How many of these students are Jewish?
A Message From Our Board and ED
Jews in ALL Hues would like to invite you into a conversation about the recent events in Ferguson, MO, and its impact on our multi-heritage community. Two weeks ago, Michael Brown – an 18 year unarmed teenager – was shot to death by a Ferguson police officer. Throughout this tragedy, many people have spoken out against the shooting, the militarization of the Ferguson Police Dept., the attacks on protesters and journalists, and the complacency that many Americans continue to exhibit every day.
We, the Board of Jews in ALL Hues, stand with the people of Ferguson not only because uprooting racism is the civic responsibility of all Americans, but also for the fact that there are African-American and Latino Jews living in Ferguson. The commentaries and articles that have come from our Jewish communities leave out this direct connection when calling for action in Ferguson.
From our collective experiences with institutionalized racism – both in and outside of the Jewish community – we, the leadership of Jews in ALL Hues see the events in Ferguson as part of a systemic problem in the United States. Institutionalized racism has led to many being disenfranchised both socially and economically. In the Jewish community there have been few responses, but even fewer actions. In part, it has to do with the underlying assumption that Jews are “white” and thus unaffected by institutionalized racism. This assumption denies recognition of the experiences of the many multi-heritage Jews who are directly affected by police brutality, racial profiling, micro-aggressions, gender bias, economic injustice and racism on a daily basis. These experiences include their/our friends and family members who may not be Jewish, but are affected just as much, if not more.
Just as we recognize the tragedies that have befallen minoritized people, we acknowledge the good work that continues in and outside of the Jewish community in the struggle for racial justice. Let us continue to struggle against bigotry and institutionalized racism not only in Ferguson, but within our own communities.
Here are some actions you can take:
1. Attend a training seminar on anti-bias and anti-racism to help stop the cycle of prejudice in your own community. We have one coming up on micro-aggressions in September.
2. Don’t speak about us without us. We need to see more multi-heritage Jews, and Jews of color, in non-token leadership roles in our communities.
3. Align yourself with an organization – both inside and outside of the Jewish community – who are working on racial equality. For outside, we recommend www.colorofchange.org to see how you can get involved with national campaigns.
4. Join a local Citizen’s Review Board
If we truly want to change the world we must change ourselves, and inspire others in the process. “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” (Pirke Avot 2:21)
JIAH Board: Cody Greenes, R. Lynn Gottlieb, Rachel Blake
ED/Founder: Jared Jackson