In NYC you can still hate immigrants – but now it’s illegal to say so

Times Square, NY via Wikipedia

If you’re the type who enjoys hating on immigrants, telling people, “Go back home!” or threatening to call immigration on somebody, well, a word to the wise. Whilst in New York City, best keep those thoughts to yourself, ’cause now it’s illegal to speak them.

If you really can’t stop yourself from hating immigrants out loud, there’s a remedy for that: be prepared to pay the city a fine of up to $250,000 smackeroonies.

Kim Guadagno is an immigrant hate machine echoing 45’s rhetoric

Steve Rhodes via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno released a TV ad on October 12 reiterating her statement from the first gubernatorial debate referring to undocumented immigrants as “murderers and rapists”, using disparaging language like that of Donald Trump.

“Phil Murphy was very clear in the debate that he condemns murderous acts committed by anyone and that the people who commit those crimes should be prosecuted,” said Chris Estevez, President of the Latino Action Network. “Guadagno’s Trump-like approach paints all immigrants and Latinos as murderers and rapists.” LAN has condemned Guadagno’s statement.

According to Rudy Rodas, another LAN official, “Programs that deputize local police to carry out federal immigration enforcement, like that instituted by Kim Guadagno when she served as Sherriff of Monmouth County, make communities less safe since law abiding immigrants are less likely to report crimes or cooperate with police investigations when they fear that they will also be detained.”

“We have faith that New Jersey voters are intelligent people who won’t fall for Kim Guadagno’s Donald Trump impersonation and her hateful and divisive speech toward immigrants,” concluded Estevez.

Photo source: Steve Rhodes via Flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

Powerful coverage of a study on how students and teachers are being affected by the 2016 election hate rhetoric

Trump hates equally
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports on the results of a casual survey administered online by Teaching Tolerance about the current presidential election. About 2000 teachers responded and submitted 5000 comments.

Students who identify with Trump’s hate rhetoric are using it to justify bullying behaviour, persecution of certain students and threats … while immigrant and ethnic minority students across the country are voicing fear, expressing thoughts of suicide and having meltdowns in class.

Some of the stories are heartbreaking. In Tennessee, a kindergarten teacher says a Latino child—told by classmates that he will be deported and trapped behind a wall—asks every day, “Is the wall here yet?”

Some teachers have felt obliged to abandon their customary neutrality on political issues in the classroom and take a stand, despite awareness that doing so may put their jobs in jeapordy.

A Renton, Washington, high school teacher said, “For the first time in my career, I state bluntly what is appropriate conduct for a candidate for this country’s highest office.” She spelled it out for students: “If it can get you suspended from high school, you shouldn’t be espousing it as a candidate.” Another Washington teacher wrote, “This is probably the first time I haven’t been unbiased about it. My students need to know that some of what they are witnessing is not okay.”

In schools where student partisanship leans heavily to one side, educators find themselves needing to speak up for students whose political values are in the minority. “The rhetoric has set up a school community that is hostile to conservatives and the Republican Party,” a Michigan high school teacher said. “It makes it difficult if not impossible to not take sides in my classroom because I can’t be silent in the face of this kind of rhetoric, lest I lose my students’ respect or trust.”

No one can fault an educator who stands up for values like respect, dignity and honesty—values that have long been central to character education and anti-bullying programs. But this year has pushed some educators to go further and take risks. “I have thrown caution into the wind and have spoken out against certain candidates which I have NEVER done,” wrote a Michigan high school teacher, “but I feel it’s my duty to speak out against ignorance!”

These are high-stakes decisions. Several wrote about parents registering complaints when they raised issues of values, fact-checking and critical thinking. But, as one Indianapolis high school teacher put it, “I am a point where I’m going to take a stand even if it costs me my position.”

In Washington state, one high school teacher admitted, “I am teaching off the hook before anyone ‘catches’ me and puts me in a Common Core box; we are reading Howard Zinn, Anne Frank, Haig Bosmajian, Jane Yolen, Ayn Rand, George Orwell and survivors’ testimonies from the Holocaust and the genocides around the world. … I am making it as real and as connected to my students as I can. I feel like I am teaching for our lives.”

The SPLC article focuses on “The Trump Effect” and doesn’t speak to the impact on students of learning that Hillary Clinton called young people of color “superpredators” in a speech. But there is concern sufficient for youth #BlackLivesMatter activist Ashley Williams to have donated $500 to get into a Clinton fundraiser in South Carolina and confront Hillary with a sign reading “I’m not a Superpredator, Hillary!”

There’s also growing discussion about how Hillary and Bill Clinton worked together to formulate and enact the policies and activities which led to an amazing number of black and brown people, and about 1% of the overall US population, being imprisoned in America today.

Hat tip to Yvette Lucas for sharing the article.

Special folk like Etzion Neuer confront hatred without becoming haters

Etzion Neuer talking to reporter
Source: Etzion Neuer Twitter page

It’s always remarkable to find those champions of justice whose job it is to confront daily incidents of hatred, bigotry and harassment … who take a stand on behalf of equity and fairness … and do so without losing their faith in the overall goodness of humanity. Etzion Neuer is one such champion. He now heads up the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) NY’s Regional Operations Department and was the New Jersey office chief for over six years, handling calls for both organizations for some time.

The Jewish Standard’s Larry Yudelson quotes Neuer:

At the ADL, “our office is a nexus for hate of all kinds. Virtually every anti-Semitic complaint crosses my desk. We get them from the state police. We get calls from children harassed in school. I’ve had parents who cry to me on the phone because their children are the victims of anti-Semitic bullying in their school. I’ve had people cry to me because they’re experiencing discrimination in the work place.”

ADL Banner
Source: ADL Philadelphia
“I see the worst Jew hatred, an unceasing flow of hatred.”

Neuer said he tries hard not to let this give him a bleak perspective on humanity. “It’s my job to make sure that I don’t become despondent.”

“I have tried to seize on the inspirational moment. It is seeing the incredible work done by Catholic teachers to teach Holocaust education in their schools. It’s the person from Louisiana who called me last week, an 82-year-old Methodist, who read about the incident online and called me to say that he felt for this young rabbi and wanted to add a thousand dollars to our reward fund.

“It’s those moments that remind me that while, yes, there are extremists, there are haters, they really represent the fringe, and the vast majority of New Jerseyians and indeed Americans are good people. I’ve seen that just as hate can be learned, it can be unlearned.”

Neuer takes pride in the success of two legal efforts the New Jersey ADL undertook: Helping pass the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights in 2010, and the 2008 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling in Cutler v. Dorn, which held that anti-Semitic harassment was not “mere teasing.”

In a conversation we shared several years ago, Mr. Neuer explained that ADL’s goal is to prevent hate crimes and create bridges between cultures that in the short run establish at least peaceful dialogue and co-existence – as these are the foundation stones on which respect and affinity can be built over the course of time. The ADL works not only for Jews, but for people of all races and religions who experience the challenge of being victimized by expressions of intolerance and hate.

In 2008, Neuer offered bias-crime training to New Jersey college campus security personnel and law enforcement officers from 42 other agencies

“The ADL has conducted bias-crime training for law enforcement officials for many years,” Neuer told NJ Jewish News. “In the 1980s, we helped develop hate-crime legislation that has been used as a template for this type of legislation all over the country. Almost every state now has some level of hate-crime legislation on its books.”

In 2007, the ADL’s annual “Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents” revealed that the NJ region reported 21 incidents of campus-related anti-Semitism.

The workshop at (Brookdale Community College) was designed to assist statewide campus law enforcement personnel in ensuring that NJ institutions of higher learning are “hate-free zones,” said Neuer.

“Campus security team members don’t always undergo the depth of training in the area of bias crimes that sworn law enforcement officers do,” he said. “Our aim is to help law enforcement officials provide a safe learning environment and to keep our state campuses free of hate. Campus police, as first responders, are in a unique position when a student or teacher becomes the target of hate.”

Law enforcement officials throughout New Jersey now have a series of ADL resources, including the brochures “Hate on Display: Extremist Symbols, Logos, and Tattoos,” and “Hate Crimes Information for Law Enforcement,” as well as links to, and Internet addresses of, related websites. Throughout the school year, the ADL also will consult with campus police and administrators in dealing with issues of bias on campuses, Neuer said.

Although a college campus is often regarded as an oasis of civility that is immune from some of the more negative elements of daily life, the reality is less reassuring, Neuer said.

Israel conspiracy theories are incitements to hate Jews. If you love truth, don’t buy in.

Muslim leader & Hitler - Jew hatred is in Quran
Photo credit courtesy of
There are an exponentially growing number of anti-Jewish incidents around the world, predominantly fueled by extremist Muslim dollars, the indifference of progressives and the silence of people whose reason and compassion might positively influence public opinion – except they won’t speak out. I don’t wish to enable hatred with my own silence.

However, disputing the viciousness of Jew haters makes me instantly frustrated. It seems a daunting task to confront the beliefs of people who when it comes to bashing Jews thoughtlessly spread rumour and innuendo against my people and hold onto an unreasoning hatred of Jews no matter what good we do. These people embrace an unreasoning support for Muslims no matter what harm or violence Muslim extremists commit … and show no interest in factual analysis of the rumours that are disseminated by propagandists, or the truth. In their hatred for Jews the unreasoning are eager to embrace information that fuels their hatred and show no interest in assessing whether the information is true or false.

When the Western press blatantly colludes with spreading baseless assertions meant to stir up hatred against Jews, it is clear that truth has become unimportant in the English speaking and European worlds.

HonestReporting Managing Editor Simon Plosker says:

When somebody accuses Israel of being a hidden hand manipulating world events and news coverage, this is the sort of bigotry akin to Nazi sympathizers, white supremacist websites, and fans of the notorious forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That the editors of these two newspapers were either unable or unwilling to recognize the rantings of a conspiracy theorist and chose to publish this letter is highly disturbing.

Of course, freedom of speech is a fundamental value. Nonetheless, this does not mean that common sense is thrown out of the window and anything and everything, including offensive material and hate speech, needs to be published in a credible newspaper.

Huffpost explains how Saudi money seems to be funding the spread of intolerance and hate in Muslim nations:

It would be troublesome but perhaps acceptable for the House of Saud to promote the intolerant and extremist Wahhabi creed just domestically. But, unfortunately, for decades the Saudis have also lavishly financed its propagation abroad. Exact numbers are not known, but it is thought that more than $100 billion have been spent on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades. It might well be twice that number. By comparison, the Soviets spent about $7 billion spreading communism worldwide in the 70 years from 1921 and 1991.

This appears to be a monumental campaign to bulldoze the more moderate strains of Islam, and replace them with the theo-fascist Saudi variety.

Lovers of truth and justice need to put a global anti-rumour strategy in place to teach the value of differentiating lies from truth and instruct the public in how to tease out the truth from the midst of the bog of misinformation in which hate-inciters are attempting to mire all of us.

For the GOP, Latinos are criminals, rapists and people to leave town over

Christie & Trump
A justified but quiet uproar is taking place around the country in response to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calling Mexicans criminals and rapists:

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. [Applause] Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Trump hairMy son Ari was baffled at the Republican’s enthusiasm for this crazy man, whose poll numbers are surging. “There are a lot of haters out there,” I explained. But WaPo points out the good news about all this hate: Latinos are the swing vote in the US and Trump and Christie are doing their level best to completely piss them off. Now would be a good time to register to vote so you can make sure one of these bozos doesn’t actually make it to the White House.

Ted Cruz, who hails from the Cuban elites that exploited dark-skinned people for generations until Castro took over, naturally agrees with Trump. Only the clueless GOP thinks of Cruz as an ambassador for the Latin American people.

A Mexican worker who’s out with his crew building a home for wealthy folk in 107ºF weather gave an Occupy interviewer an earful about Trump. BTW the translation of what this guy says is not exactly accurate – it’s been toned down a lot for public consumption.

Not only politics is being affected by Trump’s position. A number of Latino and even national brands quickly moved to distance themselves from the man and his businesse. Another WaPo reporter comments:

What’s more, Latino consumers – the vast majority of of those watching Univision – were expected to control about $1.5 trillion in consumer buying power this year. That figure represents what Nielsen’s consumer research division last year described as a “staggering 50 percent increase” from the group’s buying power as recently as 2010.

Trump owns part of the Miss Universe competition. The reigning Ms. Universe contributed this remark:

“I find Mr. Trump’s comments unjust and hurtful,” Paulina Vega wrote in an Instagram post. “As a Colombian and as Miss Universe, I want to show my support and validate the sentiments of the Latin community.

Trump’s buffoonery would be funny if he weren’t so obscenely rich the lives of too many people reside right in the palm of his hand. Oh wait. It is still is funny! Check out what Jon Stewart says.

Jon Stewart on Donald Trump

Meanwhile, presidential hopeful Chris Christie is busy making black people understand that his family fled Newark not because of persecution, hunger or homelessness, but just to get away from them. As Bob Braun puts it:

The Christie family did not escape from English monarchs who insisted on a state religion. Not from revolutions in southern Europe. Not from the potato famine. Not from the czar. Not from pogroms or the Holocaust. Not from grinding poverty. The Christie family escaped from black families moving into the neighborhood–new neighbors whose ancestors were brought to this country as slaves in chains. The Christies did not face the unknown wilderness or the known hostility of earlier settlers. They faced the grass, the open space, the all-white neighborhoods, of Livingston, New Jersey.

Empty hatred of Jews is being incited worldwide – but some people are not convinced

jew bashingStand With Us reports on the transformation of Jordanian born Abe Haak from Jew hater to ardent Zionist and shares excerpts from an interview with him. Mr. Haak gives this explanation for why Jews are increasingly becoming targets of hate in the world today:

Having failed five times to defeat Israel on the battle field, the Arab world is now intent on tarnishing Israel’s name globally, he said. Muslims and others who hate Israel are working together under “an umbrella coalition known as BDS, boycott, divest and sanctions,” and the movement is targeting Jewish youths on college campuses, “the softest part” of our society.

Young Black woman Zionist shares her truths about Israel

Screen shot 2014-07-28 at 11.32.53 PMChloé Simone Valdary is young Black non-Jewish woman Zionist who believes that the current worldwide campaign to create unfounded hatred of Jews and Israel has been artificially engineered by Arab oil magnates, and is funded with their fortunes. Chloé established the group “Allies for Israel” at the University of New Orleans where she studies, to fight “anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism on campus”.

In Tablet Magazine Chloé explains why an anti-Israeli/Jewish position is fundamentally wrong, especially for African Americans:

The student organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is prominent on many college campuses, preaching a mantra of “Freeing Palestine.” It masquerades as though it were a civil rights group when it is not. Indeed, as an African-American, I am highly insulted that my people’s legacy is being pilfered for such a repugnant agenda. It is thus high time to expose its agenda and lay bare some of the fallacies they peddle.

• If you seek to promulgate the legacy of early Islamic colonialists who raped and pillaged the Middle East, subjugated the indigenous peoples living in the region, and foisted upon them a life of persecution and degradation—you do not get to claim the title of “Freedom Fighter.”

• If you support a racist doctrine of Arab supremacism and wish (as a corollary of that doctrine) to destroy the Jewish state, you do not get to claim that the prejudices you peddle are forms of legitimate “resistance.”

• If your heroes are clerics who sit in Gaza plotting the genocide of a people; who place their children on rooftops in the hopes they will get blown to bits; who heap praises upon their fellow gang members when they succeed in murdering Jewish school boys and bombing places of activity where Jews congregate—you do not get to claim that you are some Apollonian advocate of human virtue. You are not.

• If your activities include grieving over the woefully incompetent performance by Hamas rocketeers and the subsequent millions of Jewish souls who are still alive—whose children were not murdered by their rockets; whose limbs were not torn from them; and whose disembowelment did not come into fruition—you do not get to claim that you stand for justice. You profess to be irreproachable. You are categorically not.

• If your idea of a righteous cause entails targeting and intimidating Jewish students on campus, arrogating their history of exile-and-return and fashioning it in your own likeness you do not get to claim that you do so in the name of civil liberty and freedom of expression.

• You do not get to champion regimes that murder, torture, and persecute their own people, deliberately keep them impoverished, and embezzle billions of dollar from them—and claim you are “pro-Arab.” You are not.

• You do not get to champion a system wherein Jews are barred from purchasing land, traveling in certain areas, and living out such an existence merely because they are Jews—and claim that you are promoting equality for all. You do not get to enable that system by pushing a boycott of Jewish owned businesses, shops, and entities—and then claim that you are “against apartheid.” That is evil.

• You do not get to justify the calculated and deliberate bombings, beatings, and lynchings of Jewish men, women, and children by referring to such heinous occurrences as part of a noble “uprising” of the oppressed—that is racism. It is evil.

• You do not get to pretend as though you and Rosa Parks would have been great buddies in the 1960s. Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist.

Coretta Scott King was a Zionist.

A. Phillip Randolph was a Zionist.

Bayard Rustin was a Zionist.

Count Basie was a Zionist.

Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. was a Zionist.

Indeed, they and many more men and women signed a letter in 1975 that stated: “We condemn the anti-Jewish blacklist. We have fought too long and too hard to root out discrimination from our land to sit idly while foreign interests import bigotry to America. Having suffered so greatly from such prejudice, we consider most repugnant the efforts by Arab states to use the economic power of their newly-acquired oil wealth to boycott business firms that deal with Israel or that have Jewish owners, directors, or executives, and to impose anti-Jewish preconditions for investments in this country.”

You see, my people have always been Zionists because my people have always stood for the freedom of the oppressed. So, you most certainly do not get to culturally appropriate my people’s history for your own. You do not have the right to invoke my people’s struggle for your shoddy purposes and you do not get to feign victimhood in our name. You do not have the right to slander my people’s good name and link your cause to that of Dr. King’s. Our two causes are diametrically opposed to each other.

Your cause is the antithesis of freedom. It has cost hundreds of thousands of lives of both Arabs and Jews. It has separated these peoples, and has fomented animosity between them. It has led to heartache, torment, death and destruction.

It is of course your prerogative to continue to utilize platitudes for your cause. You are entirely within your rights to chant words like “equality” “justice” and “freedom fighter.”

You can keep using those words for as long as you like. But I do not think you know what they mean.