There are a few things you shouldn't do on social media if you want to keep your job. One of them is posting quotes attributed to Adolph Hitler.
It shouldn't matter if you're a school teacher, construction worker, or play wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, you should lose your job for sharing Hitler quotes. Heck, even if Trump advisor Stephen Miller — the architect of Trump's most racist policies — posted a quote attributed to Adolph Hitler, he'd probably lose his job, too.
On Saturday, July 4, Eagles Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted a photo to his Instagram stories of a quote that was attributed to Adolph Hitler. He didn't make the post in an attempt to speak out against racism. Nope, his attempt was to promote anti-Semitism among Black people.
The quote he attributed to Hitler said white Jews "will blackmail America. [They] will extort America, their plan for world domination won't work if the Negroes know who they were."
According to Snopes, the quote is fake and not from Hitler. But that's besides the point, it was a disgusting paean to the "International Jew" stereotype that was promoted by the Nazi regime and has been the basis for anti-Semitism for over a century.
After the post received an immediate backlash, he made a post saying he "has no hatred."
Then, as if it somehow made things OK, he reposted the original fake Hitler quote with some of it blacked out. As if saying, here's what I was trying to get at, "Black people should still be aware of Jews who are plotting world domination."
Just in case the Hitler posts seemed like an awful one-two punch of accidental stupidity, he also posted two photos of Reverend Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, to prove his intent.
Farrakhan has a long and troubled history of anti-Semitism.
Jackson later apologized in an Instagram video where he said he knows that "Hitler is a bad person."
"I post a lot of things that are sent to me," Jackson wrote as a caption to the Instagram video. "I do not have hatred towards anyone. I really didn't realize what this passage was saying."
"Hitler has caused terrible pain to Jewish people like the pain African-Americans have suffered," he added. "We should be together fighting anti-Semitism and racism. This was a mistake to post this and I truly apologize for posting it and sorry for any hurt I have caused."
DeSean, Hitler also really didn't like Black people.
The Eagles issued a statement condemning Jackson's actions, but they didn't go far enough to say he would be punished,
https://t.co/jNk5g99jgK— Philadelphia Eagles (@Philadelphia Eagles)1594136723.0
The NFL released a statement saying it has discussed the matter with the Eagles.
It would seem to any person with an ounce of dignity and decency that coming to Jackson's defense would be a terrible idea. But, former NBA player Stephen Jackson defended DeSean Jackson on Tuesday night, saying that he was "speaking the truth" in an Instagram video.
"He was trying to educate himself, educate people, and he's speaking the truth. Right?" Stephen Jackson said. "He's speaking the truth. You know he don't hate nobody, but he's speaking the truth of the facts that he knows and trying to educate others."
This is disturbing on many many levels. https://t.co/HUqWsswuMz— Matt Brooks (@Matt Brooks)1594156594.0
So, Stephen, what was true about what DeSean said? Black people need to be wary of Jewish people trying to take over the world?
If both Jacksons want to educate themselves, they should learn the rich history that Jewish people have had in supporting the civil rights movement. They should be following the words of Martin Luther King instead of fake Hitler.
"There isn't anyone in this country more likely to understand our struggle than Jews," lawyer and close adviser, Clarence B. Jones, said King told him. "Whatever progress we've made so far as a people, their support has been essential."
Currently, the NFL has been pushing hard to be on the right side of history. It has supported Colin Kaepernick after blacklisting him for years, pledged $250 million for social justice causes, and will play the Black National Anthem before games.
If the NFL wants any credibility in its support for social justice, swift action against DeSean Jackson is necessary.
The nation may be fully enveloped in a discussion over Black lives, but in the background, the U.S. is experiencing one of the largest waves of anti-Semitism it has experienced in decades.
At this morning's #MarchAgainstAntiSemitism, a shocking number were aggressively pro-Trump and nasty about it. But… https://t.co/lZ95WW1QQz— Sunsara Taylor (@Sunsara Taylor)1578267931.0
"Anti-Semitism in 2018, including a doubling of anti-Semitic assaults and the single deadliest attack against the Jewish community in American history," the Anti-Defamation League said in a report.
Jewish people have always had to combat anti-Semitism from right-wing extremists and white supremacists and, of recent, they've been emboldened by Trump. But there has also been a growing specter of anti-Semitism coming from far left-wing anti-Israel groups as well.
"I do think what is very dangerous for us today is if, on the right, we think that only the left is anti-Semitic because of the critique of Israel, and if, on the left, you think that only the right is anti-Semitic because of white nationalism," David Nirenberg, the dean of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, told the New York Post.
"It is when you do that that the danger of anti-Semitism becoming more dispersed in different parts of society and the potential for doing significant damage becomes greater," he continued.
The NFL is a bell-weather organization that tends to reflect how we think about things as a society. Four years ago, much like the rest of the country, it was reticent to fully embrace Colin Kaepernick's protests against racial inequality.
However, in 2020, the league, much like America, is singing a completely different tune when it comes to social justice. Let's hope that as anti-Semitism once again raises its ugly head in its centuries-long game of whack-a-mole, the league will stand on the right side of history this time.
Suspend DeSean Jackson.
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