Have you ever heard of a pogrom?
If so, you probably picture a band of 18th-century Cossacks riding through the Polish countryside on horses to loot and burn Jewish villages, or shtetls, killing women, children and anything else that moves.
Replace the 18th-century Cossacks with young 21st-century Americans, the horses with cars and the Jewish shtetls with the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles on the night of May 30, 2020.
The locals are calling it the “Shavuos Pogrom.”
In what is a widely underreported event, protesters from the Black Lives Matter group of Los Angeles purposely met in the oldest Jewish neighborhood in the region to destroy Jewish businesses, schools and synagogues. In all, they managed to loot a large number of stores, three Jewish schools and five synagogues. The next day, locals woke up to scrawled graffitied images reading an obscene message attacking Jews, “Free Palestine,” and, perhaps scariest of all, “Kill the Jews!”
On the night of May 30, while the rioters looted and burned without the intervention of the local police, they chanted an obscene message attacking the police and saying “kill the Jews.”
It’s not a far cry from 18th-century Poland, is it?
And lest you think that this was perhaps a small group of people who took advantage of the BLM protests to steal valuables and really had nothing to do with them, let me show you how that is not the case.
The “protest” was organized by BLM-L.A.’s leader, Melina Abdullah, who has on numerous occasions said incredibly anti-Semitic things, as well as endorsing and defending multiple outspoken anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan.
It was clear why she decided to hold the looting in L.A.’s oldest Jewish neighborhood, rather than anywhere else in the vast city, when she made claims to the area’s “white affluence”: “We’ve been very deliberate in saying that the violence and pain and hurt that’s experienced on a daily basis by black folks at the hands of a repressive system should also be visited upon, to a degree, to those who think that they can just retreat to white affluence.” Never mind the fact that the majority of people affected were small, non-white business owners, most of whom sold non-resellable goods like bread, food, clothing, or medicine.
But Ms. Abdullah’s deliberate anti-Semitism doesn’t end there. She has often been seen speaking at Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan events, prasing him and others. Mr. Farrakhan has repeatedly said that, “Those who call themselves ‘Jews,’ who are not really Jews, but are in fact Satan,” praised Hitler by claiming, “Hitler was trying to destroy the international bankers controlling Europe” and often simply refers to Jews as “termites.”
This sort of language hasn’t stopped Ms. Abdullah from praising and even defending Mr. Farrakhan. Ms. Abdullah’s daughter, Thandiwe, has also hopped onto the hate train, claiming that the Jews have committed “genocide” against Palestinians in the Middle East.
Again, Melina Abdullah and her ilk are not isolated actors choosing to be racist in isolation. Melina is the official head of BLM Los Angeles and a professor of pan-African studies at CalState.
She has officially cemented the relationship between BLM and the Nation of Islam, saying, “Minister Farrakhan was calling on folks not to spend their dollars with the white corporations that keep us oppressed, and so we partnered with the Nation and helped to amplify that call.”
What does all of this add up to?
Well, very little, in the eyes of the national media. In a Front Page Magazine article, author Daniel Greenfield wrote that, “The media repeatedly described Abdullah as an activist against police violence while ignoring her affinity for a racist black supremacist hate group whose leader has described Jews as satanic and subhuman.”
He goes on to say that it is scary how underreported the events that took place on the night of May 30 are. That is why I am writing this article for my local community here in Santa Barbara. I want the people here to know that Black Lives Matter, the organization, is far from perfect and should be scrutinized more harshly for harboring such anti-Semitic characters as Mellina Abdullah.
Please join me as I write future letters to explore the BLM charter and what it actually stands for, my clashes with BLM protesters in the Santa Barbara City Council, how BLM can adversely affect this community, and, finally, what you can do about it.