“The Trouble to See” (Beyond 5)

‘I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’ (Exodus 3:3)

…this “turning” is a torsion of the neck, a deliberate motion out of the straight, the stiff:

Moses said, Let me turn aside to see…Rabbi Jonathan said, “He took three steps;” Rabbi Simeon ben Levi said, “He took no steps, but he twisted his neck. God said to him, ‘You went to trouble to see —as you live, you are worthy that I should reveal Myself to you.’” Immediately, “God called to him from the midst of the burning bush…” Tanchuma Shemoth 9

God chooses to reveal Himself to Moses, because he has “gone to trouble to see.”…it is his capacity to “twist his neck,” to turn his face in wonder and questioning, that brings him the voice of God.

The neck in torsion—an image for desire, a counter image to the stiff-necked intransigence of those who set themselves against the new. Within Moses himself, within his people, within the Egyptians, even within the representations of God in the narratives of redemption, the tensions of Exodus will seek resolution, the momentary equilibrium that again and again is to be lost and reclaimed.
— Avivah Zornberg, Particulars of Rapture (NY: Doubleday, 2001), p.79-80

Have we “gone to the trouble to see” what needs seeing in order to make real liberation manifest in our world?

What still needs seeing? and What form must our trouble take?

Can we help one another see? How?

What Are We Not Seeing?

The American Civil Liberties Union, an an email today, writes:

What would the current conversation around Walter Scott** be if there hadn’t been this video? What would you be reading in the news? And how often does this happen in America, unseen by a camera?

Camera_Unseen**The ACLU shares a NYT story about the Walter Scott case, complete with video. They add “Please read more and watch, if you haven’t seen it yet. But be warned, it’s graphic.”

Seeing on the most basic level.

Going beyond the one incident — Ezekiel Edwards, Director of the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project, notes that the Walter Scott case helps illustrate the picture we don’t have as a nation…

  • …because the data has not been collected or shared.
  • …because the public narrative was designed to distract.
  • …because too many of us for too long couldn’t quite see.

In a way, he asks us to “twist our necks” to see what we might otherwise miss.

Edwards writes:

It’s déjà vu. And it’s also a nightmare.

Police gunning down unarmed black men and boys is an American horror film that keeps getting replayed. Except that it isn’t a movie you can turn off: It’s a painful, outrageous, and unacceptable reality….

Sadly, we only know part of the story because we have no uniform, comprehensive reporting requirements of police shootings. The data just doesn’t exist. Indeed, even after the many discussions of police force generated by these incidents in recent months, and notwithstanding the DOJ’s documentation of widespread problems around use of force in Cleveland and the use of unreasonable force and racial profiling in Ferguson, we have not been able to reconcile the mandate of fair, constitutional, and humane law enforcement with the current status of American policing.
— read the full article, Walter Scott’s Killing Is a Direct Result of the Current State of Policing in America Today

“The data just doesn’t exist” (Read more on this — “Scant Data Frustrates…“) There is plenty more “to see” on the ACLU website, if you have not already.

Have we “gone to the trouble to see” what needs seeing in order to make real liberation manifest in our world?

What still needs seeing? and What form must our trouble take?

Can we help one another see? How?

We counted 5 on the evening of April 8. Tonight, we count….

Making the Omer Count

from On the Road to Knowing: A Journey Away from Oppression
A key element in the journey from liberation to revelation is understanding the workings of oppression, and our part in them. We cannot work effectively to end what we do not comprehend.

So this year, moving from Passover to Shavuot, I commit to learning more about how oppression works and how liberation is accomplished. I invite others to join me:

Let’s work together, as we count the Omer, to make this Omer count.

Thoughts and sources welcome.

JourneyOmer

Share this graphic to encourage others to participate.

A Meditation

Aware that we are on a journey toward knowing God — from liberation to revelation — I undertake to know more today than I did yesterday about the workings of oppression.

I bless and count [full Hebrew blessings in feminine and masculine address]:

Blessed are You, God, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

Today is six days in the Omer.
Hayom shishah yamim la-omer.

In the spirit of the Exodus, I pray for the release of all whose bodies and spirits remain captive, and pledge my own hands to help effect that liberation.

Oppression as “Normal” (Beyond 4)

“We are descendants of slaves who do not yell back that Moses had a Black wife and Black children and that #BlackLivesMatter to our people whether or not we acknowledge it.” So concluded yesterday’s post. And we know, from the Exodus story, that yelling is a key element in redemption:

And it came to pass in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

And God saw the children of Israel, and God took cognizance of them.
וַיְהִי בַיָּמִים הָרַבִּים הָהֵם, וַיָּמָת מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם, וַיֵּאָנְחוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן-הָעֲבֹדָה, וַיִּזְעָקוּ; וַתַּעַל שַׁוְעָתָם אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים, מִן-הָעֲבֹדָה.
וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-נַאֲקָתָם; וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת-בְּרִיתוֹ, אֶת-אַבְרָהָם אֶת-יִצְחָק וְאֶת-יַעֲקֹב.
וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיֵּדַע, אֱלֹהִים.
— Exodus 2:23-35, Old JPS translation via Mechon-Mamre

It’s only after the yelling starts that God responds. Moreover, it’s only after the crying out that God “knows,” another layer of “not knowing” at the start of the tale.

And why weren’t the people crying?

A common explanation is that the people were crushed by years of oppression, perhaps even treated their circumstances as normal.

Circumstances: Normal?

Not long after the police murder of Walter Scott, on April 4, in North Charleston, SC, the Mic shared the following:


13. Right now, justice seems to be escaping us, while tragedy continues to befall us.

14. Be vigilant, people say. Death by police should not be common.

15. But black people dying after being shot or choked by police should not be moments we must be on the ready to capture on smart phones.

16. Now is time for change, people say. This is a 21st-century American tragedy of epic proportions. None of this should be normal.

17. And yet, it already is.
— “17 Honest Thoughts from a Black Man After Watching that Walter Scott Video,” by Darnell L. Moore, senior editor at Mic

In addition, poverty, lack of education, and mass incarceration of Black people are all so long-standing as to seem “normal.”

Last November, when the non-indictment of Darren Wilson was followed by unrest in Ferguson, MO, Jay Smooth expressed wonder at the people’s “human limit”:

…For the people of Ferguson a lifetime of neglect and de facto segregation and incompetence and mistreatment by every level of government was not their limit

When that malign neglect set the stage for one of their children to be shot down and
left in the street like a piece of trash that was not their limit…

When he came out and confirmed once and for all that Mike Brown’s life didn’t matter,
only then did the people of Ferguson reach their limit….

How did these human beings last that long before they reached their human limit?

How do Black people in America retain such a deep well of humanity that they can be pushed so far again and again without reaching their human limit?


Their Cry Rose Up

At least one midrash suggests that the Hebrews actually needed God’s help to cry out:

Immediately, as their cry rose up, salvation begins. Till then, they had not had any arousal to cry and to pray. But since God wanted to save them, He roused in them a cry — and that is the beginning of redemption. For before God wants to save, one does not see one’s own lack, one is unaware of what one has not. But when God wants to save, He shows one the root of one’s lack, so that one sees that all the complexity of one’s needs is rooted in this basic lack. And He gives one the power of prayer, of crying out to God. One begins to rage to God about it…
Mei Hashiloah (Shemot 2), quoted in Avivah Zornberg’s Particulars of Rapture

If U.S. Jews are, indeed, “descendants of slaves who do not yell back,” what will it take to arouse in us the rage that begins the process of redemption rolling?

(More in coming days.)

We counted 4 on the evening of April 7. Tonight, we count….

Making the Omer Count

from On the Road to Knowing: A Journey Away from Oppression
A key element in the journey from liberation to revelation is understanding the workings of oppression, and our part in them. We cannot work effectively to end what we do not comprehend.

So this year, moving from Passover to Shavuot, I commit to learning more about how oppression works and how liberation is accomplished. I invite others to join me:

Let’s work together, as we count the Omer, to make this Omer count.

Thoughts and sources welcome.

JourneyOmer

Share this graphic to encourage others to participate.

A Meditation

Aware that we are on a journey toward knowing God — from liberation to revelation — I undertake to know more today than I did yesterday about the workings of oppression.

I bless and count [full Hebrew blessings in feminine and masculine address]:

Blessed are You, God, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

Today is five days in the Omer.
Hayom chamishah yamim la-omer.

In the spirit of the Exodus, I pray for the release of all whose bodies and spirits remain captive, and pledge my own hands to help effect that liberation.

Are (any) Jews White? (Beyond 3)

1

Yesterday’s focus, in this Omer journey away from oppression, was on how individuals of different hues are viewed within Jewish communities in the United States. But it is impossible to explore that topic very thoroughly without addressing another one limning its edges: Are (any) Jews “White”?

“…and everybody hates the Jews…”

A passage early on in the #BlackLivesMatter Haggadah Supplement from Jews For Racial and Economic Justice begins “White Ashkenazi Jews have a rich history but are only a part of the Jewish story….” At our seder table — and I would imagine many others — the question arose as to whether Ashkenzim are, in fact, “White,” by self-definition or as viewed by others.

VHidaryBookCoverFINALThis called to mind a passage that Vanessa Hidary, Sephardic Jew and author of The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega, added to her signature poem after touring beyond her native New York City:

To many we are seen as part of the white majority

From the standpoint of a white racist

we’re considered part of that other party

Don’t get twisted because you might think of New York City

where you can buy knishes at stands for $1.50

We only make up 2.2% of the population. You see,

many other parts of the country are not feeling me.

–from second version of “Hebrew Mamita”

I thought too of the “…and everybody hates the Jews” line in Tom Lehrer’s old, but not necessarily out-dated, “National Brotherhood Week.”

Is Persecution Past?

Returning to the #BlackLivesMatter Haggadah Supplement:

As Jews we share a history that is overburdened with tales of violent oppression. Though different Jewish communities have varying experiences, none of us have escaped painful legacies of persecution, including genocide. This past is real, and part of why we gather today to remember it. But the past is the past.

–Leo Ferguson, a Jew of color and the Leadership Development & Communications Organizer at JFREJ.

As William Faulkner famously said, however: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past” (Requiem for a Nun, 1950).

And for Jews with family and friends living outside the United States, risk and threat can be an all too contemporary concern.

Moreover, Dr. Carolivia Herron, educator and author, spoke of anti-Israel sentiment in her “Why I’m not going to say anything about Ferguson” last November:

And I’m not saying anything about Ferguson because my soul aches when you use your support of Big Mike of Ferguson as a way to hate Israel. I don’t understand why you use your love of my people to hate my people. I love my people African American, Ferguson, US American – keep trying to get it right, and I love my people Israel – keep trying to get it right.

In my own experience, anti-Semitism — something deeper and of different tone than politically-based anti-Israel sentiment — appears in some #BLM-related activities, sometimes via black nationalist rhetoric and sometimes from the ANSWER Coalition. Therefore, participation in some racial justice efforts means running with, or up against, groups espousing anti-Semitism.

This forces allies into complex, sometimes untenable, situations. It’s problematic, of course, and many movement leaders are working to address the irony of anti-Semitism in a racial justice movement. Even at its worst, is this, given the power dynamics involved, “oppression” or “persecution”?

Conditional Whiteness

To close out today’s exploration, below is the introduction to “After the Maggid: When We Imagine Ourselves Allies” followed by one of six passages exploring different positions in the shifting desert sands:

Having now told the story of Jews’ Exodus from Mitzrayim we have come to know Miriam, Moses, Pharaoh, Tzipporah and the role each of them played. Sarah Barasch-Hagans & Graie Barasch-Hagans use these roles to help us understand our roles in the fight against oppression — when we are strong allies and when we still struggle to be our best selves.

 

…If everywhere is a desert then the sand we stand is always shifting, and so is our relationship to each other. Let us take a moment to imagine ourselves thus…

Sometimes we are Miriam…

…hoping our brother Moses survives the river, knowing danger and feeling unsafe in our Jewish skin, knowing what it means to be hated because of who we are. And then we are Miriam who, given time, a few chapters later mocks Moses’ Black wife Tzipporah [Numbers 12:1]. She confounds us because she is us, Ashkenazim with conditional whiteness and generations distanced from legal discrimination, not seeing the contradictions in our own character. We are white-skinned Jews celebrating Fifty Years

of Freedom Summer and putting on commemorative panels but escorting out anyone who yells #BlackLivesMatter. Or, acknowledging Tzipporah but refusing to defend her interracial, interfaith family when Jewish talking heads warn that families like hers are the end of Judaism. We are descendants of slaves who do not yell back that Moses had a Black wife and Black children and that #BlackLivesMatter to our people whether or not we acknowledge it.

Jews For Racial and Economic Justice‘s #BlackLivesMatter Haggadah Supplement, p.7

(Download your own copy)

We counted 3 on the evening of April 6. Tonight, we count….

Making the Omer Count

from On the Road to Knowing: A Journey Away from Oppression

A key element in the journey from liberation to revelation is understanding the workings of oppression, and our part in them. We cannot work effectively to end what we do not comprehend.

So this year, moving from Passover to Shavuot, I commit to learning more about how oppression works and how liberation is accomplished. I invite others to join me:

Let’s work together, as we count the Omer, to make this Omer count.

Thoughts and sources welcome.

JourneyOmer

Share this graphic to encourage others to participate.

A Meditation

Aware that we are on a journey toward knowing God — from liberation to revelation — I undertake to know more today than I did yesterday about the workings of oppression.

I bless and count [full Hebrew blessings in feminine and masculine address]:

Blessed are You, God, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

Today is four days in the Omer.

Hayom arba’ah yamim la-omer.

In the spirit of the Exodus, I pray for the release of all whose bodies and spirits remain captive, and pledge my own hands to help effect that liberation.

Faith Leaders Tell Congress: Take Action on Racial Justice

B75j6iECIAAPpvRMay each die-in act,
symbolically embodying
the last moments of the departed,
bind their deaths more tightly
into our national consciousness
and collective commitment to change.
— from “Grief and Struggle” prayer

Faith-based action brought the #BlackLivesMatter movement directly into Congressional space. The House Office die-in was designed to interrupt “business as usual” in the halls of Congress just as the new session begins.

“As people of faith, we are calling on Congress to take action on racial justice and heed the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement,” Stosh Cotler of Bend the Arc said, as she and dozens of other faith leaders left the Longworth House Office building, Jan. 21.

MomatCapitolIn addition to Bend the Arc, which has NY and DC offices, participants came from Auburn Seminary (NYC), Jews United for Justice (DC), Standing on the Side of Love, and a number of congregations in different denominations as well as unaffiliated Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others in support of DCFerguson and Black Lives Matter.

SmallCropatCafeteriaAlthough the action’s duration on the Longworth cafeteria floor was short — not quite the planned 4-1/2 minutes, as Capitol Police insisted that the faith gathering disperse — it is hoped the action will inspire further education and action on the part of individuals and congregations across the country… leading ultimately to many needed changes, including Congressional action.

Extend the moment yourself by learning more and following up.

Continue Reading

Community, Leadership, and Listening

Leadership and community are key elements in the early chapters of Exodus. We see a variety of strong actions and interactions:

1) Moses sees an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew; he responds by killing the Egyptian and then hides the deceased in the sand.

2) Moses sees two Hebrew men fighting and tries to stop the aggressor.

3) The Hebrew fighter replies: “Who made you judge over us? And do you propose to murder me as you did the Egyptian?”

4) Pharaoh learns of Moses’ crime and sets out to kill him. Moses flees from Egypt.

5) Moses witnesses what appears to be an injustice as Jethro’s daughter attempt to water their flocks and intervenes, immediately and physically. (Exodus 2:11-17)

We don’t know, from the text itself, if Moses’ upbringing included grooming in Egyptian leadership skills or if he was taught Israelite ideas and practices through a continuing relationship with his birth parents. Commentators over the centuries have understood his early years in both ways.

We do know that Moses “went out unto his brethren and looked on their burdens [וַיֵּצֵא אֶל-אֶחָיו, וַיַּרְא, בְּסִבְלֹתָם]” (Exodus 2:11). What is not reported is any interaction between Moses and his brethren — or between Moses and the Midianite women at the well — that would help him understand community perspectives and concerns. He seems to have some sort of innate sense of justice, but he isn’t able to turn that inner sense into action that is helpful when faced with real world circumstances.

Like Moses, many attempting to understand and join the #BlackLivesMatter struggle don’t know how to translate a desire for justice into action that is helpful. The first step, the one Moses seems to have missed initially, is to LISTEN. Here, for those interested in taking this step, are video clips from Jews United for Justice’s “Black Lives Matter, Chanukah Action” program.

Hear directly from black activists about their experiences and their advice for white allies. More on the event and full list of speakers.

DearWhiteFor those in the DC area, consider joining “Dear White Allies: A Training by #BlackLivesMatterDMV” or one of the many other local opportunities to listen and learn.

Dear White Allies:
Sunday, Jan 18
1-5 p.m.
Impact Hub, 419 4th Street NW

For those beyond DC, look for local anti-racism and white ally training in your area.

Exodus: from state violence to resistance to liberation

The story of Exodus opens with state-mandated oppression and violence against a rapidly growing minority population, increasingly feared by the ruling majority (brief summary). Women of different communities and classes engage in resistance, separately and jointly, that eventually leads to toppling of the entire system.

From Violence to Resistance

Today, many in the U.S. are calling for acknowledgement of “the structural violence and institutional discrimination that continues to imprison our communities either in a life of poverty and/or one behind bars,” and recognition of “the full spectrum of our human rights and its obligations under international law.” Black Lives Matter addresses

…a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise….an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression….we are talking about the ways in which Black people are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity. It is an acknowledgement Black poverty and genocide is state violence.

Midwives Shifrah and Puah act against the state, we are told, because “they feared God,” prompting them to act in preservation of life. Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg elaborates:

…the very extremity of the edict forces a new moral vision upon the midwives, a radical choice between life and death. Disobedience to Pharaoh becomes more than merely a refusal to kill, it becomes a total dedication to nourishing life.
— Zornberg, The Particulars of Rapture, p.23 (full citation)

Similarly, I think, the Herstory of #BlackLivesMatter exhorts us:

…when Black people cry out in defense of our lives, which are uniquely, systematically, and savagely targeted by the state, we are asking you, our family, to stand with us in affirming Black lives. Not just all lives. Black lives. Please do not change the conversation by talking about how your life matters, too. It does, but we need less watered down unity and a more active solidarities with us, Black people, unwaveringly, in defense of our humanity. Our collective futures depend on it.

Pledging Resistance?

Ferguson Action is asking individuals to declare 2015 their “year of resistance.”

I pledge to make 2015 my year of resistance to state violence against Black lives.

I challenge myself and those in my community to take risks as we confront the many ways that Black lives are diminished and taken from us….

This year, I will declare boldly and loudly through my words and actions, that #BlackLivesMatter.
Ferguson Action Pledge

Does Exodus — with its powerful examples of resistance — call us to anything less?
Continue Reading

First Steps in an Exodus from Racism

In the mid-20th Century, the Exodus story (neither Charlton Heston nor Christian Bales, but the second book of the bible) became part of the underpinnings of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Today, as a new civil rights movement evolves, how can we use the ancient Exodus narrative to once again help us explore key issues and increase understanding and involvement?
Continue Reading

Getting Exodus Right: Watch the Women and Learn (or: Family Travail Becomes Community Action)


A coffin in Egypt closes the Book of Genesis (Genesis 50:26), and the Exodus story is launched with a basket on the Nile (Exodus 2:3). Joseph’s death, which closely follows that of his father, Jacob (Gen 49:33), brings to an end the patriarchal stories. With Exodus, the focus shifts to the Israelite story, beginning with midwives Shifrah and Puah, Yocheved (Moses’ mother), Miriam (Moses’ sister), and Pharaoh’s daughter. Our focus is thus shifted, as one book ends and the next begins, from death to birth and from stories of individual and family struggle to a communal struggle toward liberation. So, too, in the United States today, we are moving:

  • from individual circles of mourning for black persons killed by police to a national movement against police brutality across the country, and
  • from disjoint demands addressing various forms of racial inequity to a collective struggle for racial justice.

In addition, men dominate at the close of Genesis, while Exodus opens with women in the lead; similarly, women have been primary leaders in the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The Exodus story looks, on the face of it, like a violent and permanent parting of oppressed and oppressor peoples. But there are elements — particularly evident in watching what the women do at the beginning of the Exodus story — of the tale that can help us learn respectful coexistence.

Change of Mindset

Failure to dehumanize: The Egyptian midwives model for us at Exodus 1:15-22, using Pharaoh’s racist assumptions about the baby-popping Hebrew women to protect the Israelite community. (more on this)

Vision: Moses’ mother shows immense faith in her Egyptian neighbors, assuming that someone will rescue the child. And at least one Egyptian does rescue a child. Both women, thereby, refuse to dehumanize the other. (more on vision)

Passover is still months away (April 3-April 11, 2015). But Jews and Christians, along with others to whom the Exodus story speaks, can begin now to explore how we can use this ancient tale to change today’s realities, in our own communities and beyond. A few more “Passover Lessons” —

  • Crossers-Over
  • “From Privilege, Activism
  • Maybe We’re All Riff Raff
  • Rabbis, Rome and Slaves
  • “School for Freedom”

— from a 2012 crowd-sourcing.

What else can we learn?
Let’s start now to figure it out!
And let’s NOT WAIT to begin learning and acting
Continue Reading

Do not stand idly by Fox endangerment of your brothers

UPDATE: The Baltimore Fox-affiliate WBFF fired the reporter and photographer who doctored video to create this story (see below). The producer who assigned this story received only a one-day suspension, and the Fox network has not taken responsibility for its lies, defamation of character, or incitement to violence. See City Paper update on this story (12/31/14). The petition is on-going.

“They were terrified,” reads Genesis 42:35, as 11 of Jacob’s sons realize that their brother Joseph faked evidence that would link them to crime against the state [theft from Pharaoh’s household]. Just a few days ago, a Fox station in Baltimore similarly faked evidence of a crime against the state. Bible readers know that Joseph faked the crime for his own reasons, and that the act will eventually leads to a sort of reconciliation in this troubled family. Nonetheless, the brothers and their father are rightly terrified at the dangerous manipulation. Fox acted for its own reasons, as well, but it remains to be seen if there is any kind of reconciliation possible in this situation.

The shortest version: My friend, Kymone Freeman of We Act Radio, was at the large protest march in DC on December 13. He was filmed by C-SPAN holding a mic and portable amp while people are chanting “We won’t stop ’til killer cops are in cell blocks.” But Fox aired the clip, severely edited — on December 21, after the deaths of two police officers in NYC — claiming it was a chant of “kill a cop.”

Insult to injury: Tawanda Jones, who was filmed leading the chant, has been an especially peaceful activist, who persists in advocating for indictment of “killer cops” — including those responsible for death of her brother, Tyrone West, in custody of Baltimore City Police last year — while insisting that the existence of bad (“killer”) police tarnish the reputations of the entire force, which she supports.

Anyone who does evil, according to a medieval Jewish source, “is punished not only for the specific victim but for all who sorrow for him, as it is said, ‘Now comes the reckoning for his blood’ (Genesis 42:22)” — Sefer Hasidim, 131 (found in Zornberg’s Genesis: The Beginning of Desire, on the Joseph story).

  • This Fox story has not only damaged the specific victims — Tawanda Jones, Kymone Freeman, and others at the Dec. 13 march — but so many more.
  • Fox perpetrated reckless endangerment of individuals and a whole community.

 

These lies would never have aired without dangerous, racist assumptions

— on the part of Fox staff and viewers — behind them.

Jews know this story.

Anyone who has studied Jewish history knows this story.

Anyone who has studied black history knows this story.

Anyone who has studied Muslim history knows this story.

We all know this story!

It’s time to change the story!!

More Background

Here is a bit more background, the WBFF “apology,” and Kymone’s petition petition in response to being used in this ugly, dangerous manipulation.

Here is Tawanda Jones’ interview with the station that defamed her:

Note, please, that the interviewer has the audacity to say to Ms. Jones “you seem sincere,” as though THEIR distortion of her views deserved as much credence as HER OWN. Also, please note that Ms. Jones says the false story “killed a piece of me.” The Talmudic adage, “Just as the sword can kill so can the tongue” (Arachin 15b), seems amazingly and heart-breakingly apt.

Please read and consider signing and sharing.

Deeper Responses

Chanukah Rededicates Jews to the Fight

Samuel L. Jackson’s challenge, Chanukah-style.

[Everybody knows that I can’t sing, but]
I can hear my neighbor calling I can’t breathe
Now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave
Calling out the violence that racism breeds
We ain’t gonna stop til people are free
Chanukah rededicates Jews to the fight
So I’m lighting one candle to increase the light

Hoping someone more tuneful will take up the chant!

Chag sameach [joyful festival] to all

Visit http://www.ChanukahAction.org for resources

BTW, here’s the challenge: