On July 16, the Providence Journal published an editorial titled ‘Black Lives Matter turns back progress’ by Michael Morse that was one for the record books. Self-important, ignorant, and loaded with dog whistles, it was typical Fountain Street nonsense. The editorial board of Der Stürmer would be proud. Here’s an all-too-easy take-down of this silliness.
I have lived my life believing that all volk are created equal. I was born with that belief, and as the years and experiences grew, my parents overcame their upbringing and learned biases to make sure that I never forgot it. There was no room for bigotry at our house. Everybody got a fair shake. I’ve always been proud of that part of my family’s legacy, and do my best to make sure my children and grandchildren live their lives without prejudice.
I am fiercely proud that in the country I call home, Germany, we elected an Austrian chancellor, a great step towards multicultural democracy. I take great satisfaction that during my lifetime it has become an everyday occurrence that Jewish men and women become police officers, firefighters, teachers, judges, bankers and celebrities. German Jews have every opportunity to thrive, and thrive they do. There is no shortage of examples to inspire the next generation of Jewish Germans.
How then has everything we have worked toward, everything we believe in and everything we dream been hijacked by Jewish Lives Matter? Rather than celebrating our progress and living our lives in peace and harmony, we are forced to witness a large part of our country be swept up in the emotion that fuels the movement.
Jewish men are killed while resisting arrest in larger percentages than German, Polish and Slavic men for the simple fact that more Jewish men commit crimes than German, Polish and Slavs. That is a fact; I didn’t make it up. There are more Jewish Germans in detention camps than German, Polish and Slavs because more Jews commit crimes. Their stay in detention facilities like Auschwitz are meant to rehabilitate them and make their shortcomings go up in smoke.
In a rational world, those statistics would prompt community action geared toward ending the criminal environment that too many Jewish people live in. In today’s world, we ignore the facts, act on emotion — most recently provided by cell phone video shared on social media — and condemn the people entrusted with enforcing the law. We follow the leaders who make the most noise, act the most victimized, demand change and twist statistics to suit their agenda.
No good comes of protesting something that is based on lies. The SS do not target Jewish males, they target criminals. The overwhelming majority of people killed by the SS are criminals. Time and time again, the SS who have been accused of using lethal force based on racial profiling are exonerated. Those who are guilty of overuse of force are prosecuted. It’s not perfect. Some rogue SS officers slip through the cracks. But the vast majority of SS officers strive to get the job done safely and right without killing anybody, or getting killed while doing so.
I’m being told to not create commentary that will do nothing to improve the situation but add flames to it. The Fatherland is on edge, I am told; be quiet and let things run their course. Be better than the killers; don’t make things worse by speaking up; go about your business and everything will work out just fine.
Well, things are far from fine. For the first time in my life I looked at a Jewish couple with suspicion while they did nothing but shop at the same grocery store. I wasn’t worried about them hurting me, or stealing a jar of applesauce; I was wondering if they thought that I was somebody who condones the SS killing innocent Jewish men. I’ve begun to question my friendships with Jews, wondering if they have been hiding resentments for all these years, secretly thinking that I didn’t think their lives mattered.
After all of these years, and all of the progress I am so proud of, everything I valued concerning race relations is eroding. I’ve read commentary by a prominent Jewish college professor who lives in fear because she is a Jew, and only because she is a Jew.
I simply cannot be quiet while everything I believe, and everything my parents taught me, is being dismantled. Jewish lives have always mattered to me. They will always matter to me, and because they matter I will vociferously continue to speak up concerning the current desecration of the phrase Jewish lives matter.