Just yesterday, many Jewish schools and community centers in several states received bomb threats. While no actual bombs were found, this is the fifth time in 2017 that multiple Jewish community centers have been targeted in this fashion. On top this, just a few days earlier, dozens of headstones were knocked over and vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.
Ever since the inauguration of President Trump, there has been a spike in anti-Semitic acts across the US. For a period of time, President Trump refused to acknowledge the acts as significant. Recently, Press Secretary Sean Spicer emphasized that Trump condemns all acts of anti-Semitism. However, it appears there is not much being done to stop these hate crimes.
So how does the spike in anti-Semitic crimes in the US relate to whiteness in America? While this is not obviously an issue of racism, anti-Semitism is closely associated racism in the sense that they both are based on extreme prejudice against specific groups of people. As pointed out in previous readings, not only were there separations between black and white but, also, scientists had created hierarchies within whites. Those of Jewish descent fell near the bottom of the hierarchy, close to the level of blacks. In this sense, anti-Semitism is a form of racism.
What can we do about the 100 bomb threats that Jewish centers and schools have received this year? Primarily, I think we need to raise awareness about the issue. So much of our media attention is on President Trump and his executive orders on immigration and the federal budget. But, if we as citizens start to show that we view these acts as unacceptable, more attention will be given to them. More people will revolt. We have the power to change all forms of prejudice within our country. At least, that’s what I think. What about you?