Excerpt: We Need to Talk About Antisemitism
Check out the full post by Sarah Suzuki published by An Injustice!
We are antiracist educators because we know how systems of power and oppression are realities — not distractions. But when it comes to antisemitism, we ignore what we know for a false binary: Either we are talking about racism, or we are talking about antisemitism.
We buy into this binary even though we know that either/or thinking is part of white supremacy culture. And we know the antidote is both/and. But we ignore what we know because we’re exhausted and afraid.
Our fears manifest as internalized oppression, and when we play our fears out through inaction, willful silence, or actual antisemitic acts, we oppress Jews. And when we oppress Jews, we strengthen the systems of oppression we desperately try to dismantle.
We can and should do better. Antisemitism is the most enduring form of prejudice, spanning nearly 2000 years, and it’s maintained through the logic of Christian Dominance — a strategy of white supremacy at the heart of systems of oppression.
And yet, too often in our community of antiracist educators, we avoid discussing it. We avoid discussing antisemitism even as antisemitic and anti-Asian hate crimes increase in lockstep, even as Black Americans remain the victims of most hate crimes. We know these hate crimes are connected. And we know this is happening because of the increasing acceptance of antisemitism, xenophobia, and anti-Blackness at the highest echelons of our culture and political establishment.
We non-Jewish educators put white Jews in an impossible position. We want them alongside us as co-conspirators, but when the stakes get high, and Jews become targets of violence, we disappear. Or we consciously align with antisemitic perpetrators (see: recent social media). More often, we knowingly ignore what antisemitism really is and perpetrate it unconsciously.
To my fellow antiracist educators, I’m not calling you out: I’m calling us in. We will do better work when we include education about antisemitism along with our analysis of racism. And while I don’t have all the answers, I’m ready to shift the dialogue, and I’m prepared to commit to something more expansive.
Read the full post on An Injustice! We Need to Talk About Antisemitism.