A lot is awry at the moment: political violence in America, white nationalists in the streets, and a general feeling of unease as 5783 kicks off with a renewed sense of dread and antisemitism. A recap of October.
040: Freedom in the time of Shavuot
Listening to people steeped in privilege complain of their oppression and compare it to slavery is particularly hard if you’re a person of color. It’s difficult to process, too, as a queer person, or a Jewish or Muslim person.
Freedom ends when you harm others. “Freedom” means something radically different to groups accustomed to dominating and oppressing others.
We’re approaching Shavuot, the receiving of Torah at Sinai that marked the transition from slavery in Egypt to freedom in Israel. The tribe of Israel was now the Jewish people.
This is the perfect time to talk about white victimhood and white nationalism and how it makes this country ungovernable. It’s killing thousands right now.
Below, a protestor holds a sign with an image of a real-life slave forced to wear a mask because she was so beautiful.
Above, from Ikar: People are doing all kinds of strange things in the name of “freedom” these days. Today’s learning: Shavuot and the real meaning of our freedom. Listen to Rabbi Sharon Brous’s A Few of My Favorite Things today at 12pm (Ikar)
Over at the NY Times we see those pushing hardest for full reopening of the economy – and also bankrolling these protests – sure aren’t going back to work themselves (Fox News included) and in fact, acknowledge the danger they’re creating by wanting to not be liable for the lives they’re risking.
Meanwhile, financial elites are eager for everyone else to resume powering the economy. “‘People Will Die. People Do Die.’ Wall Street Has Had Enough of the Lockdown,” was the headline on a recent Vanity Fair article. It cited a banker calling for “broad legal indemnification for employers against claims related to the virus” so that employees can’t sue if their workplace exposes them to illness. Here we see the real coronavirus class divide.
We’re the only country doing this so poorly, killing so many, and then having protests because we can’t do things worse and sacrifice more working poor.
It doesn’t have to be this way:
- There Are Sensible Ways to Reopen a Country. Then There’s America’s Approach, Time
- The conservative victimhood complex has made America impossible to govern at The Week
I leave you with this, on white privilege.
Text in image: @itsbeargrillz – Honest question: why do you think the United States is the only country on earth that is protesting being locked down?
Commenter, Samantha: Because people who have never truly been oppressed are being inconvenienced for the first time in their lives and don’t understand what it means to sacrifice in the name of the greater good. Individualist culture, institutionalized racism, commodity fetishism, and selfishness.
I agree 100%.