Time for Mutual Recognition


Across the pond here in the U.S., many see the recent unrest, violence, terror, death and destruction in Israel and Palestine as another typical round in the cycle of he-said-she-said that has plagued the two peoples for nearly a century.

For most Israelis and Jews worldwide, it’s the violence and terror Israelis face. The rain of rockets from terror groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It’s about the Jews’ right to live on their original indigenous land they were kicked out of so many times and could finally return to. To prevent another Holocaust from ever…

The one hatred that doesn’t get canceled

Charles Lindbergh Stamp/Shutterstock

Pepé Le Pew, the misogynist feline-groping cartoon character that Dave Chapelle once joked about when he turned on the cartoon for his nephew, “Good god, what kind of fucking rapist is this guy,” is now gone. Canceled because of its contribution to offensive ideas about disrespect and abuse of women. I vaguely recall seeing the creepy, smelly skunk as a kid, but since then I hadn’t thought much about it. So I went back and watched a few episodes online.

There he was, Pepé physically pushing himself onto the reluctant cat Penelope. The cat is frightened. She tells the skunk…

In memory of too many to list

Black man with worried look after being pulled over/Mike Focus-Shutterstock

They thought D’Arreion was an intruder in their apartment building

They thought Ahmad was a robber

They thought 12 year old Tamir’s toy was a gun

They thought Alton’s and Amadou’s wallets were guns

They thought 120 pound massage therapist Elijah wearing a ski mask made him “sketchy”

They thought bird watching Christian was threatening their lives

They thought Amadou was reaching for a gun

They thought Trayvon looked suspicious

They thought Willie’s itch on his chest was him reaching for his gun

They thought Marvin was acting strange

They thought Andre’s keychain was a revolver

They thought Terrence looked…

Racial complacency is never a good thing

President Joe Biden speaks at a climate summit. // Getty Images

If there’s going to be any societal shift after the brutal murder of George Floyd and the conviction of Derek Chauvin, it certainly should be that large segments of America will finally acknowledge the seriousness and gravity of racism.

Former President Barack Obama said it best following Floyd’s death:

In some ways, as tragic as these past few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they’ve been, they’ve also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened to some of these underlying trends.

The past year’s mass protests were some of the largest in American history…

AYA Images/Shutterstock

I recently saw a meme that said, “Only in America do you find a kid wearing $150 tennis shoes, drinking a $5 cup of coffee, typing on his $1,000 iPhone, complaining on social media about racism.”

Ahhhh, the empathy.

The meme follows numerous comments I’ve heard recently in some circles proclaiming that racism is overstated. Exaggerated. That there’s no pervasive racism against Black people in America. Sure, there’s a few whacko white supremacists and a handful of bad cops, they say, but no significant racism from regular mainstream white folk.

It’s not the Black engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, autoworkers, electricians…

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…

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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