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Jewish Group

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Behind the Aegis

(53,654 posts)
Wed Feb 13, 2019, 03:57 AM Feb 2019

(Jewish Group) I'm Black And Jewish. Ilhan Omar's Tweet - And The Backlash - Are Tearing Me Apart [View all]


Yesterday, I opened my Twitter timeline to find friends, allies, and colleagues pitting racism and anti-semitism against each other. The battle lines had been drawn, and I was, as I often am as a mixed race Jew, caught in the middle.

Sunday afternoon, Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted a response to Glenn Greenwald, who was musing about GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s motivations for threatening punishment for herself and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. “It’s all about the Benjamins,” Omar wrote, quoting a famous Puff Daddy song. “The Benjamins”, of course, are $100 bills — with Benjamin Franklin’s image on them.

Forward opinions editor, Batya Ungar-Sargon, threw Omar a lifeline, asking her to clarify who she was talking about, spelling out quite clearly that Omar had used an anti-semitic trope. Rather than backing off, though, Omar leaned in, quoting Ungar-Sargon to answer her question with one word: AIPAC.

And then began the fallout. People from across the Jewish and pro-Israel worlds began to condemn Omar. Others came out in her defense, writing that Omar had not done anything anti-semitic.


But to give Omar a pass on antisemitism because she is a black hijabi refugee is deeply problematic. And as a mixed race Jew who walks in both the black and Jewish worlds, this sort of discourse tears me in two.

I refuse to give her a pass because she is black. I will not do it anymore than I will give racism a pass because it came out of the mouth of a Jew. I will never pick between being offended by racism or being offended by antisemitism. I will always be equally offended by both.


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