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.