Friday, February 24, 2023

You People a New Netflix Rom-Com: Is It As Anti-Semitic As They Say?


You People a New Netflix Rom-Com
Is It As Anti-Semitic As They Say?


Netflix advertises its 2023 release You People as a romantic comedy. The film depicts a romance between a Jewish man and a black woman. It has been accused of anti-Semitism. By one measure – the number of times You People disseminates disparaging images of, or dialogue about Jews – You People is more anti-Semitic than the 1935 Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will. And Triumph of the Will is of unquestionably superior aesthetic quality. You People's star, co-screenwriter, and co-producer Jonah Hill, born Jonah Hill Feldstein, identifies as Jewish. He is even a bar mitzvah. And he made a worse, and more anti-Semitic movie than Triumph of the Will.


How love is handled in a powerful medium like film tells us much about the state of the culture. In the best romantic comedies, two characters squabble and negotiate their way through the minefield of erotic attraction, risk, and repulsion. Eventually a stranger transubstantiates into the spouse who supports and loves the other for better or for worse, through sickness and in health. That stranger also becomes the collection of genes with whom the lover's genes comingle to produce babies, new human beings, sons and daughters, future artists and astronauts, Nobel Prize winners and presidents, soldiers and sanitation workers, neighbors and friends.


How does You People conjure that cinematic magic that convinces us that two opposites, who "meet cute," can overcome their differences and form what becomes for most people the most important relationship of their lives? In You People, Amira (Lauren London), a Nation of Islam black Muslim costume designer, and Ezra (Jonah Hill), a wealthy Jewish broker, two complete strangers, meet for their first date. Three minutes later, they are in bed. Ezra and Amira appear to like each other as much as you like that co-worker you barely tolerate and whose disappearance you never notice till weeks later.


"Hill’s character, Ezra, and London’s Amira share no passion, no chemistry and offer no reason to understand why these characters would like each other, let alone love each other." – The Grio


"They had zero chemistry whatsoever and it was damn near science fiction because it was all so unbelievable. They might as well have had Lauren falling in love with a blue Avatar or one of the dinosaurs from Jurassic World." – Toronto Sun


"There is little in the way of chemistry, mostly because the couple … are so shallowly realized as individuals. There is no room for chemistry because the couple is incidental … their purpose is to symbolize a political issue." – Jezebel


Even the one kiss Ezra and Amira share was CGI – that is, not real contact between Hill and London, but a computer generated graphic.


It says something about our culture when an A-list celebrity, Jonah Hill, and a high profile, self-identified black "activist," Kenya Barris, make a romantic comedy that is devoid of romance, as well as comedy. Jonah Hill is 39 and has never been married. Kenya Barris, You People's director and co-scriptwriter, is married to the mother of his six children. He or his wife have filed for divorce three times.


Golden Age romantic comedies, that got so much right about the human heart, were also created by people with imperfect personal lives. What's the difference between You People and films made during the heyday of classics like It Happened One Night? Back in 1934, when that film was made, there was a surrounding culture that supported romance, courtship, falling in love, and commitment. Today that culture is shattering. Americans are lonely. Americans are having less sex. Fewer Americans are married. Teen girls, who are traditionally relationship-obsessed, are in crisis. It shouldn't surprise us that highly remunerated celebrities would be unable to script a believable, insightful, and engaging love story.


Hill, Barris, and Netflix are inspired by that Marxist urge to make art that serves the Revolution. As Comrade Castro said in his 1961 speech to writers and artists, "Within the Revolution, everything; against the Revolution, nothing." As Comrade Mao reminded us, "There is no such thing as art for art's sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause."


You People's self-definition as a romantic comedy is superficial. Underneath that mask is a Marxist machine coughing up exhaust. You People exists to shame whites, especially Jews, to elevate blacks, and to advance the Revolution. The film's would-be lovers, Ezra and Amira, display less inner life than an AI-generated chat text. Marxism is a parasitic growth crowding out the internal spaces where their minds and hearts and erogenous zones might have been.


What might You People have been? It might have been a genuine work of art suited to its star and co-creator, Jonah Hill. Hill is fat. Lauren London, who plays Amira, is also overweight, but I'm a woman and I want to look at a hot guy in a rom-com so I focused on Hill. The three-minute, underdeveloped romance between Ezra and Amira was unbelievable to me at least partly because falling in love with a physically unattractive person is more challenging than falling in love with a guy who looks like Hugh Jackman at his hottest.


Falling in love with plump guys is more challenging, but it's not impossible. That's what movie magic is for. Charles Laughton was an Academy-Award-winning actor. Laughton was an unattractive and overweight man. In the 1939 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Laughton donned prosthetics that made him look the part of Quasimodo, a profoundly deformed hunchback. Inhabiting Victor Hugo's masterful storytelling, Laughton was able to make Quasimodo a sympathetic figure and the hero of the story. My mother, a film lover, was a big fan of manly stars like John Wayne, but she saw Laughton as Quasimodo when she was a kid, and his performance affected her for the rest of her life. She loved both the fictional character Quasimodo and Charles Laughton – an actor willing to be ugly, and to lose the girl, onscreen; an actor who, nevertheless, cracked the audience's heart wide open in the way that a handsome hero never could.


Jonah Hill is immediately lovable in his new Netflix documentary, Stutz. In that non-fiction film, Hill is real. In You People, Hill plays a stereotype of an LA Jew with jungle fever, that is, an obsession with proving his own "authenticity" through relationships with black people. In the non-fiction documentary Stutz, Hill talks about his early show business success, and his "desperation to get happy." Because he is overweight, he has no self-esteem. Being fat "intensely f---ed me up." Even at the pinnacle of his success, Hill confesses, he felt "so much shame." "Success and awards" could not "absolve me of the pain of life." He has been "beyond depressed." "At my core I'm still this unlovable person." "The media kept being really brutal about my weight. It was a game for anyone to hit my sore spot." He went through life "anticipating someone saying something mean and I'd be so angry." Hill talks about how his mother's attempts to help him lose weight made him feel, as a child, "I am not good. I am bad." He got the message that "the woman figure" – his mother or his potential mate – "will not accept how you look."


I spontaneously loved the Jonah Hill in Stutz. Why didn't Hill make a romantic comedy based on the life experience he lays bare in the documentary? A fat guy who feels ashamed but who meets a woman whose love and desire helps him to feel good about himself? Why did he make, instead, You People, a rom-com about white racism and black victimization?


Hill followed leftist ideas of art. He focused on the collective rather than the individual. Conservatives believe that individuals, not collectives, have rights and responsibilities; we also believe that individuals, not collectives, feel emotions. Just so in art. An idiosyncratic individual, not a homogenized "everyman" representing a collective, makes for a great story. Totalitarian art, no matter how skilled, is cold. The humans are not humans, they are types of a group as imagined in the fantasies of a dictator. See here, here, and here. You People is about stereotypical blacks and stereotypical Jews. It's not about a believable male character and a believable female character who embark on a believable relationship.


In Stutz, Hill dismisses his own pain. When gathering the courage to talk about how painful it has been for him to be the fat boy, he apologizes. “It’s something that sounds like not a big deal, or ‘poor you,’ or whatever." In other words, Hill fears that no one will take the pain he's endured as a fat guy seriously.


What Hill doesn’t get is that pain, no less than achievement, is an individual, not a collective, phenomenon. Oprah can't feel the pain of being a slave; she's a highly successful billionaire and her black skin brings her no closer to slavery than the pain any white person feels when contemplating the agonies of the past. Hill's pain over being ridiculed and rejected is more real than any pain Oprah or Lebron feel over a slavery they never experienced. In short, yes, Hill's pain should be taken seriously because it damages his life as an individual.


What is most personal is most universal "By giving words to these intimate experiences I can make my life available to others," wrote Father Henri Nouwen. I felt with and for Hill as he spoke about pain that he believed to be uniquely his and his alone; I felt that way because the fear of judgment and rejection is universal. But that fear – of judgment and rejection – exists independently of any political narrative. Telling that truth wouldn't support the left or the right. It supports the human.


Some historians attribute Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement to a complex strategy. Jews hoped that Civil Rights success would not only improve conditions for black people, but that it would also improve conditions for Jews, as well. Like blacks, Jews were also discriminated against in America. If the Civil Rights movement weaned racist Americans away from their bigotry, blacks would enjoy more freedom and safety, and Jews would, as well. This approach was rooted in a belief that America was taking black concerns more seriously than it took Jewish concerns.


Historian Edward S. Shapiro theorizes another reason Jews were overrepresented in the Civil Rights movement. Shortly after arriving on American shores, many Jews cut their beards and ate their first ham sandwich. The forces that, in the Old Country, kept them adherent to their religion disappeared. How to be Jewish in this new secular world? For Jews who "seldom set foot in a synagogue … for Howard Zinn, William Kuntsler, and others, an involvement in black causes was a surrogate identity that helped fill the vacuum in their lives stemming from their estrangement from things Jewish."


In making  You People, Jonah Hill follows both patterns, above . He acknowledges that he fears that audiences won't take his pain as a fat man seriously. He didn't make a movie about his own pain. Instead, he made a movie about black people's pain. In that film, he alienates himself from the religion of Judaism, by mocking it. He's found another way to be Jewish – by joining with leftist Jews like Zinn and Kuntsler.


The plot of You People: Ezra Cohen (Jonah Hill) is a 35-year-old financial broker. His father Arnold (David Duchovny) is a podiatrist; Shelley, his mother (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a housewife. Ezra co-hosts a podcast with a black lesbian, Mo (Sam Jay). Amira (Lauren London) is a costume designer. Amira and Ezra date once and immediately, and inexplicably, fall in love. Amira's father Akbar (Eddie Murphy), and her mother, Fatima (Nia Long) object to the relationship. Akbar and Fatima are personal friends and followers of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.


You People supports false Nation of Islam accusations that Jews dominated the Atlantic Slave Trade, that Jews have not suffered as much as blacks, that Jews are awarded money magically and never have to work for it, that black people are nothing but helpless victims and can never feel themselves to be part of America. There are other features as well: an apology on behalf of all white people and all Jews to all black people, a celebration of cocaine and MDMA use as comedic and harmless, strippers, and a repeated joke about Ezra "s----ing his pants" while high on drugs.


The soundtrack is rap; the f-word, the m-word, and the n-word are repeated over and over and over and over. The dialogue includes black street slang that will be unfamiliar to some viewers. The font used for the credits imitates the look of graffiti. Apparently the filmmakers believe that graffiti is not destructive vandalism that brings down property values and precedes increases in crime.


In a scene that has nothing to do with the film's overall romantic comedy plot, Amira is making a presentation that she hopes will secure a commission for her design work. She performs for two white men, both Harvard grads wearing Harvard sweatshirts with the word "HARVARD" written in all caps on their chests. The scene called for an actress who could play intelligence, ambition, creativity and professionalism. The Harvard men reject Amira's proposal and she loses the commission. The scene exists to prove that privileged white men rule the world, and they would never allow a black woman, even an immensely talented one, to succeed. Amira later complains that she did not get the job because of "all this racist bulls---," and says she should have gotten jobs like this "five years ago" but didn't, again, because of racism.


We are supposed to pity Amira. White viewers are supposed to feel white guilt. We can't. London, the actress playing Amira, could not summon the required qualities. London, in real life, is a high school drop out who has two children by two different rappers, neither of whom she married. At 15 London hooked up with Lil Wayne, author of such immortal lyrics as "I'm on that good kush and alcohol. I got some down bitches I can call. All she eat is dick. She on a strict diet" from "Bitches Love Me." Lil Wayne is an "intelligent person" London insists. Rapper Nipsey Hussle, the father of London's second child, was shot ten times over a "personal matter." London is a financially successful celebrity, but children in father-absent homes, even high income ones, are more likely to develop mood disorders and other problems associated with father absence.


Onscreen, London carries herself, and she sounds like the high school dropout she is. Her stance, when presenting to the Harvard boys, is graceless and insecure. When she describes the rejection of her work later, she whines like a bratty child. London lacks the skill to convince the viewer that she is a self-made woman in a highly competitive field. Sixty years ago, when conditions for black Americans were worse than they are today, there were black women performers who could have knocked Amira's scenes out of the park. Diahann Carroll, Dionne Warwick, Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Nina Simone, Pearl Bailey, Beah Richards, Cicely Tyson, Eartha Kitt, Nichelle Nichols, and Leslie Uggams radiated dignity, power, and wisdom. Not only could they pronounce the "-ing" ending of gerunds, a skill London lacks, they could, if given the chance, speak the lines of Shakespeare. If they had been mistreated by Harvard boys onscreen, the audience would have, emotionally, risen up on their side, the same way we intuitively sided with Sidney Poitier when he slapped a white racist in In the Heat of the Night. You People chose the wrong actress to play a self-made businesswoman, and it did so because the filmmakers think an "authentic" black woman in 2023 is more about hair extensions, fake fingernails, and, in the words of the film, "titties" than mature, self-disciplined accomplishment.


In any case, the scene is nonsense. Real Harvard men would immediately hire Amira. They would do that for the same reason that Harvard University would offer Amira a scholarship or a teaching position. A black Muslim woman from the hood? Amira checks all the boxes Harvard wants to check.


You People opens with a peon to Barak Hussein Obama. Mo (Sam Jay), playing a podcaster, chats with her fellow podcaster Ezra. Mo and Ezra, a black lesbian woman and a Jewish man, speak worshipfully of Obama. Obama is superior because his middle name is Hussein and that is the best middle name ever. BHO is superior because he smoked Newports, "the preferred cigarette of crackheads." That crackheads like Newports makes them superior. "Barack is like Jesus," Mo says. Mo, who, again, is played by a lesbian actress, says that Barack "does gay stuff sometimes. But only when he's on coke." Sam Jay, like Hill, is also overweight. In her scenes, she is always leaning on something – a table, a clothes rack, a bar – suggesting that the extra burden her fat places on her body is more than she can support. Black women in You People, ostensibly an anti-racism film, are a morbidly obese, drug taking lesbian, and a girl who can't pronounce "-ing" at the end of gerunds. Who's stereotyping black people?


After Mo and Ezra finish chatting about the Jesus-like, gay, coke-addicted Obama, they play music that repeats the word "mother----er." The next scene occurs in Los Angeles' Skirball Center. Jews are singing the Viddui, or confession, in Hebrew and beating their breasts. A character mentions that it is Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the year. The movie switches between a rap song repeating the m-word multiple times, which is meant to be desirable and "real," to Jews singing an ancient song of confession, which the film will soon clarify, is meant to be hypocritical and contemptible.


Jonah Hill is heavily tattooed, as is Ezra, the character he plays. Ezra's shirtsleeves are rolled up. Tattoos violate Jewish scripture, custom, and aesthetics. A rabbi begins a sermon. Ezra and his family begin to fight loudly in the pew. Liza, his younger sister, (Molly Gordon) – we'll later be told she's a lesbian – complains about having been made to wear a dress while Ezra is dressed casually, in sneakers, and he is not wearing a yarmulke. His mother Shelley (Julia Louis Dreyfus) berates him and she threatens to scrape off his skin in order to remove his tattoos. His mother insists, "I'm not square. Everyone thinks I'm cool." She establishes her character. All she cares about is being perceived as "cool, hip, and youthful … But it is Yom Kippur goddammit!" Ezra argues with his mother. His grandmother (Rhea Perlman), threatens Ezra that he won't be buried in a Jewish cemetery, a reference to his tattoos. Ezra and his sister trade childish insults. Ezra says that Liza and the rabbi shop at a "rabbinical witch outlet store."


In all this loud, shrill fighting during a Yom Kippur service, Ezra's father, Arnold (David Duchovny) is relatively cool and remote. He confesses to a crush on Rhianna, a black female singer. Associating Arnold with a black woman establishes that he is superior to the shrews in his family.


After the end of the services, the 84-year-old actor Richard Benjamin, playing a Jewish doctor who habitually sexually molests his patients, asks to see Ezra's penis. He promises that his handling of Ezra's penis will be free of charge. "How's your penis? It's on the house. There's not gonna be a charge." The comment manages to combine sexual perversion with the stereotypical association of Jews with money. Back in 1969, Richard Benjamin starred in Goodbye Columbus, another film that was accused of anti-Semitism. It depicted Jews as crude, pushy social climbers. In that movie, as well, a Jewish man denigrates Jewish women and redeems himself and proves his own superiority by bonding with a black person.


Hal Linden, wearing a yarmulke, says to Ezra, "You don't like getting pussy?" Elliott Gould says, "Maybe he enjoys smoking Hebrew Nationals," a kosher hot dog. He is alluding to fellatio and gay sex. Again, these distasteful encounters occur at a house of worship on Yom Kippur.


Shelley pushes Ezra to date Kim Glassman (Emily Arlook). Shelley emphasizes that Kim is a Harvard grad with a great body. Arlook, a beautiful woman, has a prominent nose – another Jewish stereotype – and she is shot in profile in order to emphasize that feature. Her character, Kim Glassman, immediately asks Ezra "You work in finance?" in other words, she cares a great deal about money and worldly success. "That's gotta be so exciting, working with so much money all the time." When he admits that he doesn't want to keep working in finance, she ridicules and rejects him.


In the first eight minutes of You People, Jonah Hill and Kenya Barris establish that Jewish women are repugnant. Repugnant Jewish women include young Jewish girls, like his sharp-tongued, petty, lesbian little sister; mature Jewish women, like his narcissistic, threatening mother; old Jewish women, like his ridiculous "bubbe" or grandmother; spiritual Jewish women, like the rabbi who shops at a "witch outlet store;" and single, young Jewish women, like the materialistic Kim Glassman.


At least two Jewish men, Ezra himself and his father Arnold, are okay guys in the midst of all these nightmarish Jewish women. Their superiority is established through their relationship to black women. Jonah Hill joins Woody Allen and Philip Roth (here, here, and here) in contributing to the JAP, or Jewish American Princess, stereotype.


After his encounters with argumentative, greedy, sexually perverse Jews, Ezra confers with Mo, his black best friend, who advises him wisely, or so the script wants you to believe. Mo and Ezra understand love through the lyrics of rapper Drake. At no point in the movie does Ezra refer to any traditional Jewish text, custom or belief for wisdom.


Black characters are no less stereotyped than Jews. The women have elaborate hairdos, wigs, and extensions. They wear chin-length faux gold hoop earrings and long, pointy, artificial nails. They either expose their "titties" in sexy outfits or talk about their "titties."


Black men are career criminals and absentee fathers who attempt to blackmail their baby mamas with sexual photographs. "The judge seein her bein a ho my child support will go low," says EJ (Mike Epps). When EJ meets Ezra, a white man, he thinks only of taking money from the white man. EJ says, "You let that credit card with me I'm gonna swipe him. He looks like an AmEx standin there." Later, this same black grifter says of Ezra, "I wouldda got a car outta his ass. Started me a line of credit. Got a washer and drier, probably a bottle of cologne. Got my back patio done."


In black character's dialogue, every other word is the n-word, the s-word, or the b-word. Every other comment is about skin tone or the relative nappiness of black people's hair. The women "smell like cocoa butter." The black characters eat chicken and waffles and have deep conversations about wall murals of George Floyd.


Ezra brings Amira home to meet Shelley, his mother. Shelley, obviously nervous and competing to demonstrate how Woke she is, constantly refers to Amira's blackness to the exclusion of anything else. There's no "How's the weather?" or "How about them Dodgers?" No, it's all, "I love your hoop earrings and your pointy fake nails. I think the police abuse black people. I want to have black grandbabies."


The movie hates on Shelley for this. Amira verbally spanks Shelley. "I am not your toy." The thing is, the movie is doing the exact same thing that Shelley is doing. It puts all black people in a box. All black people think and talk about nothing other than their blackness. Every black character, in every line, every costume choice, telegraphs a stereotypical black identity. And the movie rewards black people for blackness. No black character is ever seriously criticized, even as white characters are upbraided and humiliated. No flaws in black culture are mentioned, even as white culture is stereotyped as wealthy, privileged, and guilty. The movie is Shelley. The movie is obsessed with a stereotypical blackness as the sole arbiter of human worth, and proof of its own virtue. Shelley believes she is "hip and cool" because she likes black people. Jonah Hill and his film have the same values.


Mo, leaning on a bar, tells Ezra that the engagement ring he bought for Amira is too small. Ezra says he will make up a Holocaust story that excuses the size of the ring. He tells Amira that it was his grandmother's and she was in the Holocaust. He hopes that this story will prevent her from objecting to the ring's small size. "They can't say s--- once you drop the Holocaust," Ezra says. In other words, Jews exploit the Holocaust to escape criticism for their stereotypical bad behavior. In this instance, Ezra was stereotypically cheap. He bought his fiancée a too small ring, though he is a wealthy broker. Mo tells Ezra that he must remove the ring from the jeweler's box and put it in a "dirty satchel. Holocaust it down."


Ezra attempts to ingratiate himself to Akbar and Fatima, Amira's parents. He speaks incoherently. "Let's start with Jesus, who was half black and half Jewish. He had mixed race children." Ezra then invites his parents and Amira's parents to dinner. At the dinner, Akbar mentions his friendship with Louis Farrakhan.


Ezra says "Love Farrakhan."


Shelley looks uncomfortable.


Amira suggests that the parents and their kids take a boat trip together.


Akbar and Fatima are not enthusiastic because "Black folks don't really have a good relationship with boats."


"Kind of like Jews with trains," Shelley says.


"Are you trying to compare the Holocaust to slavery?" Akbar asks.


"The Blacks and the Jews have a similar struggle," Shelley says.


"We were systematically annihilated," Arnold says.


"You seem to be doing pretty good right now," Akbar says.


"It's not like we don't work hard for it," Shelley says.


Fatima sneers at Shelley. She says that Jews are doing well not because of hard work, but because of "inherited wealth."


"We came here with nothing and we worked hard," Shelley says.


"You came here with money you made from the slave trade," Fatima says.


"Preach mother," Akbar says. "You don't turn on the news every day and see people in yarmulkes getting shot by police because they was out minding their business."


Later, Mo endorses the points made during the dinner. She tells Ezra that black people can never forgive white people for all the horrible things that white people have done to black people. "That's how powerful this s--- is, bro. No matter how bad we want to, we can't forget what y'all did and what ya'll still doin." Mo exclaims, her eyes wide. Ezra nods at this great wisdom. How could anyone argue with the wisdom of Sam Jay, who has produced such depthless social commentary as this.


Eventually, Shelley says, "I apologize to all black people on behalf of all white people and all Jewish people." A rabbi and an imam perform Ezra and Amira's wedding. Their wedding song, "N------s in Paris," is by Kanye West. It includes such timeless lyrics as


"She said, 'Ye, can we get married at the mall?'


I said, 'Look, you need to crawl 'fore you ball


Come and meet me in the bathroom stall


And show me why you deserve to have it all.'"


At the International Movie Database, You People has a 5.5 out of 10 rating. This is a very low rating for a recently released film. Typical reviews include the following, copied verbatim without corrections.


"I'm black and I was almost embarrassed…I almost wanted to scream at the screen…There were times when this movie actually became a tad bit painful to watch. I know they're supposed to be a moral to this, but this movie almost promoted racism."


"The amount of black this, white that, every skin colour being aggressively mentioned on the show made it just so tiring and extremely annoying. I don't care if you're every colour of the rainbow like cmon man this is 21st century, enough with the labels and make a decent movie goddamnitt!"


"It's 2023, I think we've moved beyond the ridiculous viewpoints and stereotypes displayed in this film."


"The very definition of CRINGE."


"Woke is getting old… The Black people are streetsmart and intelligent … the white people … are all clueless, racist, and guilt ridden. Every word out of their mouths is racist … Why can't we just have a movie with white people and Black people being normal human beings. But I guess Hollywood needs to preach it's politics to us, so it's probably not going to end soon."


You People received similar bad reviews at the Rotten Tomatoes site.


Audiences get it that You People is a bad movie. Why should we care about it? Because people with money and power used that money and power to make this movie. And that tells us much about our culture.


A couple of final thoughts.


Amira and Ezra could never marry. A Muslim woman is forbidden to marry a non-Muslim man. See here. A Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman. The wife is akin to property and her opinion, including when it comes to religion, doesn't matter. The husband dominates. His religion matters; hers does not.


Louis Farrakhan is a powerful anti-Semite. See here.


It's a myth that Jews were the drivers of the Atlantic Slave Trade. That myth comes from the Nation of Islam. See here, here, here, and here.


Hill's use of the Holocaust to argue that Jews whine too much, and that they use that whining to silence others, would be right at home in a neo-Nazi environment. Switch just a few words in Hill's Holocaust joke. Jay, the black lesbian, buys a too small ring for her fiancée. She says she will claim that it is too small because it was worn by her grandmother who was lynched. Once you mention lynching, she says, everyone has to shut up. Is that funny? No, because our current culture demands that we take black suffering seriously. Black viewers would protest such a joke and Jay would have to issue a public apology.


Finally, when watching the "Jewish apology to blacks" speech in You People, I remembered an early December day in 2019. I was commuting home from work and listening to news radio. A terrorist attack was taking place twenty miles away from me, in Jersey City. The intended targets appeared to be Jewish children at a day school. Black anti-Semites were murdering Jews.


Wikipedia, quoting news accounts, details the ordnance involved in that 2019 Jersey City attack "An AR-15-style weapon and Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, a 9-millimeter semi-automatic Ruger and a 9-millimeter Glock … a live pipe bomb that had the capacity to kill or injure people up to 500 yards away." The terrorists cited falsehoods circulated by the Nation of Islam as their justification for murdering Jews.


In the aftermath of the attack, black Jersey City Board of Education member Joan Terrell Paige called Jews "brutes" who sell body parts; she asked who in the public is "brave enough" to listen to the terrorists' anti-Semitic message.


In mid December, 2019, a black woman repeatedly cursed and physically attacked a Jewish woman on the NYC subway. Later that same month, in Monsey, New York, a black anti-Semite burst into a private home and began stabbing Jews.


In April, 2021, in New York City, Darryl Jones, a black man, stabbed a Jewish father, mother, and baby. Blacks attacking Jews is a genre of video on YouTube.


More recently, Ye, formerly Kanye West, has made overtly pro-Hitler, pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic statements. Kyrie Irving has also made anti-Semitic statements, supporting the exact philosophy that inspired the Jersey City terrorists.


Black anti-Semitism is real, it is deadly, and a recent survey shows that blacks are significantly more likely than whites to hold anti-Semitic views.


Make a movie about that, Jonah Hill.


Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery




  1. There have been a lot of media stories, in recent weeks, about growing anti-Semitism. I wonder: Is this really so, or is there another reason for all these stories.

    1. I'm still thinking about it too! I have the impression that if there is no anti-Semitism, or there is less of it, you should look for it quickly. Just like in the story once on this blog, about a Jewish boy who went to Lodz, Poland, and made up his mind that the salesman kicked him out of the store because he was Jewish.

  2. You ask a very good question in this interesting review: "Why can't we just have a movie with white people and Black people being normal human beings"

    I wonder how Hollywood would answer that question. Because clearly it could make such a movie, but I have to assume it does not wish to.

    I have tried to avoid its product for a long time now,.

  3. The US and and the Holocaust


  4. Mark Pitcavage is a Senior Research Fellow, ADL Center on Extremism. Historian, long-time expert on right-wing extremism. He misinforms about Poland and Polish people. "This is a good article about the pernicious efforts of Polish nationalist revisionism on Wikipedia articles related to the Holocaust in Poland." The article is certainly not good. Pitcavage quotes "Hunt for the Jews" by Jan Grabowski. He does not inform about German terror in occupied Poland, much harder than in Western Europe. Dr Pitcavage should be precise as a PhD and ADL expert.

  5. There are allegedly Polish Nazis in Greenpoint Pitcavage is the expert.

  6. "Ana Egge on Lessons in Poland From a Past That Haunts the Present" Ana Egge was few days in Poland, which makes her an expert in Polish Jewish history. "Before World War I, Poland was a nation where Jews belonged and were a vital, integrated part of society. " There was no Polish nation till 1918 or there were three isolated nations in three states. The Jews were persecuted in Russia, belonged in Austrian Poland and preferred Germany in German part of Poland. She listened to speakers from “Never Again” Association and The Center for Research on Prejudice at the University of Warsaw. Both institutions have published controversial texts. President of Poland Duda has refused to declare Dr. Bilewicz (The Center) a Professor. The writer visited the Polisn Museum during 2 1/2 hours (hundreds years of history of Jews in Poland). Ana Egge explains Polish protests against the US 447 Law as antisemitic. I find the idea paying billions to Jewish foundations in the USA disgusting.

  7. Dr Zachary Mazur (Yale, now Warsaw) went to Florida:
    Is a common Polish-Jewish memory possible?
    I’ve been visiting Jewish communities in Florida and talking about shared history and mutual prejudices.
    We won’t heal these deep wounds overnight, but my work with ⁦
    @polinmuseum is facilitating this necessary dialog.

    Comment by Artur Wilczynski:
    I wish you luck, but am deeply sceptical. Poles seem increasingly incapable of having a conversation about the history of the Jewish experience in Poland.
    Comment by Janina:
    Some reasons behind the failure of common Polish-Jewish memory are described in this article by Prof. Danusha Goska. (She means "Gemans good...")


Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
These themes include the false and damaging stereotype of Poles as brutes who are uniquely hateful and responsible for atrocity, and this stereotype's use in distorting WW II history and all accounts of atrocity.
This blog welcomes comments from readers that address those themes. Off-topic and anti-Semitic posts are likely to be deleted.
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