Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kosher Racism

Yesterday, my tichel clad wife took our son to the park. Even though it was about 5 or 6 pm-ish, there was a fair amount of kids still running around. My son began to play with a little boy, who was not Jewish, black and about a year older than he is. My wife usually begins to chat up the mom of a kid my son suddenly becomes friendly with, so they began to schmooze. She was very friendly and the kids were having a lot of fun playing together. The park was full of mostly Jewish kids and after my wife and the other mom parted ways, something happened.

She (my wife) began to get the dirtiest looks from every single Jewish mom in the park. After a few minuted of this, the general unspoken consensus within the playground was "How could you possibly let your child play with one of them." She didn't really pay any mind to it, but did tell me about it when she got back.

What on earth is wrong with two toddlers playing together? If you want to play the whole "bad influence" card, don't even go there. These kids are way to young to be influencing each other in any way shape or form. And even if bad influence was a factor, these naysayers had no idea what the kids were doing. Why does being black constitute the automatic assumption of being a bad influence? This display of disapproval was pure racism and nothing more. I could talk for hours about how I think racism is evil, but I'm only going to talk about it within the context of Jewish parenting. Raising children to be racist is pure sin. There is no merit in the world to come for people who raise their children to have sinat chinam (baseless hatred), and just to clarify, racism is sinat chinam in its purest form.

Unfortunately, it is acceptable in the frum community to be racist. My brother went to a very prominent yeshiva in the Flatbush community. Some might even call it, the yeshiva. He related to me about how racist his rebbe was and how he ranted and raved about how dirty and degenerate the shvartzes are. This man is supposed to be an educator and he is acting no better than the instructors of the Hitler Youth. Is his Torah really worth anything? Sickening.

The beauty of childhood is that there are no biases, preconceived notions or prejudices. These two children were sharing a moment of fun together and that is a beautiful thing. To frum people who think its kosher to be racist, I say this: If you want to raise your children to be good Jews, they first need to be good people. Start by teaching them about the beauty of humanity. Kavod Habriot. Separating people (especially children) based on their differences teaches hatred. I'm not saying send your kids out to play with anyone. G-d knows there are plenty of bad kids out there, Jewish or not. Use your best judgment, but don't make that decision based on skin color. Raising children exposed to diversity will make them better people, and it certainly wouldn't hurt their parents either.

Update: Thanks to Heshy for the guest post on Frumsatire.


  1. Thank you for posting about this important topic.

  2. sir i think you are the one who is racist. the reason jewish people send their kids to jewish schools is to shelter them from outside influences. you might as well send you kid to public school. every parent that spends tens of thousands of dollars not to expose their kids to these things has every right to give you a dirty look. i undestand that you feel your standard is better but that is not what the community wants and they have every right to ostracize you for breaking community rules.

  3. Great post and good for your wife!!!

  4. Fakewood...

    I am being racist? I'd like to know how? By pointing out that Jewish people gave someone dirty looks? As if the Torah teaches us to give dirty looks to anyone, ever.

    Seriously, these are babies we're talking about here, not teenagers. There is no danger of "negative public school influence" being transmitted between children who can barely say their own names. A Jew letting their child play with a non-Jewish child does not warrant dirty looks or anything else.

    Actually, this little boy wanted to play with some other Jewish kids and got nothing but dirty looks from them. What a chilul Hashem. This whole fear of negative influence is just a sign of lack of confidence in the parent's skills in chinuch. Brain washing children that "goyim are evil" is disgusting and just plain stupid. I'm not saying make playdates with public school kids on a regular basis, but 1 year olds giggling and babbling at each other is far from corrupt.

    People who give dirty looks are just simply spiritually dirty. Derech Eretz Kadma LaTorah. My wife did nothing wrong.

    (Btw, Parents spend tens of thousands of dollars because the yeshivas make them spend it, not because they feel the education is worth the money. Oh how much we do love the Monopoly the chinuch business has on us.)

  5. I wholeheartedly agree with you, but unfortunately, the frum community is rife with hatred for anyone who isn't FFB frum & white. Goyim, gerim, blacks, asians, latinos & non-frum jews will all be castigated as evil.

    It makes it really difficult for someone who was raised fairly liberal to become ba'al teshuva. When I see the disgusting behavior of "Torah" jews, it makes me question -- WHY BOTHER? How has this life made them better people?

  6. Utterly dreadful. Fakewood - good spoof posting (I hope). I read once about the experiences of a Black Ger Tzedek in Meah Shearim. It wasn't any different. If I'm going to be dan l'chaf zechut - at least they are consistent...... :-(

    Anonymous - you are quite right and I would take it a stage further. This behaviour not only puts off potential ba'alei t'shuva but is probably a measure cause of those going "OTD".

    BTW - I hope your brother left THE Yeshiva (not that I know which one you mean, being a foreigner and all).

  7. If "the Derech" means that you have to be a bigoted, superstitious, ignorant, semi-literate racist why in the world would anyone want to be on it?

  8. Point taken but that is the whole point of this and other like minded blogs; that you DON'T have to be a bigoted etc. etc.