1. 1.
    a mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead.

Lot’s of people want -no dare I say need to believe that in the age of Barack Obama, racism isn’t issue in America anymore. Why is it so important to deny that our country is still infected with both latent and overt racism?  By promoting the lie that racism is a relic of history bigots can continue participating in mainstream society by  cloaking their hate in the verbiage of what society deems, legitimate criticism.  Missing my point?  Consider these examples we hear everyday in the media and from one another:

  1. Black folks who riot are not fighting for equal rights or against mistreatment by the police, they’re just thugs and criminals taking advantage of a volatile situation.
  2. That Black guy wouldn’t  have been shot if he had done what the cop told him to do.
  3. I’m not racist, but I’m just sick and tired of paying taxes so lazy, drug dealing, baby making minority types and illegal immigrants can live on food stamps and Medicaid.
  4. Voter fraud is such a real problem we have to do all we can to make sure only the right people have the privilege of voting.
  5. The fact that most criminals are Black makes it necessary for the police to single out Black people for frequent road checks on our highways and stop and frisk encounters on our city streets.
  6. You think you’re doing the right thing by hiring one of them and the next thing you know they’re showing up late, leaving early, goofing off when you’re not looking and robbing you blind.
  7. I oppose busing kids from one school district to another to achieve integration and equality in schools. I want my kids to go to safe and schools where learning is going on.
  8. Why are the white people blamed for the problems of the African-American community? Is it our fault that Black men abandon their families and Black on Black crime is out of control?
  9. It’s a damn shame people would use a tragedy like the murders in Charleston to denigrate the noble heritage of the Southerners. There’s nothing racist at all about the Confederate flag!
  10. Barack Obama is the worst President in American history.
  11. My number one agenda item is making sure Obama doesn’t get a second term.
  12. Obama wasn’t born in America.  He’s a Muslim who actually hates this country.
  13. Obama is a socialist dictator who is going to take away our guns.
  14. Obama hates Jews and Israel.  He always sides with the Arabs.  No President has been more critical of Israel since 1948.
  15. The fact that I disagree with just about everything Barack Obama says and does has nothing to do with race.  But I do think we need to take out country back from people who think like him.

hate unicornLet’s be honest,  Dylan Storm Roof isn’t an anomaly.  He’s a typical racist American who never got the email that in 2015 you can’t get away with lynching African-Americans in such a public and violent way as he chose.  Did Roof grow up in a cave and suddenly show up at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston wanting start a race war? Of course not.  He’s a product of a pervasive racist culture that is still very much a part of American society. But unlike the countless racist talking heads in the US Congress and in the right-wing media, Dylan Storm Roof is just an immature, unpolished amateur bigot who hadn’t yet learned how to act on his hate in 21st Century America without destroying himself in the process.

If he hadn’t self-destructed, Dylan would have learned in a few years that you can translate your hate into something more palatable like blaming them for the ills of racism has inflicted on African-Americans:  poverty, unemployment and despair.

With the passage of time and the emergence of social media, I’ve come to understand that many in the Jewish community who like myself, were directly impacted by the Holocaust have tapped into the anger the Shoah instilled in us in two diametrically different ways.  Some of us are passionate about equality and are intolerant of intolerance.  Still other Survivors and their children have channeled their energies in the opposite direction: tribalism, nationalism and racism.  This sad phenomenon is most vivid when comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Even the current President of Israel acknowledges that racism has become a serious problem for the Jewish State.

In Israel and the Diaspora many in the Survivor community and other friends and supporters of Israel are indignant that a President of color with a Muslim sounding name would dare to call Israel out on her moral shortcomings.  The same people who will tell you that race has nothing to do with their disdain for Barack Obama will also tell you the lie that no other President has been as detrimental to the US-Israel relationship as Obama.  Or to quote Israel’s former Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, Obama is the first President to put light between the U.S. and Israel.

Regrettably, for a 3rd time in recent years, I felt compelled this past week to leave another Facebook group dedicated to the Survivors of the Holocaust, their children and grandchildren because of loathsome pictures and articles being posted with the intent of denigrading President Obama -not for his views or positions, but for who he is.

fb discussion.001

A friend wondered aloud the other day, “No one would dream of celebrating German heritage by flying a Nazi flag.  Why do people in the South think it’s OK to fly the Confederate flag?”  My response: for the same reason we allow one another to camouflage hate in the guise of reasonable criticism. In America, we believe unicorns really do exist.

ADDENDUM: Wife of Israel’s interior minister tweets Obama joke, apologizes.