Opinion: Anti Semitism must not be Tolerated


Media by Emma Tyulyayev

The senseless and vicious hate toward the Jewish community, or any community, exhibited by famous pop culture icons, athletes and politicians has never been and will never be okay.

Growing up with divorced parents, I experienced two different upbringings. I had two sets of parents, two sets of siblings, two closets and two homes. But, as a child, religion was one of the most difficult conflicts I faced: the choice between Judaism and Lutheran Christianity.

I had a hard time identifying with one religion or the other, and because each of my parents was so important to me, I didn’t know which was the “right” choice. I still haven’t made a choice, but each religion highly resonates with and is important to me.

That is why the modern wave of anti-semitism has been so difficult for me to process.
All throughout my life, I always thought to myself, “Why are people so hateful? Why would anyone hate someone because of what they believe in?” I still have never found an answer to my question.

The senseless and vicious hate toward the Jewish community, or any community, exhibited by famous pop culture icons, athletes and politicians has never been and will never be okay.
Current examples of celebrities being anti-semetic include the online comments of Ye and Kyrie Irving.

Irving, point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, was suspended by the NBA for a minimum of five games after tweeting a link to an anti-semitic film that perpetuates false ideas about Jews and claims that the Holocaust wasn’t real.

Ye, formerly Kanye West, once tweeted that he was “going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” and that he can’t be antisemitic because “Black people are actually Jew also.” His comment referred to the U.S. military defense readiness level called “DEFCON.”

Irving only issued an apology after his suspension was issued by the NBA, and when asked if he had any antisemitic beliefs, he wasn’t able to give a “yes” or “no” answer.

When I heard about the comments made by these men, my initial reaction was “didn’t we leave this in the 1940s?” The longstanding beratement and harassment of Jews has boggled my mind.

The claims and statements made by these public figures has been perpetuated by a series of “projection bombings” in cities across Europe and in the states. While this form of protest, projecting images or phrases onto large, often famous, buildings or landmarks, has been around for years, people in support of Ye and Irving’s statements have taken to the method.

In Jacksonville, FL, a message reading “Kanye was right about the Jews” was projected at the TIAA Bank Field after a game between Florida and Georgia. This happened only days after a series of antisemitic messages were displayed on a major highway in Jacksonville.

It is hard for me to understand why the struggle of millions of people can be cast aside and ridiculed by privileged celebrities with no remorse for their actions. The marginalization of an entire religion prevents the true practice of the freedom of religion granted in the U.S. Constitution.

When you have a large scale platform like Ye and the ability to reach millions of people with your thoughts and your voice, spreading hate and misinformation can lead to widespread violence and discrimination. The prejudice of a few famous celebrities that affects all Jewish people has prolonged the antisemitic movement for far too long.

Religious freedom isn’t exclusive to the white, traditional Christians who wrote and created our constitutional rights. Considering how far as we have come as a nation, the systematic oppression of religions can no longer be carried on or tolerated.

If we want to protect our rights, we have to protect each other.