There has been a recent wave of anti-Semitic comments and rhetoric perpetrated by athletes like DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson, as well as celebrities such as the rapper Ice Cube and radio/TV host Nick Cannon. Many people have been outraged by the comments of those people, as the comments are hurtful to Jewish people and those athletes/celebrities usually have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers on the social media platforms where they are saying these comments.
Although many have been outraged, the anti-Semitism has seemingly been brushed off by most, although we are in the midst of another social justice reform fight in the Black Lives Matter movement. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the former Laker who has been one of the most prominent fighters for social justice over the course of his entire life, discussed this ongoing problem in an Opinion Editorial for The Hollywood Reporter. His whole piece can be read here and should be read in full by everyone, but below are his closing words:
The lesson never changes, so why is it so hard for some people to learn: No one is free until everyone is free. As Martin Luther King Jr. explained: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.” So, let’s act like it. If we’re going to be outraged by injustice, let’s be outraged by injustice against anyone.
Abdul-Jabbar also discusses the problems that this unaddressed anti-Semitism can cause to the Black Lives Matter movement, saying this specifically in reference to Stephen Jackson and DeSean Jackson:
These statements would be laughed at by anyone with a middle-school grasp of reason, but then former NBA player Stephen Jackson, a self-proclaimed activist, undid whatever progress his previous advocacy may have achieved by agreeing with DeSean Jackson on social media. Then he went on to talk about the Rothschilds owning all the banks and his support for the notorious homophobe and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. That is the kind of dehumanizing characterization of a people that causes the police abuses that killed his friend, George Floyd.