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.
Virtually every group seems to be quick to harshly criticize other groups and slow to criticize their own. When Black folks give the likes of Farrakhan and Jesse a free pass, it wasn’t because of their anti-Semitism, it was because they stood up for Black folks.
When Jews defend Israel and Netanyahu at all costs, it isn’t because Israel, like every country, does things that are wrong. It’s because the world has always gone after the Jews and Israel is the one place that defends Jews. Still, this essay is a call for a reexamination of what Author Jeffrey Kass calls “ethnic narccisism.”
The Misplaced Decision to Deport 250,000 College Students
The Trump administration used COVID-19 to expel certain international students who would not be attending classes in person—which during the pandemic was almost every person from a country of people of color. Author Jeffrey Kass discusses the importance of diversity of people and ideas in education, as well as the untold amount of contributions immigrants, including many of color, have made to this country.
There’s been much talk of white privilege. The phrase tends to send many white folks, who themselves have endured life’s challenges, into a denying tailspin. There obviously are poor whites. Whites who have been incarcerated. Whites who have had rough childhoods. Etc. This essay discusses the importance of the language and methods we use to advance the cause of social justice. To help cure our country’s dark racist past. But Kass also dials down the offense at phrases like white privilege and instead urges people to have empathy for others’ experiences.
Democrats and Racism
Social justice warriors have been conditioned to blame every race related issue on Republicans and the right wing. The Democrats have enjoyed unwavering support from the Black community and its allies for half a century or more. This essay explores that while many on the right have indeed made our race problems worse, we ought not to ignore the failed solutions and racism on the left. We need solutions to systemic racism above party loyalty.
With competing policy proposals on what, if anything, to do with the state of police in this country, this essay explores ideas on police reform that are badly needed if we are to prevent our communities from further decay and prevent even more racial division and strife. There’s a of talk about defund the police, abolish the police and the like. Most people know we need police to protect and to serve but we don’t need them to harm, kill and harass. Addressing how Black and Brown men and women have been repeatedly mistreated at the hands of law enforcement is long overdue.
The town hall aired on Wednesday, June 3 on 9Listens. You can watch it again on the video player attached to this story.
Author: Allison Sylte
Published: 6:59 PM MDT June 2, 2020
Updated: 8:41 PM MDT June 3, 2020
DENVER — The “9LISTENS: Racism and the Road to Change” town hall brought together multiple different voices who discussed race in Colorado, the death of George Floyd and where we go from here.
Those voices ranged from Elisabeth Epps of the Colorado Freedom Fund, who has marched alongside protesters in downtown Denver, to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen, who heads an institution many demonstrated against and Jeffrey Kass, a thought-Leader On Race, Society, and Culture as well as an Award-Winning Author.
“Justice will not be served until those unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” -Ben Franklin
IP attorney Jeffrey Kass puts personal history into ‘traumedy’ writing
written by Tony Flesor for Last Week Colorado
Editor’s Note: This Law Week feature focuses on the creative writing of attorney Jeffrey Kass. Read Kass’ essay “Twenty-Four Inches” here.
Jeffrey Kass works at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith as an intellectual property attorney, spending his time between the Denver and St. Louis offices. As a writer, though, he can typically be found around Aviano Coffee in Cherry Creek where he devotes his mornings to putting his personal stories into creative stories and essays.
Now, he’s up front about his views but he keeps them con ned to his stories. His world view comes out in the situations he chooses to write about and how he chooses to write about them.
One story, for example, details his journey across the border from Israel to Jordan — if only for a day — while keeping that monologue running about religious and ethnic tensions between the countries.
His stories developed into his branded style after a failed engagement. He said he realized he was with an emotionally cold person who didn’t understand his “love language” — he began wondering why he would choose someone like that and wondered what that said about him. From there, he began confronting his own past in a new way. As he describes it, “we’re all just repeating our comfortability from childhood.”
In his stories, he regularly revisits the things that affected him, and he says they can get crass or offensive. But that doesn’t mean they cross any lines that might harm his image as a trustworthy attorney.
“These stories will offend, they will engage, they will make you think, but they’re not so offensive that you don’t want me as your lawyer,” he said.
In fact, he thinks his straight-for- ward demeanor helps him with clients. Close clients whom he’s worked with for a long time likely wouldn’t be surprised by anything that comes out in his writing. He said he believes clients want to know they’re working with a real person.
His creative writing might have bled into his legal writing once or twice as well. He said his writing has loosened up.
To read this story and other complete articles featured in the April 15, 2019 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.
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