Updated: Dec 6, 2022
On Friday, December 2, 2022, a man drove into the parking lot of a Reformed Jewish Temple in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Township. According to witnesses, he began shouting “F” the Jews, “F’ Israel,” advising them that he “will get you” if you support Israel. During the same bigoted tirade, he repeatedly spouted the N-word at temple staff members.
Following the incident, he was stopped by the police, videotaped the exchange, and posted it on Instagram, where he has received 135 ‘likes’ as I write this. 135 likes! After initially letting him go, police later arrested the man on “ethnic intimidation” charges.
Readers of this post must be thinking that the temple was hosting a major “support Israel” event that morning, right? Wrong. This unprovoked attack against peace-loving, harmless Jewish families was carried out as young Jewish parents were taking their infants and toddlers to daycare. This temple is 5 miles from my home—two of my grandchildren attend Hebrew school there.
When Donald Trump hosted anti-Semites at Mara Lago recently, or embraced the support of White Supremacists in 2017, claiming “there are good people on both sides” or shrugged when asked about David Duke in 2016, saying, “I don’t know him, but he supports me,” many people laughed, including many Jews. They typically responded: “Well, that’s Trump—no big deal—I like his economic policies.”
When Kanye West called out the “Jewish media” and “Zionists” for alleged misdeeds and claimed that Jews will “milk us till we die,” these rants were nothing new to Jews. False claims that Jews control the entertainment and media industries have been around for a long time. Many people have dismissed Kanye (who now calls himself “Ye”) as a nut. No big deal, right?
The recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in this country can be directly traced to public figures, especially Trump, who embrace these ideologies, spur antisemitic extremist groups, and give them oxygen.
White Supremacist groups like the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and Three Percenters were prominent figures in the attack on our Capitol on January 6, 2021. To this day, Trump continues to defend them.
Worse, in addition to these domestic terrorists, there is also a hidden white supremacy in America, a privilege afforded to white Christians, woven into the fabric of American structure and culture, so much so, that white Christians hardly notice.
I am a Jewish man, proud of my heritage, both Jewish and American, proud to support an independent Jewish state in Israel. Yet, I rarely write about the almost routine hatred of Jews in this country. I have used this space and written novels to support the Islamic American, African American, and Hispanic American communities.
When Trump wanted to ban all Muslims from this country, I wrote a novel about what America would look like if an anti-Muslim bigot became president. When he promised to build a southern border wall and deport Hispanics, I spoke out, writing a novel and a series of articles about our dysfunctional immigration policies at the southern border. I have supported the African American community and BLM with numerous articles and a novel about the scourge of racism and police shootings of innocent black men
Hate is not limited to the Jewish population. There is a lot of hatred to go around, but I am deeply troubled by the ‘ho hum’ attitude of and lack of condemnation by political and Christian religious leaders when it comes to anti-Semitic rhetoric and activity.
Clearly, there is a constituency in the white Christian community who believes that minorities are a threat to their way of life. Apparently, Jews and Blacks are “taking our jobs,” Jews “control things,” while Blacks “commit all the crime.” These racial and ethnic stereotypes permeate their thoughts and spur hatred and bigotry. As righteous Gentiles defied the Nazis during World War II and saved Jewish lives, it is time for righteous Gentiles to step up and forcefully condemn bigotry and hatred toward American minority communities. Local, State, and national Christian leaders must become involved.
After World War II, a prominent German pastor named Martin Niemoller openly spoke about once being a Nazi, but eventually having a change of heart. He wrote these words about guilt and responsibility:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Imagine how powerful these words were in the 1940s and the guts it took to write them. Jewish people, individuals like me, or organizations created to combat hate, will continue to speak out and challenge the anti-Semites. Other minorities will continue to defend themselves against the bigots.
But we are, in fact, minorities. Hispanics represent about 19% of the American population. Blacks represent approximately 12%. Roughly 2% of the American population is Jewish and 1% is Islamic. In contrast, despite the irrational fears of some in the community, white Christians represent almost 50% of our population. That is one powerful constituency.
The Bible says:
“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand . . .” James 2:1-26
Hate must be condemned by all and on behalf of all. Hate is not just anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, anti-Hispanic, or racist, it is anti-American. I invite the white Christian American community to make its voice heard in the fight against all forms of hate. Join us, won’t you?
Mark M. Bello is an attorney and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series, ripped-from-the headlines, realistic fiction that speak truth to power and champion the rights of citizens in our justice system. These novels are dedicated to the social justice movement. They educate, spark discussion and inspire readers to action. One of these novels, Betrayal High, was written in response to school shootings. For more information, please visit www.markmbello.com. Mark also hosts the Justice Counts podcast with Lean to the Left editor & publisher Bob Gatty, presenting bi-weekly interviews focused on social justice.