Laurie and Debbie say:
Perhaps it’s because both of us are Jewish that we aren’t the least bit surprised about what the extreme right wing says about the Jews. The first striking thing about this story is how many Jews seem to set themselves up for this type of punishment.
Did they really expect anything different?
The American Renaissance is as nasty a racist organization as you are likely to find in a country with far too many pockets of completely nasty racism. Apparently, however, a significant number of supposedly intelligent, educated Jews are trying to make common cause with the group. And guess what?
*gasp* They’re discovering that these racists are also anti-Semites! *gasp*
Who would have thought it? (Well, we would. Virtually all the Jews we know would. And most of the African-Americans we know would as well.)
The second striking thing about the article, actually, is how honest the American Renaissance people are.
“Are you a Jew? I don’t think you should be here.”
You know that the movers and shakers in the Bush White House and the Republican Congress say the same things. They just say them behind closed doors and without microphones. (It was true when Nixon was taped in the 1970s and it’s still true.) Unlike some members of American Renaissance, they’re completely happy to let the whole cadre of Jewish neo-cons do their dirty work. Does Paul Wolfowitz want to take point for going to war in Iraq? Great! We’ll invite him to some parties, and talk about him at others. They know, just as the American Renaissance knows, that if they come out with their anti-Semitism, they will either have to “purge the Nazis or lose the Jews.” So they keep it quiet, and collect votes from both groups.
What the Jews who attend these conferences apparently don’t understand is that the extreme racism they are courting is a tool to be used against us as well as against people of color. Here’s the head of the British National Party, saying it in (almost) so many words: “The proper enemy to any political movement isn’t necessarily the most evil and the worst. The proper enemy is the one we can most easily defeat.”
In America, racism is the easy target and anti-Semitism is a bit more elusive, but that’s the biggest difference. It’s really hard to sympathize with Michael Berman, ex-progressive turned racist, when he’s quoted at the end of the article as saying, “You see, there’s no home for me,” he sighed after Matthews had left. “I’m like a black sheep here and everywhere I go.”
Yes. And the right wing is entirely happy that there’s no home for you; the extremists will say it publicly and the moderates will say it privately. Think about that.
Thanks to Arthur D. Hlavaty for the link.