My first clear memory of someone being openly anti-Semitic to me was in the mid-1950’s. I was probably about six, maybe seven years old.
As I sat on the “Johnny-pump,” fire hydrant to most of you, my young and boundless imagination re-enacted some western I’d no doubt seen on TV. The hydrant became my horse.
The little blonde girl, from the building next door, walked by and considered me. I had noticed her before. She may have been my first blonde shiksa goddess. Not for long.
“Do you know my name?” she demanded. An odd question to ask the first time you meet someone.
“No,” eyes down my shy face burned.
“My name is Christina,” she seemed angry. “Do you know how to spell Christina?” Another question I could only answer with a quiet, “no.”
“Christina has Christ in it and you can’t spell it because you’re a Jew. My Grandpa says the Jews killed Christ.” I remember running to my apartment in tears.
My parents, and nearly all of my aunts and uncles, were holocaust survivors. Most had been out of the camps no more than a dozen years. The memory of the horrors they endured were fresh and still raw, not yet softened by the years.
Some of their physical scars hadn’t faded. Their emotional scars never would. Those scars help shape the lives of people like me.
I grew up with stories about concentration camp “life,” death, and brutality the way most kids grow up with Hans Christian Anderson. My parents and relatives taught me to never accept anti-Semitism.
You’d think I’d be happy with the criticism of the now infamous Donald Trump Star of David tweet. I’m not.
The same self-righteous bull-shitters that shielded Barack Obama from years of sitting in the pews of anti-Semitic preacher Jeremiah Wright, are trying to use a tweet with Star of David imagery to tar Trump.
Wright, by the way, is also a fan boy of Jew baiter extraordinaire Louis Farrakhan.
The media wasn’t rushing to the defense of Jews as Al Sharpton turned his wrath on Crown Heights in Brooklyn, and Freddy’s Fashion Mart in Harlem. People died and now Sharpton has a TV show on MSNBC and advises President Barack Obama.
Here are transcripts of Sharpton’s diatribes as he spurred protesters in the Freddy’s tragedy.
This account of the Freddy’s murders by prolific blogger Yid with a Lid is chilling.
As media continued its full-throated political defense of Judaism over a tweet, Elie Weisel died. Most of the world mourned the loss of a good man who taught the world what the holocaust meant.
Before Weisel’s body is even cold, Max Blumenthal, the son of Hillary Clinton confident, and e-mail buddy, Sidney Blumenthal, goes on a vicious tweetstorm about the man much of the civilized world admires.
Outside conservative media, the story got little coverage.
You may say none of those bigots are running for president. You’d be right.
Wright was Barack Obama’s spiritual advisor. Sharpton became Obama’s political advisor.
With all of the faults in Donald’s briefcase of bombast, I don’t think anti-Semitism is in there. A possibly clumsy tweet, magnified by the echo chamber of a hostile press, looking for the next outrage, doesn’t cut it for me.
Nor do I need the media to stand up against supposed anti-Semitism when it’s politically convenient and supports a narrative they want to push.
What ever happened with Christina? I never spoke with her again. Over the years her brother (I don’t remember his name) tormented me until I caught up with him in size.
One winter afternoon East 165th Street was snowed in between Whitlock and Longfellow Avenues. I saw Christina’s brother coming down the street with a full grocery bag while I played in the fresh, still falling snow.
My slush-ball flew fast and true. It hit him in the back with a heavy thud and his groceries flew everywhere. He ran into his building and his grandfather came for me in a rage. He slapped me hard across my face. At about eleven or twelve I was no match for this brute. I fell into the snow, dazed.
The man at least 40 years my senior berated me with every age old anti-Jew blood libel imaginable as I regained my composure. Sometimes I still think of his face as the closest thing to perfect hate I’ve ever seen.
“I wish Hitler had finished the job,” he spat at me as he walked away.
I made another slush-ball and hit him in the back of the head with it as hard as I could throw. He turned and stared death at me. I didn’t budge.
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