A New Film Tries, and Fails, to Make Black-Jewish Relations Funny

With a star-studded cast that includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eddie Murphy, Netflix’s You People has a conventional plot: a Jewish man and a black woman plan to marry, their respective families meet, cultural differences and mutual prejudices come to the fore, and comedy ensues. But, writes Allison Josephs, the film fails to be funny, trivializes the Holocaust, and lets the notion that Jews grew rich from the slave trade go unquestioned. Worse still, in Joseph’s view, is that every character “loves Black culture and no one in the film loves Jewish culture. In fact, they hate it.” She adds:

[I]n You People, Jews are not considered a marginalized group. Instead, they are white, rich, privileged, and responsible for the suffering of marginalized people in the world.

Through several examples, we see that Ezra, [the Jewish suitor], is a pathological liar. He pretends to know neighborhoods and songs he doesn’t know; he claims that he doesn’t do cocaine, but then we meet his cocaine dealer (who notes that he’s a “mensch”—is the dealer Jewish too?). . . . We also know that Ezra has . . . hired prostitutes. Ezra is a lying, degenerate, drug-doing Jew.

In this movie, only Black people and never Jewish people face [discrimination and bigotry]. What do Jews face instead? Connections. Jewish connections. Ezra has a family friend: Rick Greenwald. Rick is a Jew who is connected. He gets other Jews jobs and now he can get one for Amira, [Ezra’s beloved]. But she has too much pride. Unlike the Jews, who have always been privileged, Amira had to work for everything she has!

Read more at Jew in the City

More about: Arts & Culture


Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University