Anti-Semitism Rears Its Ugly Head…Again
Four recent stories in the media are seemingly unconnected, but I beg to differ. I see a thread running through each.
Story #1: Charlie Sheen rants against the producer of Two and a Half Men, calling him Chaim Levine. Charles Levine is Chuck Lorre’s birth name, and, yes, he is Jewish. What it has to do with his disagreement with Sheen is precisely nothing. Sheen claims he’s not anti-Semitic, but I beg to differ.
If Sheen’s point is to call out Chuck Lorre on his hypocrisy with a name change to something less ethnic, then I think we need to see Charlie Sheen credited as Carlos Estevez from now on. Anybody wanna take a bet on whether or not that’s going to happen?
I think it’s strange that amongst the celebrities who have called to offer Sheen their support, Mel Gibson’s name is mentioned prominently. Do you think it’s because Mel understands the pain of being mislabeled as a Jew hater? No, I don’t, either.
Soon after this exchange hit the web, Natalie Portman, who is proudly of Jewish heritage and represents Dior, makes a public statement against Galliano. Dior fires him promptly thereafter, as they should have.
Story #3: At about the same time, Julian Assange makes a statement that Wikileaks is being attacked by a “Jewish conspiracy.” This is interesting, if only because it shows Julian Assange has a screw loose and that he’s also an anti-Semite. I find it interesting that the rape charges he’s facing are from two women in Sweden, where anti-Semitism is very much alive and well and perhaps even “trendy.”
The author Stieg Larsson spent a considerable part of his journalistic energies towards exposing neo-Nazis in his home country. Perhaps Assange’s comments are designed to prejudice a Swedish jury into being sympathetic towards him on rape charges. He didn’t rape anyone. Can’t you see it’s all just a Jewish conspiracy?
Story #4: The Roman Catholic Pope Benedict releases a book that reiterates the official position of the Roman Catholic Church since sometime in the 1960s. For the last half century, the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church has been that the Jews did not kill Jesus. Read my lips. The Jews did not kill Jesus. Jesus was not killed by the Jews.
Did you notice how repetitive that is? Good. Then you got my point. Why is this making the news right now? It’s not a controversial position. Unlike the Pope’s recent remarks about sexual activity and condoms, it’s nothing new.
I know that there are a lot of people who aren’t even anti-Semitic who get really tired of being reminded of the Holocaust. They deny the Holocaust or they downplay it or they simply don’t want to be burdened with having to remember something so unpleasant, something that didn’t happen to them, something they didn’t live through.
But it’s important to remember the Holocaust so that we don’t repeat it. Persecution of a race or a religion is nothing new. Prejudice is nothing new. But the inhumanity of men towards men that was displayed in the Holocaust is without parallel in human history.
Just as easily as the Jews can be made the scapegoats for the entire human race, so can blue eyed people or fat people or short people or any other arbitrary minority that we can hate. Remember that when you harbor prejudice and hatred for someone, when you repeat stereotypes or make so-called harmless jokes about the Pollacks, you are demeaning a whole class of people. You are opening the door for another Holocaust.
These four stories being on the heels of one another in the news is not entirely coincidental. People who believe in love and equality need to stand up and be heard. Westboro Baptist Church has a court-approved right to stand up and shout hatred. Stand up and shout love. I’m convinced that if everyone who believes racism and bigotry has no place in our world would stand up and shout that we’d drown out the voices of all these idiot Sheens, Gallianos, Gibsons, and Assanges. Make sure your voice is heard.
Entry filed under: Chrisitanity, Current Events, Ethics, History, Human Rights, Social Commentary, Spirituality. Tags: Antisemitism, Charles Albert Levine, Charlie Sheen, Chuck Lorre, Jews, John Galliano, Julian Assange, Westboro Baptist Church.