I don’t read Thaddeus Matthews often enough. This weekend, I decided I wanted to do something about that, so I sat down today and started going through the archives.
One of the first posts to catch my eye, for obvious reasons was a question: Should Nikki Tinker continue as a write-in candidate?
Obviously, my answer is a resounding “No”. Her platform had less substance than the bowel movement of a tourist in Mexico that wasn’t listening when you said “Don’t drink the water”.
But what disturbs me about it so much isn’t that it’s a question at all. There have been campaigns run with less substance than hers before (Although I’m hard pressed to name them). What disturbs me is scrolling down into the comments on Thaddeus’s blog and still seeing people respond with the tired old meme that a Jewish man cannot represent black voters.
In the early part of the 20th century, when no one was interested in actually funding education for blacks, Julius Rosenwald sunk enough of his personal fortune into building schools that no less than forty percent of southern blacks were educated in schools that he funded before Brown vs. the Board of Education. He spent $70 million of his own money, an amount that would be impressive in any era— Considering that he died in 1932, I couldn’t even begin to fathom how much money that would translate to today.
When Dr. King marched on Selma, one of the men that marched arm-in-arm with him was Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel.
Three men were murdered in Philadelphia, MS in 1964 for registering black voters. I’m sure that in this “missing” poster, you’ll notice that the fallen hero in the middle, James Chaney, is indeed black. Of course, he’s flanked by two men named Goodwin and Schwermer. As Jewish Americans, it would have been very easy for them to ignore the plight of black Americans.
They chose not to. Time and time again, they’ve been discriminated against, quite often by the very people that sought to oppress blacks in America.
So for those out there that think Jewish people can’t fight for blacks, I would suggest a history lesson or two to find out just how many times they already have.
So… A black guy, a white guy, and a Jewish guy all walked into a bar.
They sat there, they drank a few cold ones, and they talked about how to build a better world.