Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Controlling Society Through Hate


Recently, Philadelphia Eagles’ receiver DeSean Jackson tweeted fake antisemitic quotes supposedly from Adolf Hitler.  He was promptly chastised and apologized.

That’s not the problem.

As evil as Jackson’s misguided tweets were, the hidden agenda is worse.  Jackson’s message isn’t what he said but that he said it.  Such odious comments reflect the continuing effort by prominent whites to sic marginalized groups against each other.  That, in turn, gives the majority a free hand to do whatever they want while everyone else is distracted.

It’s a common play used in poker, where big stack players happily let the small stacks battle with each other, eliminating themselves while the rich get richer.

Jews reading from the Bible
In this country, there has long been a concerted effort to pit African-Americans against Jews, both of who remain outside the mainstream.  Jews represented about 2 percent of the American population.  In 2019, Blacks represented 13.4 percent.

Blacks are not being held back by Jews, who are concentrated in the Northeast (New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey).  As an aside, I was surprised to note that the Gallup poll found that Florida’s population was just 3 percent Jewish given the stereotype of Jews congregating in Miami Beach.)

African-Americans have been restrained by systematic racism, the same kind of bigotry that held back Jews.  In the 1920s, for example, Ivy League schools had quotas to limit the number of Jewish entries. 

In theater, the bigotry was more pronounced.  In the late 1800s, Jews grew angry at the depiction of “Yid” characters by Christian comics.  That led to an infusion of Jewish comedians.  They exaggerated stereotypes, most notably on radio with The Goldbergs, which starred Molly Berg.  The show also made it to television.

Nevertheless, movie actors for decades were advised to change their names to non-Jewish ones.  Kirk Douglas, for example, specifically chose one that had no Jewish connotation.   He was born Issur Danielovitch Demsky.  He was so successful in hiding his Jewish heritage that producer Robert Evans (who was also Jewish) was stunned when Douglas, an Orthodox Jew, flawlessly led a Passover Seder.

Danny Kaye was told to have surgery to look less Jewish.  He refused.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr., whose grandfather was Jewish, was appalled when movie moguls – many of whom were Jewish – refused to get involved in pro-Jewish films during World War II because they feared having the industry labeled as Jewish.  Even after the war, 20th Century Studios had to be pushed to produce Gentleman’s Agreement where non-Jew Gregory Peck experienced widespread antisemitism as an undercover reporter.  The movie won the 1948 Oscar as best film.

The only reason so many Jews got into movies was because respectable Christians initially looked down on the business.  Performing on stage was considered contemptible, especially for women.

As such, it was acceptable for Jews, who were banned from high society.

Cast of the Dick Van Dyke Show
In the 1960s, I caddied at a country club that was still exclusive – no Jews allowed.  That was not uncommon. 

The Dick Van Dyke Show has long been held up as a model of a situation comedy.  Written by Jews and containing a largely Jewish cast, the popular 1960s show drew the ire of TV executives who asked the show’s writers to make the character less “ethnic.”  The two stars, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, were not Jewish. 

I remember being stunned to hear a reference  to Judaism during a Barney Miller episode in the late 1970s when one of the policeman realizes star Linden was not interested in the Christmas program because he was Jewish.  Linden was Jewish away from the set, too.

In politics, antisemitism has held strong.  This country did not see a Jewish candidate for even vice president until Joe Lieberman ran unsuccessfully with Al Gore in 2000.  In contrast, Black presidential candidates have appeared on the ballot as far back as 1848, when Frederick Douglass stood for the position.

Jews have been battling antisemitism since the onset of Christianity.  It was kept alive to provide someone to blame for any calamity.  Massacres of Jews were commonplace for centuries throughout Europe, leading to the German-led Holocaust in the 1940s.

The antisemitic claims received a boost by forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was rewritten in the 1800s to frame Jews.  It was endorsed in this country by such people as industrialist Henry Ford and purported to be an outline of Jewish plans to dominate the world.

That is what DeSean Jackson referred to in his tweets, in which he claims Jews were holding back Blacks as part of their effort to control society.

Anyone seeing the chaos in Israel has to realize that Jews have demonstrated minimal ability to run any country, much less the world.

Jews marching with Dr. King Jr.
Like all western religions, they would like to see everyone become Jewish.  Christians and Muslims have the same goal.  Yet, Jews are the only ones to provide an avenue for anyone to follow Jewish morals and ethics and yet not convert.  Called Noahide laws, they were developed when sages realizes Noah preceded the first Jew, Abraham, and yet is called righteous.  They educed rules for anyone to become “righteous” without being Jewish.

That’s the opposite of world domination since “God-fearers,” as they are called don’t have to be Jewish.

In reality, Jews have been in the forefront of the Civil Rights efforts in this country and other social movements, fully aware that limits on any group limits everyone. 

They have been successful because they stress education – a byproduct of being isolated in ghettos and restricted in society.  That has led to hatred and animosity when Jews should serve as models for anyone trying to succeed in a hostile environment.

I am not trying to argue that Jews face more discrimination.  That’s not true.  It’s far easier to disguise a religion than skin color.  My point is that all minority groups suffer from discrimination, including Catholics when they first came here, the Irish and Mormons.  Muslims face similar problems today.

It’s how the majority keeps control.

Jackson’s tweets reflect that continued effort to divide and conquer.  Apparently, given the support his tweets ave received in the Black community, it’s an approach that still works.

Long-time religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious history with an occasional foray into American culture.  A member of the Unitarian Universalist Society, he holds an ABD in American Studies from Case Western Reserve University.   He also speaks at various religious organizations throughout Florida.  You can reach him at He is the author of the recently published novels Revelation! (Southern Owl Press) and The Great Seer Nostradamus Tells All (Bold Venture Press) as well as a variety of nonfiction books, including The Gospel Truth: Where Did the Gospel Writers Get Their Information and Comparative Religion for Dummies.  His books are available on, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers.  He can also be followed on Twitter.