On January 29, 2019, Chicago Police opened a hate crime investigation into the alleged assault of Empire actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett, who is black and gay, alleged that two men approached him at 2 a.m. in Chicago, where they shouted “f*****” and “n*****,” tried to wrap a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him. He also told TMZ that the men shouted, “This is MAGA country.”
The story received unending press. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), tweeted, “The racist, homophobic attack on [Smollett] is an affront to our humanity.” Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called it a “modern-day lynching.” Congresswoman and Fresh Face™ of the Democratic Party Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed anyone who questioned the story, tweeting, “The attack was not ‘possibly’ homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack.”
The media ran with the story. Good Morning America hosted Smollett, where he maligned anyone who asked questions as a racist and a homophobe. CNN’s Brooke Baldwin stated, “This is America in 2019.” Celebrities parroted their support for Smollett, with many blaming President Trump and Vice President Pence for the attack.
The story was a hoax.
That same night, a Jewish man in New York was beaten by three thugs. Nothing was stolen. The attack was caught on video.
Outside of a report in The Jerusalem Post, the story received virtually no attention.
This isn’t the only story of anti-Semitism in New York. Not by a long shot. Two weeks before that beating, a Jewish man, 19, was “violently assaulted” as he walked past a local laundromat by a group of teenage black males. In December, a 16-year-old Jewish teen spent a week in a hospital after being beaten by two other teens; witnesses said that the teens screamed “Kill the Jew.” The NYPD categorized the attack as “gang related” rather than a hate crime, angering Jews in the area. This weekend, vandals shattered the window of a Chabad in Bushwick as the rabbi and his family slept inside.
In fact, according to NBC New York, “The city has seen a sharp increase in reported hate crimes so far in 2019, the NYPD said. Police had investigated 42 hate crimes through Feb. 4, compared with 19 at the same point last year. Most of those were anti-Semitic.” The New York Times reported in October of last year that “there have been four times as many crimes motivated by bias against Jews — 142 in all — as there have against blacks. Hate crimes against Jews have outnumbered hate crimes targeted at transgender people by a factor of 20.”
None of this has received media attention comparable to the Smollett situation. Why? Because, as the Times also admitted in October, “anti-Semitism bypasses consideration as a serious problem in New York … because it refuses to conform to an easy narrative with a single ideological enemy.” In other words, it doesn’t fit the narrative.
Indeed, the narrative the Left wishes to push is that America is deeply discriminatory and bigoted, rife with hate. But by statistics, Jews are by far the most likely group to be targeted in America on a per capita basis. This is a problem for the intersectionality-oriented Left, which sees Jews not as victims but as part of the power hierarchy in the United States. How can the Left uphold its hierarchy of victimhood if Jews are the chief targets of hate crime – and furthermore, if such hate crime is largely perpetrated by non-white supremacists, people who supposedly lie higher on the victim hierarchy than Jews?
Furthermore, Jews are inordinately successful and well-treated in the United States; outside of Israel, there is no more philo-Semitic country on earth. So if Jews, the most statistically victimized group in America, aren’t particularly victimized, what does that say about the narrative of America as racist, bigotry-ridden hellhole?
The United States is an amazing place. But the media and much of the Left don’t like that narrative. That’s why they cover Jussie Smollett. And that’s why they won’t cover Jews being attacked on the streets of New York.