The First Antisemitic Experience

The First Antisemitic Experience

Editorial: Antisemitism has to be called out wherever and whenever it shows up

I first encountered antisemitism in college as a journalist. At the time, we were covering a major political convention, and the Republican party had just selected its presidential nominee. Suddenly, I was confronted with the hateful rhetoric of one of the candidates. I tried to report on him, but the campaign manager said he would call me if I would tone it down.

After several years of journalism, I got word that President Obama was about to visit the nation’s capital, and I wanted to cover it. But when I got the call to a media meeting, the editor was not pleased. She said that if he went to DC, his campaign would be in shambles, so I had to cancel. The campaign manager told me that he would lose because I had used “Jewish terms” as an insult. He asked me to change the article to something neutral.

When I saw Obama give the keynote speech at an interfaith memorial to a family who lost a daughter in the Sandy Hook shootings, the editor told me that the speech had to go. She told me that it was a “vile” attempt to get a reaction from the audience, and that she was embarrassed by the candidate.

What was even more disturbing to me was that there was a Jewish organization on the White House press staff. This is my first memory of antisemitism. My family didn’t know I was Jewish. If I had told them, I think they would have been upset.

The more recent example of antisemitism in politics, in the form of the so-called “Stop Ortiz” Facebook group, was very upsetting because it turned my world inside out. All day, I was thinking about how I could write an informative piece on the group. But I didn’t know who was behind it. When I finally found out, I did not feel safe speaking about the group or its members.

The group was apparently created

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