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Anne Bayefsky’s article on Fox News suggested: “Harvey Weinstein is an embarrassment — for Jews, for men, for Democrats, for Hollywood, for humankind…. Harvey Weinstein’s mug is literally the poster face of every anti-Semite’s favorite Jew. Fat, ugly, and unkempt. Not to mention greed, narcissism and gross over-indulgence written all over it. Hollywood makeup artists couldn’t have done it any better.”
As a Jew and a man, I am not “embarrassed” by Harvey Weinstein. He doesn’t represent me. Never did. From a distance he looked like someone I wouldn’t ever want to know.
Anne is very active and supportive in the Jewish community and I respect her work. But her concern over how some Nazi losers would use Weinstein to confirm their idiocy is misplaced. The bigger issue is why she would assume because we happen to be the same religion or gender, I should feel uncomfortable.
I never gave permission to anyone to talk or act on my behalf simply because we were born the same gender, race, or religion.
I never felt embarrassed as a man for the things Trump said on that bus. I wouldn’t say them myself.
I never felt embarrassed as a man for what Bill Clinton did in the Oval Office. As a man, and certainly, if a president, I would have never done those things.
I never felt embarrassed as a Jew because of the evil Bernie Madoff perpetrated.
On the flip side, I take no ownership of Steven Speilberg, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, or the guys that founded Google.
Harvey Jewish? There wasn’t anything remotely Jewish about what he did for decades to those women. As a Jew, we are taught to respect others, to treat all with dignity. To use one’s power over others for self-gratification goes against every lesson taught in the Talmud.
Harvey a man? No man I know would ever do this to a woman. I was raised by a man, a real man. That man fought his way through his WW2 anti-Semitic attacks in the poverty-stricken rabble of East London. His Father, my Grandpa was a Prisoner of War in Nazi-occupied France for four years. He came home a ruined shell of a man. And with all that death, violence and hunger, they still treated all women with respect.
This association we give ourselves to a specific group, whether it’s gender, race, sexuality, or age, has damaged our civil union. This is the cumulation of decades of identity politics whereby to answer perceived racial, sexual or gender injustice we lock ourselves in our own racial, sexual or gender-specific bubble. We speak only from that perspective.
How contradictory is it that to combat bigotry, we support individuals because of their race or religion?
Maybe people will wake up and realize that attaching yourself to another person simply because of a common ethnicity, gender or religion means you give them tremendous power.
Human beings are all fallible, and some, like Weinstein, even evil.