CRT places targets on backs of Jews and others

Sara | Dec 13, 2021
Joel Goldenberg of The Suburban writes on an interview conducted with former New York Times op-ed page editor Bari Weiss and Tablet senior writer Liel Leibovitz. The event was entitled "Antisemitism: Old hate new vocabulary."

Critical Race Theory places a target on the backs of Jewish and other communities, former New York Times op-ed page editor Bari Weiss told a Montreal Zoom lecture event Nov. 22. Rabbi Reuben Poupko interviewed Weiss and Tablet senior writer Liel Leibovitz. The event, part of the Frieda and Mike Dym Memorial Lecture series and presented by the Beth Israel Beth Aaron Synagogue, was entitled "Antisemitism: Old hate new vocabulary."

According to, the core idea of CRT is that "race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies." Weiss left the Times because of what she said was online left-wing political bullying by younger staff members that influenced decisions by top brass. Weiss now has a Substack newsletter.

Rabbi Poupko started the topic by saying, "I happen to think that one of the unintended consequences of equity versus equality of opportunity... is that it puts a target on the back of those who seem to have disproportionately benefitted from the current reality — in other words, whether you're an Asian-American or a Jew in America, if you've gotten more of the pie than you were supposed to, that means you were, at the very least, a beneficiary of the systemic racism they speak about endlessly, or possibly even an architect of systemic racism.

"And therefore, that can partly explain the uptick in hate crimes against Jews and against Asians — when you speak about equity, you're putting a target on the back of those who have done too well. Am I wrong on this?" Weiss said the issue is an "open question.

"I wouldn't want to stipulate that there's a direct connection between what goes on in Anthropology or Political Science classes at Columbia, and attacks on Asians around Penn Station," she said. "I don't want to necessarily draw too strong of a correlation between those things."

She added that "we are living in a culture right now, where one of the high priests of CRT — he's won every prize elite America can offer — is pushing an ideology that is neo-racist and that stipulates that if there is inequality in terms of outcome, that in and of itself is proof that systemic racism is present — inequality is proof of racism.

"If you believe that, yes I agree, I don't know how you can't easily come to the conclusion that there must be something really suspicious or even evil or malicious about these groups that are over-performing relative to their class or size. The contortions that you see in order to justify this are quite astonishing."

Weiss said she saw a spreadsheet from an educational institution (reports say it was the University of Maryland), featuring a table listing everyone in the school, "and one of the categories said "people of colour, minus Asians."

"This is a constant trope right now — getting rid of the SAT... if this doesn't ring a bell to Jews of your generation and especially the older generation for whom quotas were a regular part of life, this should be sounding the alarm for all of us. Yes, there is the sort of suspicion around outside success relative to your proportion of the population.

"But there are two other ways I think CRT puts a target on our back — it insists we are beneficiaries not just of white privilege, which can be debated, but that we're, in a way,  the exemplars of white privilege. We were able to change our names (anglicizing Jewish names)... and in this way, we are implicitly upholding the scaffolding of the white supremacist system, and there is a reason, that if you looked at the protests to the Kyle Rittenhouse [court case] outcome, there were people raising Palestinian flags and screaming about Israel."

Weiss added that CRT also "puts a target on our back because it says not only are we upholding the system of white supremacy here at home, but we are also loyal to the last standing bastion of white colonialism in the Middle East, and so we become guilty of three things at once — power and success, a terrible sin right now in the eyes of the progressive consensus; implicit racism; and of supporting imperialism and colonialism.”

Leibovitz agreed, and said it's best to "refuse to indulge and engage in this noxious game in any way.

"I say to audiences 'I don't believe in equity, I don't.' I believe in excellence, a system that gives everyone a fair shot to be the best they can be and live out their true potential, which is exactly the promise at the core of America.... The alternative to it is a monstrous system that assumes inherent racism."



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