Health Disparities in the African American community

Dear friend,

The Indy JCRC has done it again.

On May 6th the JCRC will be sponsoring a roundtable entitled “Health Disparities in the African American community.”  While on its face this event does not appear objectionable, we’d like to point out certain problems with it that are troubling. First, the event is designed to address “health disparities” between black Hoosiers and the broader community and determine what policy changes or initiatives are needed to correct the disparities. What is a health disparity, you might ask?  It’s when different groups have different health outcomes. While we accept that understanding why this occurs is a worthwhile endeavor, the problem with the health disparities field is that it almost always begins with the assumption that health outcomes are related to differences in public policies (read: correcting systemic racism) and ignores entirely the large impact of individual responsibility that we all know greatly influences personal health. This is why those pushing health disparities research invariably recommend changes in public policy rather than changes to individual behavior (and why in our opinion this whole exercise is inevitably doomed to failure).  More to the point, we don’t understand why the JCRC is using its communal resources and time to organize and sponsor such an event. After all, is the black community so incapable that they can’t do it for themselves? Of course not. This is not the first time we’ve seen such a patronizing attitude from the JCRC when it comes to minority groups.

More important, when it comes to the black community the JCRC should be laser focused on spending its precious time, effort, and community dollars addressing the one key issue that is critically related to the security and safety of American Jewry. We are referring, of course, to black antisemitism. Black antisemites can be counted among America’s most prominent black community and religious leaders (e.g. Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton), political leaders (e.g. Ilhan Omar, DNC co-chair Keith Ellison), and black organizers and organizations (e.g. Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory, Black Lives Matter), among others. Brutal and violent attacks on Jews in large part perpetrated by blacks in the New York metro area have increasingly made the news over the past couple of years. Black antisemitism is manifested on campuses across America in alliances formed between black and annihilationist jihadi and leftist student groups. For more than 20 years polafter national poll has demonstrated that US blacks have among the highest (and sometimes the highest) levels of antisemitism of any racial group in the US.

Why isn’t the JCRC spending its time addressing this critical issue with black Hoosiers so we can better understand its roots and work to eradicate it? Of course, that would mean actual advocacy work on behalf of Jewry, something that’s out of favor in many American Jewish “leadership” circles these days.

Regardless, the Indianapolis JCRC website states that the “core of JCRC’s mission is to safeguard Jews here in the U.S., in Israel, and around the world, by combatting antisemitism through relationship-building and education.”  To this we say…if only it were true! Indy JCRC, please start “safeguarding” American Jews and fighting Jew hatred and stop with your frivolous and even detrimental virtue signaling! 

We strongly encourage you to forward this email to others in the community and to contact the JCRC directly to demand answers as to why they are not living up to their own mission statement. JCRC contact information is:

Phone: (317) 926-2935 Email: [email protected]

Be well,

JAACI leadership

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