Mother Knows Best
Earlier this fall during the onset of the incipient Occupy Wall Street movement and its local incarnation in Burlington, I was struck by what was clearly a blatant and historical revisionist bent to the group, not unlike some of the group's members previous and continuing involvement with the tiny Vermont secessionist movement. Not only did some embrace the conspiracist nonsense of racists and anti-Semites like Eustace Mullins, author of "Adolph Hitler An Appreciation", but they also engaged in creating fictions that evolved as need required. For instance, first the local Occupiers blamed a widely honored and acclaimed housing and homeless assistance group for having sent homeless people to live among the Occupiers, forcing the assistance organization, which has a sterling 30 year record of achievement on behalf of Vermont's homeless to issue a public denial of the baseless charge, to the Occupiers then claiming "solidarity" with the assistance provider. Flip, flop.
When the local Occupiers stumble, miscalculate or just plain screw the pooch, they resort to lies, misrepresentations or simply make shit up.
But it's been the ongoing undercurrent of anti-Semitic conspiracism displayed by some Occupiers similar to that of a Vermont secessionist blowhard, Thomas Naylor, who has claimed that a secession activist, Matt Cropp, was one of the "principal organizers of Occupy Vermont," as well as their sad continuance of making claims against Jews that's been going on for thousands of years that caught my attention. You'd think that the Occupiers, especially one in particular who's repeatedly contacted this blog, could pull their heads out of their asses and come up with something newer than age old Jew hatred.
That said, I thought I'd share something that recently appeared on the endpage of The Sunday New York Times Magazine:
Grabbing Life by the HornsShame on the Occupy Vermont group in Burlington for never having called out the bigoted, racist anti-Semites among them.
By Shalom Auslander
Published: December 16, 2011
When I was a child, my mother told me that everyone in the world hated me. They hated me, she said, because I was a Jew.
So? I asked.
So nothing, she replied. So they hate you.
Not just the people on our street, who were “classic Jew-haters”; not just everyone in the town nearby, who were “card-carrying anti-Semites”; not just everyone in the world now, but everyone who’d ever lived, ever: Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Spaniards, Italians, Germans, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims.
I was sure she was wrong. I was sure they just hated her, which I could very well understand. She told me this when I was 6, when I was 13, when I was 15 and when I was 17. At 18, I went on a trip through Europe with some observant Orthodox friends; it was something of a symbolic trip, because we were at the age when we were getting ready to leave home, to head out into that strange new world outside the narrow religious one in which we were brought up. I was determined to find a new home for myself, something broader, more enlightened, less paranoid, less terrified.
One morning, we were on a train headed, I believe, for Paris, when we decided to pray. We had on our yarmulkes, zizit, phylacteries, the whole outfit. A U.S. Marine, in full camouflage, was seated in front of us, and he kept turning around, looking at us and smiling warmly. When we finished praying, he turned around again, and in a heavy Southern accent, with absolutely no malice or hatred whatsoever — in fact, with an almost endearing, childlike curiosity — asked me if I wouldn’t mind too terribly showing him my “Jew horns.”
Not, he added, if it’s like a big deal or something.
My first thought was that he was kidding.
My second thought was that he was serious.
My third thought was, Oh, no — Mom was right.
If he had just called me a dirty Jew, it would have been O.K. If he had just held me down and carved a swastika on my head — no biggie, I’ll wear hats. But he went all the way to horns — to the Middle Ages, Christ-killing, money-lending, shape-shifting stuff.
That was going to be a problem.
Not because of anti-Semitism. I could probably make it in a world fouled with ignorance. I could probably get by on a planet poisoned with petty prejudice and institutionalized hatred. But a world where my mother was right?
That was going to be a problem.
Shame on them!
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