Editor's note: This op-ed has been updated to remove an antisemitic paragraph. On Feb 26, 2021, the state of Kentucky signed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Comparing Jews or Jewish leaders to the Nazi regime goes against this resolution, which the op-ed did in an earlier publication.
The Feb. 14 shooting at a Louisville mayoral candidate has spawned legitimate questions of how and why this happened. Also of valid concern are the escalating racist and anti-Semitic threats and social media postings.
I expect that both the alleged assailant and victims now live in fear. Quintez Brown fears of some form of lynching; Craig Greenberg and his team are scared that the next time a shooter won’t miss.
Whatever the reason behind the shooting, the white, and mostly male, elected officials are stoking the fires of racism and anti-Semitism in order to codify their base of support by pitting Blacks against Jews.
Politicians, be it U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell on the Senate Floor, Kentucky Rep. Jason Nemes with his proposed bill on bail, or Metro Councilman Anthony Piagentini who condemns a man without any facts, are also using fear to rally their voters.
When people like those elected officials who vote no on anti-lynching laws, it just shows the depth of racism that these elected officials will use to stay in power.
Recently, two Kentucky Republicans, Sen. Rick Girdler and Rep. Walker Thomas made the remark in a recent committee meeting to "Jew them down". This was not a mere slip of the tongue, but a demonstration of their underlying and true beliefs.
The history of how and why racism and anti-Semitism exist is of past events; how we deal with the present and future will show if racism and anti-Semitism will continue to flourish.
The fake outrages over the teaching of CRT are really meant to stoke fear. The whispers that Jews are money lenders and therefore cheaters fuel the indoctrination of those who then go out and commit acts of violence against Jews.
The complete horrors of slavery and the Holocaust must be taught without caveats — this is not a game of one-upmanship or which one of these atrocities, or any other genocide, was “more worse.”
The Black Lives Matter movement is long overdue and must be supported by all of us.
BLM is vital in bringing to light and to justice, the hate crimes by certain police officers and departments along with shedding light on redlining and its effects, continued poverty, inferior medical care and education.
Chanelle Helm and the Louisville Community Bail Fund were right in bailing Mr. Brown out of jail. Mr. Greenberg is right that the system is broken — and broken not because one person was released from jail, but that too many minorities are wrongly stuck in prison with no way to exonerate themselves. The "system is broken" is not just about bail and jail release, but because certain elected officials wave the Second Amendment to dismiss the thousands of preventable deaths by guns.
We need all of us to stop regurgitating the hate speech about Jews.
We need the heads of broadcast, print and social media to stop encouraging their hosts and columnists to use these platforms to incite people in order to gain more revenue.
We need all churches, synagogues and mosques to use their houses of worship for peace and not a vehicle for inciting hate.
And we all must condemn the comments by our elected officials, be it on the U.S. Senate floor or in Kentucky's House of Representatives.
Because fear begets hate.
As a friend recently wrote, this is a teachable moment. What we learn and what we will do next is up to us.
Louisville native and local activist Honi Marleen Goldman often writes on Jewish holidays, social issues and cooking. Her family has been active in the Jewish community since the late 1800s.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Why we must confront all hate and not pit Blacks against Jews: Opinion