Politically Correct Racism

racismThe Torah teaches, ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.’

Our society still struggles with Racism. In the 50’s and 60’s it was prejudice against Blacks and Latinos. The civil rights movement, although imperfect, opened our society to job and housing opportunities to Blacks and Latinos. But the question can be posed, “Has the pendulum swung too far?” The goal was supposed to be equality. Equal opportunity for Blacks, Hispanics, Women, gays and yes, Jews. That does not mean a re-distribution of wealth by seizure, but equal opportunity and access to good jobs, good housing, and legal rights.

The recent trial of George Zimmerman has shown our attempts of justice for all to be a sham. George Zimmerman, a Hispanic, was labeled a “white Hispanic” in an attempt to label his self-defense killing of Trayvon Martin a black teen, as being a racist crime. The president is half white, but no one calls him a White African-American.

The internet was full of stories of blacks killing whites, but the mainstream media didn’t play up those stories. I am not defending anyone, but observing the way news is reported. It makes me feel like if you have “the magic color,” you can kill white people, but if a white person kills you, they will be judged and sentenced by the media.

People like Al Sharpton have made lucrative careers out of reverse racism. He’s in the news threatening to take the Zimmerman case to Federal authorities because he didn’t like the outcome of the trial. Is this justice or revenge?

President Johnson articulated a vision for “the Great Society,” where there would be justice and plenty for all. Affirmative action has not produced a great society, but an unjust society.

The reality is, its okay to be racist, as long as long as you are racist against the right people. You can be racist as long as it’s not against blacks, or Moslems. If you criticize whites, Christians, or Jews, you can get away with it. If you criticize Blacks, Moslems or Arabs it’s not okay. Why are they being shown special treatment?

For years the media has been against Israel, presenting them as racist and guilty in whatever skirmish they were involved. It’s become politically correct to criticize Israel. Israel has acted far more humanely in its treatment of Arabs than Arabs have treated Israelis, yet this fact is universally ignored. Nobody handed Israel a rich, flourishing country. They took a wasteland and built a rich, flourishing country.

The problem is, we mistake poverty and wealth with oppression. If people have wealth, we assume they must have oppressed people to get it. If people are poor, we assume they either were disadvantaged or oppressed to be in that situation. Nobody assumes that if you have wealth, you worked hard for it. Nobody assumes that the poor might be poor because they didn’t take advantage of the opportunities they had.

I believe it’s not wrong to have wealth. I am an advocate for the poor, but I don’t begrudge the wealthy. Without the wealthy, who would help the poor? They are the ones the Torah says have a responsibility to help the poor.

Real justice is treating everyone equally. Real righteousness is for the wealthy to generously help those in need. The real issue is about what we do with what we have.


6 thoughts on “Politically Correct Racism

  1. I’ll share this, Rabbi Michael. Well put.

    I’ve been thinking alot about the Ron Goldman-Nicole Brown murder trial. I had a personal watershed-awakening experience during that particular info-tainment fest. I suddenly realized that many in the judicial system (which I respect), like the defense “dream” team of the defendant in that case, was not primarily interested in truth or justice. They were interested in winning at all costs. At least, it seemed so to me.

    I understood the words of Stephen Stills yet again, as I had after reading voraciously about the Vietnam War:

    “There’s something happening here
    But what it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a man with a gun over there
    Telling me I got to beware

    “I think it’s time we stop
    Children, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look – what’s going down?”

    For all the victims who’s murders galvanized the civil rights movement, such as Emmitt Till; for all the courageous work of the Freedom Riders, the sacrificed lives of the likes of Medgar Evers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Viola Liuzzo, who fought and died for equal rights in this land; despite the powerful framing of the times by Dr. King, we still live in extreme socially [racially/ethnically] polarized times. Jim Crow may have died, but the evil consciousness of his ghost lives on in the hearts and minds of men and women, framing our thoughts and guiding our opinions, influencing our institutions.

    Which only leads me back, full circle, to the fact that “a kingdom divided cannot stand” and that there are no man-made solutions to the divided kingdoms of mankind, and that only Messiah can and will heal the wounds of this world, by the stripes He has taken. When, as the prophet Amos wrote: “justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream…”

    May He come quickly.

    Thanks for this post…

  2. My heart goes out to Mr. Zimmerman. Every single piece of evidence shows him to be a good and decent man, who acted properly under the laws of the State of Florida, in which he lives.

    Now, the Feds have set up a hotline so we can call in and report anything we might know about Zimmerman being a racist. DOES THAT SOUND AT ALL SIMILAR TO HITLER’S WAY OF FINDING WHO WERE THE JEWS????

  3. The thing about affirmative action is direction. Affirmative action in one direction is negative action in another. Justice calls for equality. Affirmative action delivers neither justice nor equality. A couple of decades ago a state education authority was persuaded that it needed to take affirmative action because the number of promoted males in it’s workforce outweighed the number of promoted females. The number of promoted females did not represent the ratio of females in the workforce. The assumption was that the promotion system was biased and that affirmative action needed to be taken. The real reason for the imbalance was disregarded. Today, in that same organisation, female promotions are 2 in every 3. New appointments are 3 out of every 4 female. That is to say, if you are a female applicant for promotion or for employment, you are more than twice as likely to be successful than any male. Nobody is calling for affirmative action to redress the imbalance because it is politically correct for it to work only in one direction.

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