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Thank You Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

July 19, 2020 | by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller

An open letter to the NBA star who called on African Americans to condemn anti-Semitism.

Dear Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

Thank you for speaking out. Thank you for breaking the silence. Thank you for using your column in The Hollywood Reporter and your celebrity status to condemn the recent torrent of virulently anti-Semitic tweets, Instagram posts, and other social media expressions targeting Jews in the vilest terms. Thank you for being a rare Black leader and role model who’s not afraid to stand up and condemn hatred when it’s directed against Jews.

“Recent incidents of anti-Semitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment celebrities are a very troubling omen for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement,” you wrote, “but so too is the shocking lack of massive indignation. Given the New Woke-fulness in Hollywood and the sports world, we expected more passionate public outrage. What we got was a shrug of meh-rage.”

That “meh-rage” hurts.

For the past few weeks, we Jews have watched in horror as a string of high profile celebrities accused us of “world domination”, repeated old slanders that Jews control the world’s banks and are the “richest” people, and quoted vile anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan and Adolf Hitler. (In the case of Hitler, the social media posts purporting to quote him – posted last weekend by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson – turned out to be misattributed.) In many cases, their extreme posts have been met with mild indignation at best. Contrast Jackson's slap on the wrist with the fate of Serbian soccer player Aleksandar Katai, who was fired by the LA Galaxy soccer club after his wife made racist social media posts mocking the Black Lives Matter movement.   



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