... or antisemitic to criticize Israel?
Both seem to be two sides of the same coin.
Sometimes I seem to be spiraling in space.
I received the following email from a colleague in ICE:
How can you be 100% that Barry Bonds took steroids?
This is the type of thing that offends many in the black community.
And many Latinos.
I'm often accused of not getting it. Some might say "It's a black thing." It is common to attack non-Jewish critics of Israel as antisemitic and Jewish critics as self-hating Jews. Or I am accused of being a self-hating Jew when I have defended - or more likely explained - the motivations behind the actions of Palestinians or, in years past, over the actions of members of the minority community in response to certain education situations, especially in the 70's when the repercussions of the '68 strike were still being felt most strongly (and they still are today.) Jewish colleagues at my school in the early 70's used to tell me I should not worry so much about Blacks and Puerto Ricans but about Jews. One of them was a Holocaust survivor and also happened to be my first Hebrew School teacher at the New Lots & Pennsylvania Ave. Synagogue. I could understand where he was coming from but that didn't make it any less racist.
To be criticized by both ends might just be where I want to be.
The recent turmoil over the Kahlil Gibran school and Steve Quester's post that was critical of Randi Weingarten on this blog resulted in an anonymous attack on Steve - "He hates Israel." Not that he is critical of the policies of Israel, but a personification of Israel as an entity beyond criticism. Like people opposed to the war in Iraq (or Vietnam) are anti-American. Or better yet, the opposition to the UFT leadership are traitors to the union and are even funded by Bloomberg - the rumor Unity used to spread about Ed Notes. (New Action used to claim it was Unity giving me money when Ed Notes was critical of them.) Sure, I used to get all that money from a submarine off Rockaway. These are the attacks made by singleminded sectarians who only see their own narrow point of view.
I responded to my ICE colleague:
Why are blacks and Latinos offended?
To me that is racism.
Jason Giambi is white and I believe he took steroids. I'm not offended as a white person.
He came back with:
Why is the media so intended to attack Barry Bonds? And why was HankAnd I said:
Aaron attacked when he was chasing Babe Ruth"s record?
To me this is racism.
Aaron was not attacked by the media but by racists. He was breaking Babe Ruth's record. I don't remember the media being against Aaron. There was more of a hubbub when Maris was breaking Ruth's record.
In this case the media seem to support Aaron.
Bonds has been a jerk to the media - arrogant, etc. The media responds to that. There are many other examples both white and black. I remember Mickey Mantle being under attack by people like Dick Young in Mantle's early years because Mantle's shyness was taken as arrogance.
Bonds is under attack for breaking another black man's record. Aaron is being defended as someone who did it legit.
The fact that Bonds' major home run hitting came after he was 36 and admissions from people that he took steroids makes it a pretty good bet he took them.
Personally I don't really care. Pitchers took steroids too.
Question: If Bonds were white would you give a shit? Do you think he wouldn't be criticized given the exact same conditions? To me that smacks of a racist attitude. Like black and Latinos defending OJ. When he was acquitted half my school screamed in victory and cheers and there was a party attitude. The other (white) half were mortified.
Maybe it's true. I just don't get it.