In full disclosure, I am not Jewish, but a Christian conservative. I happen to believe that the greatest threat today does not stem from the noxious, over the top Jew-hatred of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton and their ilk. Rather, it is the much more malign and subtle form of Jew-hatred that does the greatest damage; what I could call the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism. When LeBron James posted a comment on Instagram about “getting that Jewish money,” his casual anti-Semitism was just one example among many. When such a well-known cultural “icon” can casually display Jew-hatred and hardly anyone blinks, we know, or should know, that the virus of anti-Semitism has infiltrated deeply into our culture and has reached a critical stage.
It is no longer news that the Left has become increasingly anti-Semitic . That the Democrat party has so embraced this strain of anti-Semitism is very troublesome, but it is rarely reported in the media. Yet the reality is there for all to see. But I want to pivot for a moment to examine the other side of the political spectrum.
Anti-Semitism has long been thought of as a disease of the far right and there is certainly a past and current history to back that up. And while we are witnessing the rise of Leftist anti-Semitism, we would be naïve to think that the Right has fully expunged all elements of anti-Semitism from its ranks. While today we see this hatred mostly on the fringes of the far right in America, with the ghosts of David Duke, the KKK, and other white supremacist organizations, we need to remain mindful of the fear of a wider spread of anti-Semitism on the Right.
The larger point that Michael Finch is making is that economic and social instability summons forth cultural demons that can wreak havoc. When a society begins tearing itself apart, all sorts of ugliness can and does spill out. That’s an unfortunate truth of history.
Our country is, unfortunately, not in a good place. And the struggle to change that has its own fractures. It may be a hard ride.