This is an important article that tells truths that those on the Left will find uncomfortable.
I never thought I would say this about a New York Times piece, but there we are. It actually goes over some of the same territory as an upcoming article of mine about identity politics. And the divide and double standards on anti-Semitism.
First, anti-Semitic violence, not Islamophobia or anti-black or transgender violence tops all the statistics in New York City, and yet gets a fraction of the attention because the victims are usually Orthodox Jews.
But, in fact, anti-Semitism was already quietly on the rise. For several years now, expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment have made up the preponderance of hate crime complaints in the city.
Contrary to what are surely the prevailing assumptions, anti-Semitic incidents have constituted half of all hate crimes in New York this year, according to the Police Department. To put that figure in context, there have been four times as many crimes motivated by bias against Jews — 142 in all — as there have against blacks. Hate crimes against Jews have outnumbered hate crimes targeted at transgender people by a factor of 20.
When a ḥasidic man or woman is attacked by anyone in New York City, mainstream progressive advocacy groups do not typically send out emails calling for concern and fellowship and candlelight vigils in Union Square, as they often do when individuals are harmed in New York because of their race or ethnicity or how they identify in terms of sex or sexual orientation… .
Sympathies are distributed unevenly. Few are extended toward religious fundamentalists, of any kind, who reach the radar of the urbane, “Pod Save America” class only when stories appear confirming existing impressions of backwardness — the hordes of children delivered into the world whom families refuse to vaccinate and keep semiliterate.
Second, this has nothing to do with “white supremacy”, occasionally it might involve black supremacy, but we can’t talk about that.
If anti-Semitism bypasses consideration as a serious problem in New York, it is to some extent because it refuses to conform to an easy narrative with a single ideological enemy. During the past 22 months, not one person caught or identified as the aggressor in an anti-Semitic hate crime has been associated with a far right-wing group, Mark Molinari, commanding officer of the police department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, told me…
“I almost wish it was sometimes more clear cut,’’ he said. “It’s every identity targeting every identity.”
Of course, not everyone is caught. And, obviously, white supremacists are driving anti-Semitic rhetoric online. It is just that sort of hate speech that the Anti-Defamation League views as largely responsible for the near doubling in bias incidents toward Jewish children in schools across the country last year.
In fact, it is the varied backgrounds of people who commit hate crimes in the city that make combating and talking about anti-Semitism in New York much harder.
A related issue is that bias stemming from longstanding ethnic tensions in the city presents complexities that many liberals have chosen simply to ignore. “When we were growing up in Harlem our demoralizing series of landlords were Jewish, and we hated them.” So begins an essay by James Baldwin that appeared in The New York Times in 1967 titled “Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White.”
So we’ll elide that one.
It’s a good thing that this article exists. And yet I suspect that it will change very little. The narrative is set. It’s driven by lefty Jews in the media who simply don’t care about actual everyday anti-Semitic violence. Especially when it’s carried out by Farrakhan fans.