Black Leadership, Biden Responses to Antisemitism Shameful

Clarence McKee

For those too young to remember, some of the most loyal supporters and advocates for Black Americans during the civil rights movement were Jewish Americans.

They don’t remember and probably were never told in today’s teachers union-controlled education systems, about the history of the fight for civil rights for Blacks when two Jews— Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner — were viciously murdered for supporting voting rights for Blacks in Mississippi in 1964.

Given that history, one would think that much of the nation’s Democratic Black political and civil rights leadership would be rushing to condemn the attacks and hateful rhetoric against Jews which has spread like wildfire to campuses nationally.

They have not.

There has been virtual silence except for those who have expressed support for the protesters.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) issued a statement condemning the rising “civil and human rights violations against “peaceful protesters” (emphasis added) across the country.

LDF sent a letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Secretary of Education (DOE) Miguel Cardona urging their departments to conduct an investigation into allegations of “law enforcement abuses” in response to “peaceful protests” on campuses; and, address possible civil rights violations committed by university officials, respectfully.

It called the response by universities and law enforcement “increasingly abusive and militarized” and that demonstrators were engaged in “peaceful, pro-Palestinian protests on campus grounds.”

There was no mention or condemnation of the virulent anti-Jewish rhetoric and attacks on Jewish students.

And, there was no demand that the Biden administration launch an investigation into possible civil rights violations committed by university officials for failing to protect Jewish students from discriminatory treatment.

The same criticism applies to the Reverend Jesse Jackson who called the protests “nonviolent demonstrations.”

He went on to say college leadership feels it best to quash students’ use of their right to free speech and demonstration by “assembling police for mass arrests.”

There was no mention or condemnation of the vitriolic rhetoric directed at Jewish students.

Do you think for one minute that if this anarchy and violence and calling for the genocide of Jews — “From the river to the sea” were occurring under a Republican president there would be such relative silence?

Highly doubtful. 

Could the reluctance be because this is a Democratic administration?

Even more disgraceful is the failure of the Biden administration to do what the LDF urged it to do as noted above — take action — not on behalf of the protesters — but to determine if the civil rights of Jewish students have been violated.

Biden had the perfect opportunity to do so during his address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony.

He failed to do so.

He and his Department of Justice have apparently forgotten how his Republican and Democratic predecessors put the full force of the U.S. government behind enforcing the civil rights of Black students.

They obviously don’t remember when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to escort Black students — the Little Rock Nine — into all-white Central High School in defiance of segregationist white mobs.

They also conveniently don’t recall when President John F. Kenndy — a Democrat — sent his Deputy Attorney General, Nicholas Katzenbach, and federal marshals, to escort two Blacks, Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood, to enroll at the University of Alabama over the defiance of then segregationist Gov. George Wallace.

Malone-Jones became the first Black student to graduate from the University in 1965.

A few years later, I had the honor of becoming friends and working with her in Washington D.C. She received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University and was the commencement speaker in 2000.

The failure of Biden to take action to protect the civil rights of Jewish students is shameful.

So is the failure of civil rights and political leaders urging him to act.

Remember the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller after World War II as posted in the United States Holocaust Museum:

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Too many have forgotten those words!

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently stated in his Holocaust Remembrance Day address in Jerusalem: “Never again is now.”

Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations and training consulting firm in Florida. He is the author of “How Obama Failed Black America and How Trump Is Helping It.” Read Clarence V. McKee’s Reports — More Here.

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