JEWISH LESSONS FOR COMBATTING OPPRESSION
Passover is the story of the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. From brutal oppression and harsh conditions, the Jewish people were able to cling to their identity, help their fellows and connect with allies in their journey from bondage to freedom. Jeffrey uses the lessons of the Jewish story as a blueprint for our modern race problems, borrowing from his years of learning ancient Jewish texts with renowned rabbis in Israel, New York and St. Louis.
BLACK LIVES MATTER, VERSION 20.21
This essay uses the Netflix show The Good Place as the backdrop for discussing how our society likes to present itself as The Good Place when, for far too many people of color, it can often be a bad place. Rather than point fingers, Author Jeffrey Kass asks readers to just practice empathy and hear what types of things hurt and ail much of the Black community. To listen to others’ pain. To understand why people embrace Black Lives Matter.
TIME TO CELEBRATE PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Lovers of peace and justice have a tough time assigning anything good to Donald Trump. By any standard, he stoked the flames of hatred, gave renewed voice to white supremacists and disrespected so many groups it was hard to keep track. From Charlottesville good people on both sides to Mexican rapists, nobody fighting for social justice respects Trump. So when 45 helped procure multiple peace agreements in the Middle East, many on the left remained silent. Author and activist Jeffrey Kass reminds us in this essay that the peace agreements he helped secure among Israel, UAE, Dubai and Morocco are good, regardless of the wrapping paper they came in. That anytime you bring former enemies to peace and normalization it’s a good thing.
This essay is a must read for people wanting intellectual honesty. Lovers of peace and justice have a tough time assigning anything good to Donald Trump. By any standard, he stoked the flames of hatred, gave renewed voice to white supremacists and disrespected so many groups it was hard to keep track. From Charlottesville good people on both sides to Mexican rapists, nobody fighting for social justice respects Trump. So when 45 helped procure multiple peace agreements in the Middle East, many on the left remained silent.
Author and activist Jeffrey Kass reminds us in this essay that the peace agreements he helped secure among Israel, UAE, Dubai and Morocco are good, regardless of the wrapping paper they came in. That anytime you bring former enemies to peace and normalization it’s a good thing. This essay is a must read for people wanting intellectual honesty.
MARGINALIZED GROUPS AREN’T RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL SINS OF THEIR MEMBERS
When a white man shoots up a Vegas nightclub or guns people down in Florida, there’s nobody calling on other whites to condemn them on behalf of the white people. But for some reason, when some member of a minority group, whether it be a Black man, a Jew or a Muslim, we look these groups to issue broad condemnations. As if the bad person committed the crime or heinous act in the name of all people who look or worship like him. This essay explores why this double standard isn’t fair.
NOW TIME TO GET RADICAL ON RACE
People involved in fighting for racial justice are dancing in the street after the defeat of Donald Trump. Indeed, there was much to be concerned about under his presidency. The election is over now, and author Jeffrey Kass in this essay reminds us that racism didn’t start in the last four years and we can’t let our guard down just because Biden-Harris won. Kass gives real solutions to tackling are centuries old issues,
When the Ohio State Buckeyes put the word “Equality” on the back of their helmets to start the COVID-19 reduced 2020 football season, thousands took to Facebook and Twitter to express their outrage. “How dare they mix politics and football.” “Their ruining college football.” And other similar less PG statements. This essay breaks down how we have devolved into a society where even the word “Equality” triggers people into fear and anger.
Most people opposed to Donald Trump have a tough time understanding how any good person could possibly still support him after all of his nasty statements. After his refusal to loudly condemn white supremacists. And after his barrage of race-baiting comments. Not into cancel culture himself, author and activist Jeffrey Kass dives into a theories why well-meaning charitable people still support Donald Trump.
The vice presidential debate between Harris and Pence wasn’t all that exciting but to the chagrin of many, Mike Pence held his own and stuck to his guns. It may have been a big win for the Trump-Pence ticket but then something funny happened. A fly landed on Pence’s white hair. It was the talk of America instead of Pence’s stronger than expected performance and Harris so-so responses. In this essay, author and attorney Jeffrey Kass has some debating tips for Biden and Pence.
This essay moves us from the Biden-Trump debate into a discussion on cancel culture and mutual respect. Author Jeffrey Kass doesn’t suggest reducing your values or accepting abhorrent behavior or leaders, but he advocates for a more nuanced way of engaging our fellow Americans, which include family and friends so that we do not continue to digress into the abyss of conflict. This piece causes us to reflect on how we deal with people with whom we disagree. Sometimes even strongly.
DEFAMATION AND DISTRACTION
Too often people, particularly on the far left, are so quick to lump the Jews and Israel in with every colonial conquest the world has seen. They do this in the stated name of advocating for Palestinians. This essay dives into why this is counter-productive and actually doesn’t help the Palestinian cause. Author and activist Jeffrey Kass reminds us that the Jews have a 3,000 year connection to the land of Israel and didn’t colonialize anything. Recognizing rather than canceling the Jewish indigenous connection to that land will allow us to practice intellectual honesty and then actually address where the Jewish state has failed the Palestinians.
This essay comes just after the death of Supreme Court and social justice giant Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The abortion debate is often the first thing one thinks of when we talk about the Supreme Court. Author Jeffrey Kass uses this backdrop to help us reflect on what the sanctity of life must truly mean for all living, walking, breathing people. That we can’t simply focus on an unborn baby and then ignore the quality of a person’s life after birth. Justice Ginsburg spent her life fighting for equality for women and it’s a great example for us to recalibrate our energy.
THE ROADMAP OUT. A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE
People often ask what can I do to help end systemic racism and injustices. There are many layers to this, but Kass delves into why mindfully supporting Black-owned businesses is one important step in the path to real progress. He uses the backdrop of the Jewish experience coming to America and how they used support for their businesses to move up the American ladder.
WHY WE SHOULD SUPPORT SPORTS STARS TAKING A STANCE
NBA players decided to cancel games and refuse to play in the wake of racial strife and more police killing of unarmed Black men and women. Author Jeffrey Kass explores why we should support these players and their standing up for their brothers and sisters. Why in this country we want to support and encourage peaceful and verbal protest and change. We can’t take away voice and then simultaneously expect people not to try other methods of change. Thank you LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and company for standing up for Black and Brown people.
At some point, the word conservative got twisted. I grew up thinking it meant an approach that was careful. Not too risky. Cautious. Not loosey goosey. Thoughtful. My best friend’s dad was a conservative and he also was a conservationist. An environmentalist. He wanted to play it safe with our planet and not just hope the scientists were wrong.
Nowadays, though, conservative seems to have lost its meaning. It especially reared its ugly face during COVID-19 where many conservatives were outraged over having to wear mask. This essay undresses conservatism with the hope of returning to its roots.
HOW THE TERMS WE USE IMPACT THE PACE OF CHANGE
Social justice warriors may be well-intended but sometimes the words chosen to advance the cause of justice end up having opposite consequences.
This essay explores why words matter. When we call something genocide or apartheid, what does that mean? When we use words like diversity and inclusion, what does that mean? Our word choices impact how fast we will heal so many of our world’s problems.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s on the left or right, society has reached a difficult place where we no longer can have real conversations without one side demeaning and canceling the other side. The disagree with me or you’re an idiot manner we deal with each other is having horrific consequences for society.
Cancel culture has reached the boiling point. So much so that people with varying opinions that cross the political spectrum—the good ole independent thinking people—no longer have a place. This essay dives into why this problem needs to be addressed immediately.
Sending In The Federal Troops: Solution or Accelerant For More Violence?
At one point, the U.S. contemplated sending in federal troops to stop violence in our most dangerous cities. South side of Chicago one of them. But what policymakers don’t understand is that our problems with crime will never be solved with more military style weapons and more police. It’s time to think long term. Mass investment in education, in training and other programs that uplift instead of jail people is our only path forward.
Author Jeffrey Kass takes his three kids (now teenagers) on vacation every year. In recent years, that has involved trips overseas. But because his kids are Jewish and wear yarmulkes (Jewish head coverings) he often requires them to wear ballcaps because of the dangers Jews face in Europe and other places.
During COVID-19, he had to take them somewhere in the U.S., so they went to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for hiking, bike riding, tubing, ATVing and the like. He was reminded that as much as our country suffers from so many xenophobic ills, his kids didn’t have to wear baseball hats in the U.S. Kass uses this story has a backdrop for how we can end systemic racism in the U.S.
Conspiracy theories have always been around, but they seem to have increased each year since the Internet. The Jews did it, or the Jews are controlling the world ones seem to have spread like wildfire. Jeffrey Kass uses the backdrop of these absurd theories to remind people that the negative acts of individuals, from any ethnic or ethno-religious group, shouldn’t be used as a reflection of the whole. Enough of the Jewish Rothschild Family already.
The case for reparations for slavery has been discussed and re-discussed for generations. But it’s usually pro-reparations with vague details versus anti-reparations with no recognition of the havoc America caused to so many families. This essay by race expert Jeffrey Kass discusses tangible ideas for administering a reparations program aimed at actually repairing rather than just compensating.
READING THE ESSAYS
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