Tag Archives: Louis Farrakhan

Open Letter to Desean Jackson in response to his anti-Semitic comments

DJDear Desean,

As a son of Holocaust survivors and a defender of the Jewish people I feel it is my obligation to address your recent comments. The initial quote, which you were happy to credit to Adolf Hitler, read as follows:

“(They) will extort America,” the quote read, “(and) their plan for world domination won’t work if the Negroes know who they were.”

You went on to indicate that you have great admiration for the Reverend Louis Farrakhan. Louis Farrakhan, the man who has referred to Judaism as “a deceptive lie and theological error”. To be frank, those are some of the nicest things he has said about my people. In a response to be called out for his anti-Semitism he replied, “When they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you know how they do – call me an anti-Semite. Stop it, I’m anti-termite!”  He also once said, “I don’t care what they put on me. The government is my enemy, the powerful Jews are my enemy.”  And while I can go on for many pages, I leave you with one more.“Do you know that in Europe in every nation where they were, they led an industry in commerce in trade in banking? And the gentiles were angry with them because everywhere they went, they ruled. So the gentiles rose up against the Jews and persecuted them in Europe.” 

This is the man you said you have great admiration for, right around the same time that you made your initial anti-Semitic statement.  It has been suggested to me that your statement is based on nothing more than stupidity. In order to determine whether or not I believed that to be the case I decided to read some of your additional Twitter comments.  What I found were highly intelligent, often self-promoting comments from someone who clearly is very aware of what he is saying. I believe your statements to neither be ambiguous nor reticent.  On the contrary, you know how you feel and you are very comfortable sharing it with others, as is your right in the United States of America,  However, I too have a right to tell you how I feel, and therefore I ask you.  If you were in my position would you be satisfied merely because you apologized?

I do not remember a time in my life when I did not know about what the Jewish people went through during the reign of Hitler.  More specifically, I always knew what happened to my family, and as I got older I learned what my parents dealt with when they were at the same age as you were when you were catching footballs and living a great lifestyle with the money paid to you by none other than yes, your Jewish employer.  For 5 years  the Nazis occupied my parents native Holland. My father worked with the resistance but had to flee his neighborhood to survive, always on the run and never certain if he would live to see another day. My mother had to move from hiding place to hiding place knowing that if she were ever to be caught by the Germans, death would be welcome after what they would likely do to her.  She would sleep underground in what she said felt like a coffin for 16 months.  When the war ended my father would learn that his mother, father, sister and brother-in law were murdered by the Nazis and my mother would learn of the same fate befalling her father and brother.  Not to mention the additional relatives and friends they would never see again.  6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis.  There were countless accounts of torture, medical experimentation, rape and beatings. And Desean, this goes back a mere 75 years. So I ask you again, would you be OK with what you said if you were in my shoes? Would you be so quick to accept an apology?

Let me offer a quote to you, from none other than the great poet and civil rights icon Maya Angelou.

When someone show you who they are, believe them the first time.

I do not accept your apology, nor will I till I hear you denounce the anti-Semitic comments made by the man you admire so much, Louis Farrakhan. When you do that, I will be willing to accept that you are truly sorry for your comments. Until that time I will see your apology as just a way to make sure you continue getting a very nice paycheck, signed by none other than the Jewish owner of the team you play for.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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On the anniversary of Kristallnacht, of course I condemn. But first I remember

11.07holocaust

 

On this solemn anniversary of Kristallnacht I have heard shouts from my fellow Jews on the right  side of the aisle calling for those on the left side of the aisle to condemn the anti-Semites of today.  Although I am prepared to do that, I also must make the point that condemning the evil of today is not a prerequisite to mourning those taken from us by the evil of the past.  That is why my first priority is to honor and remember as best I can.

Many years back in trying to relate to another my understanding of the Holocaust, I suggested the following exercise.   Close your eyes and imagine almost everyone you know, are friendly with, or love.  Then imagine them not only all gone, but brutally murdered. Now open your eyes and realize that this is what it was like for most people who survived The Holocaust.  Almost everyone and everything they knew was gone, and all they were left with was the hope that God, if they still believed in God’s existence, would give them the strength they needed to move forward.

However, as if that horror alone was not enough, the Nazis, masters of terror, were so sadistic and obsessed with their hatred towards the Jews that they felt their first priority was instilling maximum fear in the Jewish population and destroying  Jewish businesses and houses of worship. On what we would forever know as Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass”, they proudly and brazenly burned synagogues and businesses to the ground and killed close to 100 Jews.  The following day they arrested 30,000 Jewish men. The Nazi brutality knew no limits and the suffering they caused the Jewish people is unlike anything seen in human history.  The significance of Kristallnacht, beyond the pure destruction and murder, is that is symbolizes the beginning of this horrible time, and must be seen as a day to honor, respect and mourn the 6 million Jewish lives murdered.

It is also however a sad lesson of the ability that evil has to consume an entire society, how anti-Antisemitism and persecution of the Jewish people is nothing new and is a real danger not ever to be taken lightly.  I do condemn the Louis Farrakhans, David Dukes and Linda Sarsours of the world whether or not their anti-Semitism is unhidden and blatant like Farrakhan’s or more devious and masked like Sarsour’s. But I do not, and I say this unequivocally, condemn my fellow Jews who may not see things exactly as I do, nor do I use this day as a reason to condemn Donald Trump or far left wing radicals.  And here is why.

Do you think that when the Nazis went on their rampage through Germany on November 9, 1938 they first asked Jews their political viewpoints?  Do you think if anyone of us would have been crammed into a bunk, starving, exposed to disease and most likely marked for the gas chamber in Auschwitz that it would have mattered whether you were a politically conservative or liberal Jew? We all know the answer.  Yes those that rose up and fought in the Warsaw Ghetto were a special kind of hero, but those who hoped it would get better or didn’t want to believe the worst did not merit scorn, they needed guidance and protection, and ultimately our prayers.  Fighting our fellow Jew takes away from the real fight at hand and plays right into the hands of our enemies.

It is also a time to step back and understand that Kristallnacht, as bad as it was, was nothing compared to what was to follow.  In retrospect the Jewish people would have given anything for it to have stopped there.  Now understand that nothing being done in the United States of America comes close to even comparing to Kristallnacht.  That is not to say that anti-Semitism is not a problem, it is, but even the worst of actions against American Jews today are not actions taken by any formal institution of any significance. So to compare Donald Trump or left wing extremists, to Nazis is a disrespectful and irresponsible comparison.  To pay close attention and condemn the Farrakhans, Dukes and Sarsours of the world, individuals who directly or indirectly call for the death and destruction of the State of Israel and or the Jewish people is not only responsible, it is necessary.

On this very sad and important anniversary, let us all remember and honor the Jewish martyrs murdered by the Nazis, and use their memory for good to do what is needed to unite and protect us all moving forward.

 

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