One of the most dearly-held myths among the Left is that only white people are capable of racism. The reason is rhetorical: the most powerful insult, and the most effective way to silence opposition, is to call your opponent a racist… and they will not tolerate that word being turned back against themselves, or a member of a “protected community.”
Which is one reason why the rising tide of anti-semitism around NYC goes so under-reported.
See, the Pittsburgh synagogue attack still gains more coverage a full year later than your typical attack around here because it fit with existing tropes. The attacker was white! Alt-right! Typical white conservative backlash! Trump! MAGA!
And of course the horrible attack must be remembered. But the problem is, NYC-area attacks such as this one last night — on Hanukah, no less — quickly get forgotten by the media because the perpetrators usually look something like this:
As this man’s soul clearly is incapable of the stain of bigotry, editors at Vox and Huffpost tell themselves, let’s just chalk it up as one of those random acts of bizarre mystery like flight MH370, or Elisa Lam. We may never know the answer.
For instance, take a look at this write-up over at Slate. They see fit to award all of four paragraphs to the rash of attacks on NYC-area Jews over the last few days, while treating the attacks like a force of nature without any attempt at explanation, as if they were talking about a tornado and its aftermath. Streetlights might just be randomly falling on Jewish people’s heads, for all they care.
Update 1/3/20: Or take a look at this CBS News report, which goes on to question whether it’s due to… wait for it… economic anxiety, that same discredited trope that Trump fans use to account for white racism in their ranks.
But if the various perps had had a more pinkish hue, “wall-to-wall” would be the order of the day with Slate and other outfits, with endless calls to SPLC spokesmen, and references to online organized hate, and the effects of MAGA. One thinkpiece after another would wonder on the destruction wrought by angry white loners. Well-funded state taskforces would appear overnight. The Sunday shows would all lead with the rising tide of alt-right violence in the largest media market. De Blasio would lead a candlelight march against hate.
But because the attackers are more likely motivated by Louis Farrakhan than Richard Spencer… well… uh… shrug.
Also, without a white-bigotry angle to pursue, it’s difficult to get liberal media outlets to care about this sort of attack due to long-standing lefty animosity to Zionism. Progressive anti-Semites typically anchor their Jew-baiting around the existence of Israel, in contrast to the neo-Nazis’ racial theories. They possess an uncanny ability to turn mundane conversations about labor rights or the Yankees or granite countertops into a conversation about Israel. Thus, the obsessive need to pass BDS sanctions, and pursue open exclusion of Jews from progressive spaces. Of course, even if the worst progressive conspiracy theories about Israel were true, such atrocities wouldn’t even approach the level of China’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against Uighur Muslims, with its concentration camps and forced sterilization and Stalinesque systemized rape; but good luck getting these supposed champions of downtrodden Muslims to give a damn.
Also, unlike their alt-right cousins, lefty anti-Semites like to leave a door open for the existence of the “good Jew”… as long as they are sufficiently self-loathing, anyway, lest they face the usual banishment. This is why a secular Jew named Bernie Sanders faces a precarious position: he cannot favor Israel lest he lose support of anti-Zionist obsessives like Rep. Ilhan Omar, yet he cannot bring himself to fully embrace the leftist “from the river to the sea” vision of a Judenfrei Middle East either.
In any event, such liberal attitudes from “people of color simply cannot be bigots” to “but those Zionists kinda had it coming, didn’t they?” are why the media has already moved on from the deadly anti-Semitic attack at a Jersey City kosher market earlier this month, and are why they will forget this attack within a week, yet still meditate on the Pittsburgh attack. The latter fits into an acceptable larger worldview, while the other assaults do not.
Finally, on a personal note, this is among the many reasons why I’m politically homeless. While my attitude towards the right may be readily surmised from all the Trump rants around here, I can’t exactly sign onto the left’s bullshit either.