitism rears its head, it may be a good idea for Jewish people to reflect on the truly offensive realities encouraging a sense of justifiable anger which when not given the liberty of expression turns into hatred for a whole people. Their free speech might not be so free. It may be costing them the societal conviviality they seem to want, but complain they never get.
Which brings us to Jon Stewart’s exit from whatever that show was, comedy masquerading as news or the other way around. In his February 15, 2015 article, Kyle Smith of the New York Post says “Jon Stewart was unabashedly and habitually dishonest.” He questions why Stewart was such a darling of the media and the left. The answer is clear, Stewart’s routine was built on ridicule. It’s the great shtick born of the Borscht-belt mentality which though far more subtle in days past has now blossomed into outright rage against anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep with an ultra-liberal belief system countenancing everything most Christians find antithetical to their faith. No, Ms. Silverman, a woman’s body is not her own when she is carrying life. She becomes a vessel until that life is capable of living on his or her own. You may not believe that way, but millions of us do. That you use the stage to rip us apart for our beliefs will not make us disbelieve, all it will do is make us dislike you, perhaps hate you and when the time comes to help you, when you need us most, you will find our willingness withheld, a function of your own hatred turned back on you.
Jon Stewart’s distaste for Christians is watered down of necessity for the most part, being close friends with Stephen Colbert, a practicing Catholic of all things. But the attempts at disparaging Christianity’s adherents is hardly subtle and not all that funny either. “Yes,” he says with tongue-in-cheek, “the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion…perhaps around their necks? And maybe, dare I dream it, maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively” (all sic including the bad grammar and punctuation).
This as it was published on some no-name blog with the postscript, “To the extent that there is animus against American Christianity, it is attributable to a disheartening blend of Christian presumption and Christian benightedness. Together, these traits have made Christianity its own worst enemy. You cannot be self-righteous, holier-than-thou bigots without blowback.”
The blogger is anonymous…of course, but his words are interesting nonetheless for one reason, they reflect precisely what ant-Semites think of Jews which just goes to show, bigotry and hatred are but musterions to the people who carry their general prejudices around, but in very deep pockets of their consciousnesses. Why do Jews hate Christians? Only they know. Why do anti-Semites hate Jews? Similarly, for reasons only they know. Or maybe it’s that no one really knows why they hate other people, they just do.
It’s the safest bet in the world that no set of people are any better than any other set in the sum total of their being people. Everyone is the same on an individual basis, but collect them into groups and the natural instinct is to see membership in that group as something more special than membership in another group especially if one has no choice in that membership. Thus, Italian-Americans are superior to every other ethnic and racial group in the world which is about as logical as Jews thinking they are God’s only chosen people.
The point is, like black people should look inward to better their race’s circumstances, Jews should begin a similar review of their sensibilities regarding non-Jews. A little respect wouldn’t be out of order. And Italian-Americans, well they don’t have to do anything, they’re perfect.