Much has been written about left-wing anti-Semitism and the pernicious role played by the universities in fomenting it.
Rather less has been written about the anti-Semitism perpetrated by radical black groups, such as Nation of Islam or Black Lives Matter, which finds routine and largely unremarked expression among rappers, for example, and has infiltrated parts of the black community.
There has been little discussion of the linkage between anti-white and anti-Jewish feeling. And there’s been virtually no acknowledgement of the way in which this whole toxic train of thought has been unwittingly institutionalized by governments and other official bodies.
Western governments, companies and institutions are in large measure currently enforcing training in “unconscious bias” and “diversity.”
The ostensible aim is to promote tolerance and inclusion. In fact, such training teaches people to hate. It tells them that both their country and Western society in general are hateful because they are structurally prejudiced against black people; and if these trainees are white, it tells them they are racist and teaches them to hate themselves.
Not only is all of this a terrible smear on the overwhelming majority who are decent people. It is racial prejudice against white people. It damns an entire ethnicity on the basis of the color of people’s skin.
Worse still, “unconscious bias” means not only that everyone is a racial bigot even if they don’t consciously think in those terms; but also that, if they say they aren’t prejudiced, this merely proves that they are. This is Soviet-style totalitarian doublethink.
This pernicious development owes its origins to critical race theory, which grew up in the universities in the 1970s and 1980s alongside other radical doctrines such as women’s studies and “queer” studies. These are all aspects of identity politics and victim culture, whose aim is the overthrow of core Western values.
Spawned by Marxist analysis, this doctrine divides society into groups defined by power and powerlessness. It accuses the former of oppression, while bestowing upon the latter impunity for their actions. Accordingly, it has long been driving university humanities departments off the intellectual and moral rails.
So it comes as no surprise that critical race theory is also inherently anti-Jew, the bigotry that is the infallible marker of moral and rational disintegration.
Its mantra is that white skin is the hallmark of racist abuse of power. Then it flips that to say that all in positions of power are white. So Jews are considered white oppressors because they are seen as powerful.
Of course, many Jews are brown-skinned, and a number are black. But Jews are deemed to be white because they are seen as powerful, capitalist and rich—classic anti-Semitic stereotyping.
So this “anti-racist” anti-Semitism is not merely caused by left-wingers viewing Israel falsely as a colonialist oppressor. This is anti-Semitism before Israel even enters the equation, and is the type of Jew-hatred that goes back centuries.
Of course, these “anti-racists” cannot possibly admit they are anti-Jew. After all, the Jews are the world’s most persecuted and unambiguous victims, the historic targets not just of bigotry, oppression and slavery but of genocide.
So this presents an intolerable contradiction in the minds of “diversity” acolytes. As a result, they minimize Jewish suffering—or even, preposterously, try to turn it into an adjunct of oppressive white power.
So some deny the Holocaust; or claim that Anne Frank is only regarded as a victim because she was white; or that “the Holocaust is given more historical weight than other genocides” because Ashkenazi Jews are white.
And for all this, these people are given a free pass. The anti-Semitism of critical race theory is strenuously denied by its proponents and ignored by everyone else.
The Harvard University law professor Derrick Bell, who is regarded as the founding father of the doctrine, wrote in 1992 that the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was perhaps the best example of a black man “able to ‘tell it like it is’ regarding who is responsible for racism in this country.” This was the same Farrakhan who refers to “the Satanic Jews that control everything and mostly everybody.”
It’s bad enough that the universities and left-wing politics have been captured by this sinister dogma. But now, with widespread uncritical acclaim in the west for Black Lives Matter and its agenda, critical race theory has been elevated to a wholly different level.
Government agencies, businesses, schools and other institutions are now systematically indoctrinating people into this anti-white thinking. As a result, the destruction of society’s moral compass is being institutionalized.
President Donald Trump has tried to fight back. Last month, he issued an executive order prohibiting federal funding of “divisive concepts” in any workplace training within federal agencies or by private contractors to the federal government. Nine such concepts were listed, including the idea that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
It was a brave and necessary move. But will the withdrawal of federal funding succeed in reversing such a profound cultural capture? And if Joe Biden wins the presidency, we can expect to see this executive order dropped, and anti-white bigotry elevated still further into an unchallengeable and mandatory doctrine.
It’s already become an inquisition that’s gone viral. In America, employees have had to attend sessions where they are told ‘“virtually all white people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say they “benefit from racism.”
In Britain, the chief librarian of the British Library has claimed that “racism is a creation of white people.” One of parliament’s “equality networks” has created a “digital wall” where staff can “acknowledge their privilege.” One such confession read: “I am a white man and from that privileged position I now see that I can’t ever fully understand the relentless impact of racism.”
Those promulgating such indoctrination are well-meaning people who want to combat racial prejudice. They’d be baffled by the suggestion that they are actually perpetrating it. They’d undoubtedly be horrified at the idea that they might be contributing to anti-Jewish prejudice. Indeed, some of those who have signed up to all this are themselves Jews.
Unfortunately, however, they are useful idiots. They don’t understand the agenda that lies behind their efforts. They don’t realize they are turning Britain and America into Salem.
And that’s because they themselves have internalized the belief in white guilt over colonialist oppression—a guilt so strong they feel the need to make reparations by denouncing their own culture and ethnicity for its supposedly unique evil.
Yet clearly, they have not similarly internalized guilt for the way their culture has treated the Jewish people over the centuries. They aren’t providing workplace training in structural antisemitism. They aren’t tearing down statues of historic anti-Semites. They aren’t requiring confessions of unconscious bias against the Jews.
Nor should they do so. And no one should deny the West’s history of colonialism and slavery.
But colonialism and slavery were practiced in other cultures—and still are. The diversity acolytes perversely focus their attack only on the west over the wrongs it did to darker-skinned people, all the time ignoring their culture’s own historic persecution of the Jews—and are now adopting a doctrine that targets them once again.
The Jews are often said to serve as the canaries in the coal mine. But now, the mine is in the process of blowing itself up—and the Jews may soon be just a speck amidst the rubble.
Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for “The Times of London,” her personal and political memoir, “Guardian Angel,” has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, “The Legacy,” in 2018. Go to melaniephillips.substack.com to access her work.