A Black Jewish woman shared her unique perspective on Nick Cannon's anti-semitic comments

Musical artist Nick Cannon was fired from Viacom this week after the release of a podcast in which he made anti-semitic comments. According to the New York Times, the podcast was an interview with Richard Griffin (also known as Professor Griff), who was kicked out of the band Public Enemy after blaming Jews for most of the wickedness in the world in a 1989 interview. "The Jews are wicked. And we can prove this," he told the Washington Times. Cannon told Griffin he'd been "speaking facts" and also praised Louis Farrakhan, who has been known to make anti-semitic comments.

In addition, Cannon referenced a conspiracy theory that the media is all controlled by wealthy Jewish families. "I find myself wanting to debate this idea and it gets real wishy and washy and unclear for me when we give so much power to the 'theys,'" he said, "and 'theys' then turn into illuminati, the Zionists, the Rothschilds." He also said that Black people are the true Semitic people. "You can't be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people," he said. "That's our birthright. So if that's truly our birthright, there's no hate involved."

At first, despite the backlash, Nick Cannon refused to apologize for this remarks. Responses to his firing ranged widely across the internet, with some calling him out as a bigot and some praising him for what they saw as "free speech."

But one woman on Twitter, who happens to be Black and Jewish, took the opportunity to explain exactly why his comments were so problematic. Speaking as "your Black & Jewish educational fairy godmother," Malana wrote:


"My partner and I were just discussing how a lot of Black people don't have the education around anti-Semitism to fully get why Nick Cannon's rant was messed up. So let me be your Black & Jewish educational fairy godmother.

First, that Rothschild bank theory. That ain't real. Many Jewish people in Europe were forced to work in banking because of laws restricting them from entering other types of work. This is where the stereotypes of stingy, money grubbing, banking, etc. Come from.

But it was the racist/anti-Semitic structures that pushed Jewish people into that system in the first place. This is similar to calling Black people Welfare Queens - a system was created that locked people into place and a stereotype was invented around it.

One old-timey Jewish family being rich doesn't mean there's a conspiracy theory. It's like wealth inequality has existed for generations! *gasp* If you want to know who runs the banks google Bank of America and Chase (hint- they're very white and very not Jewish).

Now as far as Nick calling Jewish people savages, I hope it's pretty obvious why this is anti-Semitic. But in case it's not, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Untermensch

Then Nick's whole original semite thing...ugh... there's so much wrong with it. So the idea is that Jews stole Black people's identity as the 'true' people of israel. This means that Jewish people are to be blamed for all the racism Black people experience.

You see this a lot in Farrakhan's rhetoric. Taken to the extreme, you'd have [sic] to exterminate racism you'd have to exterminate Jewish people so Black people can reclaim their spot as the 'chosen people.'

Farrakhan and other Black supremacists use Jewish people as a boogeyman and scapegoat to push their own agenda and cult of personality. There can be no end to racism without an end to anti-semitism

The us (Black people) vs. Them (Jewish people) people like Nick Cannon use breaks down when you have someone like me, a Black Jew.

In fact, many anti-Semitic ideas of features are rooted in anti-Blackness and vice versa: curly hair, big nose, etc.

Historically, the very idea of racism came initially from Spain and its treatment of Jews during the Inquisition. https://atlasobscura.com/articles/how-racism-was-first-officially-codified-in-15thcentury-spain… these types of racial codifications were later used to entrench chattel slavery in what would become the U.S.

I know lots of white Jewish people are racist. I know lots of Black people are anti-Semitic. I know these communities have hurt each other, and I know from personal experience it is much harder to be Black in the U.S. than it is to be Jewish. But all oppression is connected.

Anyway, there's a lot more to be said but I'll leave it there for now. Go head and ask questions if you're here to learn. Other Black Jews especially feel free to chime in.

Adding this because people keep saying Viacom fired Nick because he's a Black man exercising his freedom of speech. Stop it. Colin Kaepernick was fired for exercising his freedom of speech. Nick Cannon was fired for shooting off racist conspiracy theories.

Viacom is a racist company that has stock in for-profit prisons. Maybe Nick was given a quicker hook than a white person saying the same things would have been. Doesn't make it any less racist or mean Nick should be expected to not face consequences.

Black people: you cannot want people to suffer consequences for racist actions *but only when they're racist against Black people." You also can't have it so Black people aren't also held responsible for racist actions. That's not how justice and liberation works."

After initially taking a defensive position, Nick Cannon has shared posts in the past 24 hours indicating he is open and learning from Rabbis and others who have reached out from the Jewish community to educate him. On Thursday, he shared the following message on Instagram:

"First and foremost I extend my deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers for the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth during my interview with Richard Griffin. They reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from. The video of this interview has since been removed.

While the Jewish experience encompasses more than 5,000 years and there is so much I have yet to learn, I have had at least a minor history lesson over the past few days and to say that it is eye-opening would be a vast understatement.

I want to express my gratitude to the Rabbis, community leaders and institutions who reached out to me to help enlighten me, instead of chastising me. I want to assure my Jewish friends, new and old, that this is only the beginning of my education—I am committed to deeper connections, more profound learning and strengthening the bond between our two cultures today and every day going forward."

Here's to all of us learning more about the history of all marginalized groups and doing what we can to build bridges between people of all backgrounds.

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.