How just mattering ruffles White feathers

Black Lives Matter protesters in London, England, on April 3, 2021. Photo: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

“Black Lives Matter, Too” technically would have been a more accurate slogan, but it’s a bit of a marketing mouthful.

As the trial of George Floyd murderer Derek Chauvin enters week two, it’s a good time to reflect on why this simple phrase remains as important as ever. But even after the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, the phrase still causes angst for many White Americans.

You would think that the straightforward phrase “Black Lives Matter” would roll off the tongue smoothly. Yet the second it was chosen as the new phrase to advance…

Jewish Lessons for Combatting Oppression

Passover Seder Symbols/David Cohen-Shutterstock

The story of the Israelite holiday of Passover recalls the resistance and liberation of the Jewish people.

Side note, there really is no thing called “Jews” or “Judaism” in the Hebrew Bible. They are Israelites or Hebrews and were only called Jews when the Israelites were exiled from their homeland Israel in the remaining Israelite area called Judea from the Israelite tribe of Judah. Israelites needed a way to transport their heritage in a suitcase and adapted Judah-ism to do just that. To be able to live as a people and serve their creator outside…

Be more like Albert

Artistic colorful illustration of Albert Einstein.
Artistic colorful illustration of Albert Einstein.
Image: Muhammad suryanto/Shutterstock

Albert Einstein was born in Germany on March 14, 1879, the same year tens of thousands of Black American refugees engaged in a mass flight from slave states along the Mississippi River to the hopefully better pastures of Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. This event became known as the Exodus of 1879.

Although slavery technically ended in 1865, Black people still needed to escape the pervasive racial violence perpetrated by White supremacists in the years that followed. Southern Black people were also exhausted from the discriminatory laws known as the Black Codes, which effectively rendered Black people second-class citizens and prevented…

This is not your father’s Africa

Nairobi, Kenya

Eddie Murphy was a comedy God during my teen years. My friends and I must have listened to his Delirious comedy record a hundred times. Murphy movies like Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hours, Trading Places, Harlem Nights and Boomerang all remain some of the most memorable of my life.

But one movie that really stood above the rest was his 1988 film, Coming to America. I was a freshman in college, but we must have watched it a dozen times back then, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve seen it another half a dozen times since. It’s just…

Dolls may sound trivial, but it’s things like children’s toys that help form unconscious views of ourselves and others

The faces of Barbie for decades

A white friend of mine, in her sixties, knew I was involved in race and equity issues and recently asked me what I thought she should do with her Black doll collection.

“Black dolls? What do you mean?” I asked, more wondering why on earth she had them and, more importantly, what she was even talking about. Nancy grew up white and privileged in the Deep South, and while she has tremendous compassion and empathy for people of color, I was perplexed with her owning these dolls. Dolls I didn’t even think existed.

“When you say you have Black dolls…

Despite thousands of years of anti-Jewish hate, universities omit Jews and anti-Semitism from virtually every ethnic studies program in the country

Typical Yard Sign Fighting Hatred

When The New York Times published its September 18, 2020, full page obituary of Supreme Court Justice and social justice icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I shouldn’t have been shocked since it’s become a pattern in society. But not one mention of the fact that RBG was Jewish. Ginsburg was a proud Jew and proud supporter of the Jewish homeland. Her Jewishness was a significant motivation for her world views, including about women’s rights, yet not a peep about it. Trust me, it wasn’t an accident.

CNN’s reporting on the removal of wackadoodle Marjorie Taylor Greene from congressional committees failed to…

How About All Year Round

Black Inventor Lewis Latimer’s Carbon Filament Light Bulb

When I enrolled at Ohio State in the fall of 1987, I was fascinated by the inch-thick book of classes to choose from. Everything from calculus to French to philosophy to history of the Middle East to ping pong. No underwater basket-weaving classes, but they even had Yiddish and Swahili courses. You name the topic, they had a class for it.

At 18, I had no idea about Black Studies. A bit shortsighted of my teenage self, since I wasn’t at all shocked that the school offered Judaic Studies and Women’s Studies courses. Still, when…

Did you hear the one about Bill Gates, Fauci, the Rothschilds, and the Martian?

Alien stopping point Area 51

By now, we all know someone who buys into one conspiracy theory or another. The one about COVID-19 being created by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Chinese to help pharmaceutical companies. The one where Republican and Democratic judges, Republican Attorney General Bill Barr, Republican homeland security officials, secretaries of states, state attorneys general, and software companies all conspired to steal what otherwise would’ve been a landslide election victory for Trump.

The QAnon one about Jewish Hollywood elites running an underground pedophile ring. Or the most recent one, how the Chinese were going to mass-kidnap American women so they could carry…

Let’s find a better balance between saving this country from sedition and another civil war and allowing people to speak their warped minds

A web user watching his content get censored

I was only in the second grade when I overheard my parents talking about how the Nazis planned to march in the mostly Jewish Chicago area neighborhood of Skokie, home to many Holocaust survivors. My dad was furious. “How can they let this happen?” I remember him pacing back and forth. My parents were part of the generation born right after the Holocaust, a generation whose wounds were fresh in collective traumatized Jewish hearts and minds. The truth is anti-Semitism reaches far beyond the Holocaust, but it was still the singular focus for many Jews after World War II.


Black Lives Matter, Version 20.21

Alone and Excluded in a Cafe

I’ve been watching way too much television since COVID hit.

Lately, it’s been some cheesy but charming Netflix show called The Good Place, where satanic hell architect Ted Danson experiments with new kinds of torture for people who end up in hell. He provides real human interactions and experiences to show how they can be far worse than enduring needles, fire or beatings. …

Jeffrey Kass

Thought-Leader On Race, Society, and Culture | Award-Winning Author | Speaker | Trainer | Lawyer | Latest Book: The Rona Diaries. One World. Two Pandemics.

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