White Liberalism Goes Off the Rails Again
Susan Sarandon is no dummy. I believe her heart is in the right place when she does her activist thing. During her short speech at a rally in New York City’s Union Square on Nov. 17, she made some good points about how to debate scorching topics like the Israel-Hamas conlict in Gaza. It is important to listen. It is important to have facts. And “try to take a breath before you answer” is something we all should practice every day of our lives.
But when she’s wrong, boy, is she totally wrong. Before she got to the wiser stuff, she’d already tainted her apparent goodwill by dropping a bomb of her own: “There are a lot of people that are afraid, afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence,” she said.
She was swiftly dropped by United Talent Agency. Will cancellation be next? I love her as an actress, and when I met her in person years ago, she was lovely, so I hope not. But it might be time for her to rethink some of her political posturing.
Sarandon’s rhetorical shrug at the targeting of Jewish Americans as punishment for the plight of Arabs in Israel is shocking but not surprising. Her insinuation that antisemitic attacks in the U.S. can be spun as some kind of payback for the unspeakable slaughtering of Arabs in Gaza and anti-Muslim sentiment in general is just another prime example of White liberalism gone off the rails.
It’s one thing to advocate for brown-skinned underdogs (it’s a White-savior specialty) — but when we talk about Israel, we can acknowledge the suffering and condemn the carnage without collectively trying civilians in the court of our public opinion. Was the privileged Oscar winner low-key condoning the harassment of Jewish Americans who are not responsible for what’s happening in Israel because they’re getting a lesson many of them have already been taught?