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Many Voices, One Freedom: United in the 1st Amendment

April 22, 2024

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When I was in law school, critical race theory was an academic exercise reserved for graduate school mental gymnastics. Unfortunately, the overlords have used the reality of lingering racism to divide those who have spent years coming together. Improving fairness and living conditions for all in our society has taken an ugly turn. We went from striving for equal opportunity to a contest to see who is the most oppressed victim.

Moreover, people used to be happy that there were all kinds of folks who did good work for their communities, no matter their political leanings. Now only those who swear upon the Social Justice gods that our society is driven by the struggle between the oppressors and the oppressed are allowed to be called righteous. To be legitimate, one must reject “dominant, exploitative systems in the United States, which are largely reliant on anti-Black racism, colonialism, cisheteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism…” as White Coats for Black Lives instructs.

The recent rise in antisemitism is the canary in the coal mine for the growing hatred of those who are not like you. Ironically, UC Berkeley, home of the free speech movement of the 1960s, has “woke” campus groups seeking to ban speakers who support Israel. Demonizing others to prop up another group is unjust.

Jewish tradition warns that one must not pursue justice through unjust means.

The concept applies to all of us. It is unjust when medical institutions have “race” as a factor in distributing anti-COVID medications or, in the name of reparations, favor black heart failure patients for treatment. There are health disparities, but we need more open discussion on dealing with them without shortchanging others.

It’s time to remember the line from the 1946 poem by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller: “Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

The dangerous path of modern-day woke-ism fosters group biases rather than focusing on an individual’s character. So let’s have more debate. It’s time to speak up.

My guest David L. Bernstein is a long-time Jewish leader. We will discuss how woke ideology shuts down discussion of sensitive topics and is a breeding ground for antisemitism.

David L. Bernstein founded the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values (JILV). The Institute supports viewpoint diversity, counters woke ideology in the Jewish community, and opposes novel forms of antisemitism emerging from woke ideology. He served as president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs as the national umbrella for local Jewish advocacy. He recently wrote a book, Woke Antisemitism, exploring how progressive ideology harms Jews.


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MANY VOICES, ONE FREEDOM: UNITED IN THE 1ST AMENDMENT

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