Zionist visionary Ze’ev Jabotinsky was one of the earliest Jewish voices against racism in the US. His words, written in 1910, in many ways still ring true today.
By Ronn Torossian, The Algemeiner
All decent people everywhere are outraged by the images of the murder of George Floyd. All voices must stand up against discrimination and racism.
Interestingly, a Zionist visionary, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, was one of the earliest Jewish voices against racism in the United States. His words, written in 1910, in many ways still ring true today.
In 1910, Jabotinsky wrote an article titled “Homo Homini Lupus,” roughly translated as “Man Is as a Wolf to Other Men,” following a boxing match between James Jeffries and Jack Johnson, the heavyweight champion of the world at the time, who was African-American.
Johnson won — and then mobs of white people attacked blacks in cities throughout the United States. At least 20 people were killed in the riots.
Jabotinsky wrote, “Since it was the black man that won and there was a suspicion that other blacks in the land would feel proud, the white citizens of the great republic could not tolerate this. They sought to quash black pride and fell upon blacks in a proportion of 50-to-1, smashed heads, trampled people and acted cruelly even to women and children.”
Jabotinsky denounced the discrimination in the country, noting, “In the United States, the most free republic on earth, there are 10 million citizens suffering a shocking lack of rights simply because of the color of their skin.”
He further pointed out that although nearly 50 years had passed since slavery was abolished, there remained a pervasive inequality that was more severe than “anywhere else in the cultured world, even if also we included in this flexible definition Russia and Romania … Theaters are closed to the black man, as are hotels, railway cars, and schools. He is assigned special railway cars and narrow, separate compartments on trains. Schools for black children are cheaply constructed, inadequate, and dirty. The political rights of the ‘free and equal’ black citizen are non-existent.”
Jabotinsky continued: “This system is fixed, permanently, and is practiced before the entire world. The president and congress know about this and no one would even think to shrug his shoulders, for such is the system, accepted as it is as part of matters of state.”
His words — which ring true today — go on: “So very wise was the philosopher who proclaimed Homo Homini Lupus, that a man acts towards his fellow-man worse than does a wolf. For in America, there is plain and simple hate of one race against another — a devious hate, right before our eyes, arbitrary, without reason and without cause.”
Let us all work, hope and pray that racism and discrimination end.