My mother worked for a Jewish businessman back in the 1960s. As a little kid, Mr. B, who resembled Harry Carey, invited us into his office to give us soda pop from his mini-frig. He fawned over us as if we were his own grandkids. He was the kindest man.
Mr. B grew up in a wealthy Jewish neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Once these tree-crowned boulevards were lined with mansions. Now they are black neighborhoods where you take your life in your hands because of gang warfare. Mr. B told my mom that Jewish people are sympathetic toward African-Americans because they share a similar history. Indeed, many former Jewish neighborhoods are now black.
So, is there a parallel between Jewish people and African-Americans?
Let’s take a look:
- Both Jews and African-Americans were slaves
- In Europe, Jews couldn’t join guilds or own property. American slaves were property.
- Jews were segregated into ghettos. Today, there are black ghettos.
- European Jews could only drink out of designated fountains. In other words, there were fountains for Jews and non-Jews. Same as American segregation.
- Throughout history, Jews were expelled from European countries for various “offenses,” all proven to be false
- Intermarriage with Jews was forbidden. In the Middle Ages, Jewish men were castrated for having an affair with non-Jewish women. Intermarriage between blacks and whites was also forbidden in America.
Sadly, there are many parallels between the Jewish people and African-Americans. I see why Mr. B was sympathetic toward blacks.
As I said, Mr. B was the kindest man, and I’ll always remember him with a smile.by