Blacks and Jews: It’s the ‘great’ Gordon/Wolf debate


(re: “Don’t call me a racist — I’m not,” April 22)

This is my response to Alvin Gordon’s response to my response to Mr. Gordon’s Point of View — did I leave anything out?

We have to stop meeting this way. I promise to end this with these remarks. But as Mr. Gordon says, he is on “pins and needles waiting for a response from that noted psychologist, Peter Wolf.” Who am I to refuse him? And who knew I was a “noted” psychologist?

I am beginning to feel sorry for Mr. Gordon, having to live constantly with this belly full of anger. (Aside from hostility to Blacks, there was an old letter from him in 2019 describing the entrance of immigrants to the United States as a “locust-like invasion”).

Mr. Gordon claims I don’t give cogent arguments to rebut what he says. But what he says is basically name-calling and contempt. “That Jew-hater” is pretty much his description of everybody Black.

I stopped referring to his remarks somewhere after the first half-dozen because there isn’t enough space to consider them all, and most of them are just name-calling.

For instance, the Crown Heights conflict in 1991 (must one go back 30 years to find Black anti-Semitism?) which he calls a “pogrom.” He mentions the death of Yankel Rosenbaum, but not Gavin Cato. And he blames David Dinkins for doing nothing, although Dinkins pleaded to stop a march of Black residents through the Hasidic neighborhood.

He also doesn’t mention that the first Jewish ambulance refused to take the injured Black persons and just the Jewish one (the second ambulance did), which was incendiary for the Black community.

I don’t have space to deal with the complexity of events that Mr. Gordon ignores — “Blacks hate Jews” explains everything for him. But if interested, look up “Crown Heights Riot” on Wikipedia. It’s complicated and tragic, not a conflict between good and evil.

Was there anti-Semitism? Yes. Was there racism? Yes. The history of the world is filled with tribal conflict and hatred. Sadly, that is in our nature as a species, which we need to understand and control, as we are all more human than otherwise.

There is Black anti-Semitism. There is white anti-Semitism. There is white racism. What should be obvious to any objective observer is that, in the United States, white supremacist neo-Nazis are infinitely more of a danger to Jews (and Blacks) than Black Lives Matter groups — which are no danger to Jews.

Do the math — starting with the synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Gordon also seems to lump Obama, Farrakhan, Dinkins, Sharpton and every other Black leader together. Their only commonality is that they are Black. The shrapnel of rage seems to go in all directions Black. What can one say about comments like the “extremely lucrative Black Lives Matter movement,” which one can’t criticize “without being threatened, assaulted, attacked.”

Who is getting the money? Who is being assaulted and threatened? You, Mr. Gordon?

Mr. Gordon scolds me for not discussing Al Sharpton and asks for my opinion, so I will respond. Mr. Gordon calls him a “vicious, evil, Black racist, Jew-hating person.” I call him a publicity hound who never saw a camera he didn’t like.

For me, he’s done some good, some bad. In regard to Crown Heights, Coretta Scott King told him (see the “Al Sharpton” Wikipedia page) “sometimes you are tempted to speak to the applause of the crowd rather than the heights of the cause, and you will say cheap things to get cheap applause rather than do high things to raise the nation higher.”

I agree with Ms. King. His anti-Semitic insults seem more like to come from a desire to get applause or to inflict momentary pain — like calling someone a “fat pig,” although you are not really against overweight people.

Sharpton is older now, and tamer. Although he’s still seeking the limelight.

I will end with this. Mr. Gordon claims to be concerned about the well-being of the Jews. But I never hear anything from him that shows a connection with Judaism — with its traditions, a positive identity, a sense of community. Just paranoia about Blacks, immigrants, and who knows who else.

That’s not a “professional opinion,” just an obvious observation.

Mr. Gordon, you don’t seem to find joy in your Judaism, just hatred of “them.” (Any resemblance to Donald J. Trump is not coincidental.)

Where is the joy in your life? Celebrate your Jewish identity. Don’t just use it to throw stones. That’s a lonely existence.

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Peter Wolf,