An African American man in a camouflage face mask on Saturday afternoon told Fox News in a rally in New York City: “Today, I’m leading a demonstration from Barclay’s Center at 6 PM to City Hall, and that’s the first stop – and we’re hoping De Blasio and Cuomo come out and talk to us and give the youth some direction. But if they don’t, then next stop is the Diamond District. And gasoline, thanks to Trump, is awfully cheap. So we’re giving them a chance right now to do the right thing.”
A protester in New York made a threat *on live tv* to go down to the ‘Diamond District’ in New York with gasoline if they don’t get want they want from state and local officials. Fox News pic.twitter.com/dgt7p4buzGwas not pleased and called him out…
— johnny dollar (@johnnydollar01)
For a movement that accuses the Trump administration of dog whistling, this one was enough of a dog whistle to bring in a pack of Dobermans. The Diamond District is a single block on West 47th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, where the street is also officially named Diamond Jewelry Way. The district grew in importance when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands and Belgium, forcing thousands of Chassidic Jews in the diamond business to flee Amsterdam and Antwerp and settle in New York City. They have remained a dominant influence in the Diamond District.
When you threaten to burn down the Diamond District, you signal your followers it is time to burn down the Jews.
The dog whistle didn’t pass by Fox News host Eric Shawn, who reacted on live TV: “Those are outrageous words to say. Basically that person was basically suggesting that they plan to go to the diamond district, which is run basically by Orthodox Jews here in New York City – certainly hope that is not the case and we do not endorse – in fact, we condemn that type of language here on the Fox News channel. Someone saying that certainly should be called out in terms of any type of potential threat of any sort that we just heard live from someone who interviewed here on this channel.”
Fox news later reported that the man who made the anti-Semitic threat had been arrested.
We noted last week that the key African American voices at the helm of Black Lives Matter have been tainted with an anti-Semitic past: Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, a long time supporter and defender of Louis Farrakhan; Al Sharpton, the leader of the 1991 Crown Heights pogrom; and Jesse Jackson, exposed in the 1980s as an anti-Semite. Now we can add the “FTP movement” (Expletive the Police) to this list.
As Black Lives Matter continues to demand sensitivity to the unique experiences of black people in their encounters with the police, US Jews have the right to demand not to have our lives be threatened by a liberation movement with whose ideals we naturally empathize.