Great discussion but I was disappointed with Bari and Bret’s response to the question on whether there is an appropriate response to So called Jewish over representation in Hollywood and other fields. The typical answer of Jews being banned from land ownership and other professions is a true but very elementary answer. The use of the word “over representation” is problematic in and of itself, as if Jews have something to explain or apologize for achieving success in certain fields and making quite astounding contributions to the betterment of their chosen professions and for that matter humanity. I think the better question is what is it about Judaism or Jewish thought, traditions, history and culture that have allowed the Jewish people to survive and at times thrive in exile over the millennia in a world that was usually hostile to its communities. Interestingly, the Dalai Lama and Mark Twain have asked the same question?

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Kanye nor Kyrie should ever be penalized for exercising their right to be stupid.

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I try to end a post with something positive. I know how heated many of us can get, myself included, when it comes to some of these issues and I've worked hard to weigh my words while I write. I try to think of ways to say things in the least offensive ways without weakening the essence of my opinion and I think I've gotten better. I believe that one loses credibility when they come off angry and vengeful and it makes it easier for the reader to dismiss the validity of the point one is trying to make. I had to unfortunately learn this the hard way and still have plenty of room for improvement. Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

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Dec 14, 2022·edited Dec 14, 2022

I look forward to listening to this podcast! However, I wanted to submit a small correction to the article. You said that Jews suffer the largest number of hate crimes in the US, but Jews actually only suffer the largest number of religious based hate crimes. Black Americans suffer the most amount of hate crimes. However, if you gauge the number of hate crimes committed against both groups relative to their population size, both groups are about equal. Not that it’s a competition. Congratulations on building this new platform!

- Jonathan’s son, Aidan

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Bari another great discussion!

I’d say you Were too sensitive on Chapelle’s comment ……..

Please - We can’t turn into “ THEM “ ……

PS - Does your Weiss ( common name I know ) family have a relationship with a writer on the east coast that went by “ Lovable Len” in his day.

Lenny Weiss even did live local TV shows here and the “ wonderful “ Al Sharpton was one of his guests after Brawley but long before msnbc ? Early 1990’s ?

Yeah I know you were not born yet almost 👻👻👻

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There has been much written about claiming victim status, but best victim prize has got to be awarded to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried for declaring his arrest is due to anti-Semitism. It's not about the 1.8 billion lost, but his race. Wondering if his father, a law professor at Stanford who resigned to help his son's defense, thought that victim is the best shot?!

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I was disappointed by the weak answers in the roundtable discussion to the most important quesiton "what do we do about it?" The answer is clear. Black politicians, black business leaders, black actors, black athletes, black clergy, black journalists, et.al., must be as vocal in speaking out against antisemitism as they are against racism (and demand the same of everyone else). They should be challenged as to why they aren't speaking up against it. I thank Charles Barkley and a few others who did But for the most part...crickets.

Also, I disagree with the chuckling alonside Dave Chappelle's SNL monologue. Saying Jews should put up Shindler's List on twitter if they don't like Kyrie's post is not funny. I'd like to see how funny he'd find it if a white player posted a movie supporting the KKK.

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I think Bret Stephens made such a great point about the word "allyship."

"It's a word that... suggests that what one group expects of another is a shared set of political or ideological commitments. Allyship seems to be a road to ruin when it comes to sustaining long-term, positive relationships between real groups because what allyship commands is political commitment whereas what really should be taking place between groups is friendship."

It's so true...what happened to human connection? What happened to people creating a shared understanding of one another through conversation, sharing meals together, and connecting face-to-face in their communities? In-person friendship (whether black, white, Jewish, Asian, Muslim, etc) is something humans are really missing these days. I grew up in the 90s and remember it being so much more prevalent.

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I enjoyed listening to the various views from different lenses on such a complex topic. Bari is going a long way to model civil discourse on issues we are often going to disagree in the multicultural, multiracial, religiously and politically pluralistic society we live in. At one point Bari asked a panelist (forgot which one) how we got to a point that public figures like Ye can admire Nazis and Hitler, and deny the Holocaust? She asked “What happened to the guardrails?”

The panelist then, in my view, lost some credibility by tying the lack of civil public discourse to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Regardless of what Trump policies a person might agree with, most folks, including honest Republicans, will admit Trump personally acts like an ass___e, and says and does many offensive things. But let’s be real here. Offensive, racially charged and anti-Semitic statements by political candidates were not invented by Trump, although he clearly fanned the flames by his highly charged rhetoric. Before Trump, though, there have been many Dem politicians, and Black leaders (race merchants in my view), who did not hesitate to cross the line of civil discourse making gross, obnoxious anti-white and anti-Semitic attacks against opponents and entire groups of people. We all share in responsibility for the decline in civility, and we all share in the responsibility to rebuild a system of civil discourse. I don’t think we get there by simply pointing at Trump.

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Many, including me, have rightly trashed the ADL in public, repeatedly, for the better part of a decade and recommended that Jews and others look elsewhere for leadership against antisemitism. This imperative is more urgent than ever.

That said, the ADL still has one advantage, its research department, although its leadership largely ignores the results. And it shows clearly how antisemitism in America has changed in the last 40 years. From the first research on antisemitism at the end of the 1930s, until around 1980, white antisemitism was higher than, say, black antisemitism. Both started falling after the war. Some time between 1980 and the early 1990s, black and Hispanic antisemitism stopped falling and plateaued. OTOH, antisemitism among white and (now tracked) Asian Americans continued to fall. Black and Hispanic antisemitism apart, antisemitism generally has never been more marginal in American society.

However, among black Americans specifically, the plateau has become evident since the end of the 1980s. The first signs of it appeared in the late 1960s, in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville controversy, then again in the early 1990s, in the Crown Heights riot, stoked by Al Sharpton. What's happened in the last 15 years is that this antisemitism (and also a striking degree of prejudice against legal immigrants) has become swept up in the Woke movement. It's now embedded in institutions, especially education. In fact, you might call it institutional antisemitism.

This is where we are and have been for the last 30+ years. If we have a different impression of what's going on, that's because of the powerful distorting effect of both legacy and social media. Their misinformation and "narratives" are societal blights. Anyone who consumes this poison will not understand the world they live in and will demand the world be shut out and "cancelled."

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Did you mean to say ‘conservation’?

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Bari describing Twitter violating the 1st Amendment "44. They're about the power of a handful of people at a private company to influence the public discourse and democracy." - Bari Weiss 1:08 PM - Dec 12, 2022.

Just a handful of folks... On a country ride... $5/month x 260K subscribers. Capitalism at its finest. Have fun smothering partners. I am so glad I was shot at defending folks.

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I quit listening with 15 minutes to go because it was becoming repetitive, but believe I got the gist. I was particularly impressed with the nuanced views of Eli and Kmele. (Chloe didn’t get much air time, and I suspect that partially reflects a shy personality; wish I could’ve heard more from her.)

Bret Stephens was a big disappointment. His obvious Trump Derangement Syndrome seemed to color everything he said. Never mind that Trump is a stalwart supporter of Israel, moved the embassy to Jerusalem, brokered the Abraham Accords, has Jews in his immediate family, went after Muslim terrorists bent on eradicating Jews, stood up to the Palestinian Lobby - never mind all that. Bret Stephens brands Trump an anti-Semite, in part because he invited Ye to dinner in Florida. Stephens has been a NeverTrumper all along, so his weirdly blaming Trump for a rise in anti-Semitism was not surprising here; disappointing, but not surprising..

On the other hand, I appreciated hearing my view reinforced by Eli and Kmele that people are much too prone to abandon nuance and pigeonhole others with labels: A person thinks thus-and-such, and therefore is a racist, homophobe, bigot, Nazi, narcissist, fascist, nativist - you pick the label, and nuanced thinking about the person goes out the window. He or she is deemed disqualified to opine on anything. This happens all the time. Label the person and we can disregard him. Eli and Kmele say, not so fast! Let’s stop categorizing people and treat them as more nuanced individuals.

So there was that.

As for allegedly rampant anti-Semitism in America: I’m not Jewish and don’t live in a heavily Jewish area, so of course I’m neither as informed nor as sensitive to perceived dangers. That said, I tend to agree that it’s certainly a problem - and for someone who risks being attacked on the streets of Brooklyn or needs armed guards at the synagogue, it’s a problem of personal dimensions. But looking at the big picture, my sincere belief is that a tiny fringe of neo-Nazis, and another fringe of Farrakhan sympathizers, are largely responsible. The vast majority of Americans don’t have an anti-Semitic bone in their body, Reps. Omar and Tlaib to the contrary.

(Neither are we a racist society, but that’s another story).

Anyway, I enjoy listening to Honesty podcasts. Thanks, Bari.

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Bari, in other articles, has noted the wisdom of talking to people with whom one deeply disagrees. Unfortunately she draws the line at Trump talking to antisemites.

In this respect, Bari seems afflicted by the same malaise that has been corroding liberalism for the past 30 years: the view that racism, sexism, antisemitism, etc are such reprehensible ideas that the people who hold them must be incorrigible. As such, they must be made pariahs, censored, de-platformed, shadow banned, etc.. Moreover, to meet with or talk with these folks isn’t just a waste of time, it’s actually dangerous because it would “legitimize” or “mainstream” their views, or give these views “oxygen” and allow them to spread.

First of all, those arguments are laziness, masquerating as virtue. Calling someone a racist is easy but it doesn’t make them stop being racist. Preventing somebody from speaking their bad ideas doesn’t make them stop believing those bad ideas. Second of all, shaming and shunning these people actually allows their numbers to grow. Obviously, these people and their ideas do not disappear when we de-platform them or suspend them from Twitter. They go elsewhere, and they gather an audience, who, unfortunately are now deprived of the benefit of any counter arguments or better ideas. And because of our unwillingness to engage, their numbers are not diminished, they grow unchecked.

As counterintuitive as it seems, Bari should have stood up for Donald Trump‘s meeting with those two lunatics (Kanye and Fuentes). Not because she believes what they believe, but because she believes that talking with people with whom you disagree is is the only way to counter their ideas, and the spread of their ideas.

The only way to fight bigotry is to actually and authentically engage with the person whose ideas you detest. And if they’re a public person it needs to be public engagement. A real conversation about what they think and why they think it.

And if you’re tempted to claim that approach is a waste of time, because these people are incorrigible, please consider the case of of Daryl Davis, a black blues musician who spent 30 years meeting with - and befriending- members of the Ku Klux Klan - to astonishing effect. His courage changed minds and indeed countless lives. We should all strive to be so brave.

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All well put, but marred by the casting of Donald Trump as someone who disagrees with the "two lunatics" in question. His record does not support that. His reaction to Fuentes's dinner-table conversation was to say, "He gets me." It seems the only moments when everyone did not see eye-to-eye were those when Trump disparaged Kanye's ex-wife and when Kanye mused about running for president with Trump as his running mate.

But by all means let's have communication between people who disagree.

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Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think Trump is an antisemite . He’s publicly disavowed, antisemitism more than once. He has been a pretty excellent friend to the state of Israel. And I doubt Bari’s recent guest, Benjamin Netanyahu, would characterize Trump as antisemitic. 

Trump definitely says, thoughtless, stupid things and sometimes uses  antisemitic tropes from time to time, but does that really make him antisemitic, in a meaningful way? Maybe it just makes him thoughtless and stupid. And possibly just old.

Our Clickbait culture has turned pretty normal human foibles into triggers for online outrage. But the outrage needs to get dialed down if we hope to be less polarized.

And the willingness of people to meet with, and talk to each other is something we should all stand up for. People talking together about what they believe and don’t believe is a far better alternative than any other approach to politics. Trying to suppress these kinds of conversations is common, but deeply misguided.

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Thanks for your reply.

It has always been a matter for debate whether Donald Trump is deeply antisemitic or just superficially so, or somehow given to talking like an antisemite without being one. His record as an excellent friend to Israel is consistent with the Christian Zionism common among his evangelical Christian supporters, so we can't really judge his feelings from that.

I'm just saying that Trump doesn't fit into the picture of someone engaging people who are on the other side of a moral issue. Nothing we know about his personality suggests that he would ever undertake a mission of broadminded intellectual exploration or even fathom why anyone would do so.

For more on Trump's remarks about Jews over the years, please see Maggie Haberman's new book, Confidence Man. For a somewhat fuller explanation of my own thinking, please see the blog post below.

Anyway, thanks for reading this far.


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Thanks for the reply. I read your article and found quite a lot to agree with.

With respect to Trump, I agree that it’s not possible to know what he believes in his heart of hearts. But I suppose that could be said of many people - and especially politicians. But such a general impossibility doesn’t diminish my commitment to the free and open exchange of ideas, nor my support for folks who are willing to talk to unpopular people or talk about thorny subjects. I also agree that Trump is unlikely to “undertake a mission of broadminded intellectual exploration” (nice!) but I don’t think the permission to engage with others on these matters should be limited to broad minded intellectuals. In fact, I suspect that one of the things that really outrages the progressives about Trump is that he’s so deeply unintellectual, yet he’s blithely wading into matters that the elites have deemed out of bounds for the uneducated to discuss. As we’ve seen in recent revelations of widespread censorship (at the behest of our national security apparatus) this is all rooted in a deep political need to control the narrative. Thst’s what censorship is for: controlling the narrative. That’s what de-platform is for: controlling the narrative. That’s what shaming, shunning and canceling are for: controlling the narrative. And the reason to want to control the narrative is painfully obvious: propaganda works. At least for a short time.

But there’s Trump, not playing by those rules. He’s thumbing his nose at the whole project of trying to shut people up.

I know it’s asking a lot to see Trump is anything but a a thoroughly repellent, character. But, it is inescapable that his existence on the political scene has brought classical liberals out of their 30 year stupor and exposed the fundamentally undemocratic and deeply dangerous nature of the progressive project. If, for nothing else, he deserves our thanks for that. It has certainly made me reaffirm my commitment to the free and open exchange of ideas. As the Washington Post says, with unintentional irony that grows with each and every passing day, “democracy dies in darkness.”

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Thanks again. I can say that I found quite a lot to agree with in your latest post.

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I understand the need for the new logo, and I’m sure someone worked hard on it. But it no longer stands out as easy to see when scrolling through my inbox. I liked how the red background made it easy to pick out, now it just blends in with the rest of the logos here.

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