How identity politics helped to resuscitate anti-Semitism

Aug 1, 2020 by

by Brendan O’Neill, spiked:

Poor Wiley. The grime king must be having a hard time. He clearly has mental-health problems. What he needs is a bit of a talking-to and some education. ‘It’s just really sad’, as Lily Allen said about Wiley’s hate-filled social-media posts about Jews.

This has been the general tone of the discussion about Wiley’s 48-hour spouting of vile racist hatred against Jewish people. There has been an almost sympathetic undertone. (Allen was criticised by her social-media followers for being a Wiley ‘sympathiser’.) Where racism is normally condemned in the strongest terms possible – as disgusting, destructive, a pox, a scourge – Wiley’s anti-Jewish racism seemed to be treated more leniently. It was wrong, divisive, unacceptable. Just unacceptable?

Many have noted the hypocritical double standards on social-media outlets in relation to anti-Jewish racism. If you misgender a trans person, you’ll be booted off Twitter and other platforms faster than you can say the word misogyny. But Wiley’s tweets saying Jews run everything, and are a horrible, double-dealing people, and are ‘snakes’, and ‘you make me sick’, lingered on Twitter for hours and hours.

[…] To see how differently anti-Semitism is treated in relation to other forms of racism, just imagine if a white celebrity had spent the best part of two days tweeting incessantly about what a disgusting race black people are. Or if a rapper raged against Muslims for hours on end and accused them of being a malignant presence in our societies. Do you think Corbynistas would have said those people just need some education? Do you think there would be silence on the comment pages of newspapers, as there has been in relation to Wiley? Of course not. There would be noisy public outrage. The celebrity’s rants would be held up as proof of widespread anti-black racism or Islamophobia across society. But Wiley’s rants? It’s just Jews. Calm down.

Why is anti-Semitism treated as less bad than other forms of racism?

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