The vicious racism that has simmered so long under America’s polite society is again beginning to rise to the surface. And it’s not confined to one social group by a long shot. But it may – and in fact already has – affected the Jews, as most social issues usually do.
In the wee hours of Thursday morning, just hours after the city’s police chief resigned, two police officers were shot in Ferguson, Missouri, a city of 21,000.
Protests – riots, violence, looting, marches, demonstrations and everything else in between – have continued for 200 days. The unrest began when a grand jury cleared Darren Wilson, a white police officer for shooting Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18-year-old who attacked the officer after stealing cigars from a store and attacking the store’s clerk. Wilson has since resigned.
Thursday’s attack came during a demonstration – the largest yet — in front of the Ferguson police department. Protesters were chanting, “Racist cops have got to go.”
But the shooter was not among the mob, claimed protesters who spoke with CNN, and is still at large.
Meanwhile, demonstrators are now demanding the disbanding of the entire police force and the resignation of the city’s mayor. The judge who oversaw the court system in the city has resigned, the city’s court clerk was fired last week and two police officers have resigned. The city manager is resigning as well.
No Ferguson police officers were involved in covering the protest: Police from surrounding communities were assigned to the Ferguson demonstration when the shooting occurred.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told CNN that neither officer was from the Ferguson Police Department: one, shot in the shoulder, was a 14-year veteran of the county police force. The second – shot in the face – was a 7-year veteran of the Webster Groves force. Both are listed in serious condition.
“I have said all along that we cannot sustain this forever without problems,” Belmar told media.
“That’s not an indictment on everybody that’s out there, certainly ‘expressing their First Amendment rights.’ But we have seen, in law enforcement, that this is a very, very, very dangerous environment for the officers to work in.”
Just a few days ago, a fraternity house at Oklahoma University was shut down after a video of its members singing an anti-black racist chant went viral on the Internet. The students who led the chant – which implied lynching black people – were expelled.
The University of Texas said this week in a statement that it, too, is now investigating claims that its SAE chapter at Austin had also used the same chant. A number of other chapters nationwide are being investigated as well.
Tensions are rising, as Twitter comments that the chant is not new are being pulled off the Internet, and graffiti is being spray-painted on to the offending former frat house.
For days, the scandal rocked America and each detail was scrupulously televised and massaged by the media.
What has not been reported nationwide, nor has received the same government scolding and concern, is the long-standing issue of rising anti-Semitism on American campuses.
Posters that proclaim the banner “STUDENTS FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE” (SJP) show a photo of what appears to be two muscular male college students in black tees and cargo pants, both holding assault rifles and wearing black ski masks, standing with a kneeling younger unidentified student in jeans and a tee shirt between them, hands tied behind his back with a bag over his head. Below the photo is the hashtag, #JewHaters .
A second poster with the same slogans showed a photo of two terrorists riding a motorcycle dragging a victim on his back through the streets, tied to the back of the bike by his feet.
Hana Levi Julian