I Have Been Naive

Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of anti-semitism, but RightWingWatch has delivered a disheartening quote from a prominent guest on something called “The Richie Allen Show” and I don’t care how fringe this is, it’s awful:

“Pedophilia is rampant within the Jewish religion, from what I’ve researched,” Crokin said. “I’ve also discovered that predators prey on children at Jewish camps. Now, it is interesting how pedophilia has been exposed within the Catholic church but there hasn’t been a huge scandal about the pedophilia that goes on within the Jewish community. We do know that the Jews control most of the mainstream media and Hollywood, so you’re probably on to something with that.”


Apparently Liz Crokin passes for a journalist on the right wing, and is known particularly for claiming that Pizzagate revealed TRUFAX about Democrats and deep staters raping children in the basement of a specific Washington DC pizzeria. Of course, the fact that there is no basement to that particular pizzeria is probably also the result of a conspiracy involving the Higgs boson or something. Who knows.

Crokin is one of those people that are wacky enough to say that nonexistent places are the sites of deep, intractable evil in which 1/10th of the country is involved (yet somehow keeping the secret). The statements of people like that are usually ignored by me, but this tsunami of mendacious hatred overtopped my crippled dikes. Let us not forget that the right wing has already spurred one useful idiot to violently attack that pizzeria while carrying multiple guns in an effort to “save the children” and “find out for [him]self” what was happening in that non-existent basement. It’s bad enough that she would say these things at all, but saying them when she knows that this specific lie has already led to gunfire*1 is so far beyond the pale, I have trouble articulating it.

Let us also not relieve the humble host of The Richie Allen Show merely because this was a guest speaking the words. According to RWW, the host was pushing for exactly this kind of slander:

After nearly an hour of attempting to avoid the host’s persistent efforts to link the scandals to Jews, Crokin eventually stopped resisting the anti-Semitic undercurrent of the discussion and found a way to link the death of Rich to the supposed problem of “rampant” pedophilia within the Jewish community.

There’s good reporting and then there’s simply self-torture. I am not going to listen to this show to find out exactly what justified RWW’s statements here; the fact that the host invited Crokin on and allowed her anti-semitism to be broadcast is more than sufficiently damning for me. I don’t need to prove this particular sin to know we’re dealing with someone willing to encourage anti-semitism. The rest of his behavior does that. I simply didn’t want anyone left with the mistaken impression that it was possible that the host threw Crokin out of the studio immediately or anything. Nope. The Richie Allen Show apparently got what it wanted from Crokin, and Crokin from the show.

And it’s this that makes me feel so stupidly naive. Yes, of course anti-semitism exists. Yes, of course it has existed for a time much longer than any human memory of any dead person who is still within the human memory of one living person, which is all the time it needs to become deeply entrenched. And yet, somehow I manage to be shocked that this is business to Crokin and the people at The Richie Allen Show. Presumably they were making a decision about how to make money, and they thought that their best decision that day involved having Crokin accuse people of pedophilia, not merely without evidence, but after central claims have been proven false and proven to inspire gun violence.

When the Boston Globe ran its stories on Catholic priests’ histories of pedophelia, they had specific names, specific cases, specific victims, and specific evidence that the higher-ups had paid them hush money and transferred the priests to new parishes where they could once again abuse children. There is none of that here. I am actually eager to see more information come to light about the abuse of power and the abuses of children within Lubavitchers and other toxically insular Jewish communities. I’d like to see more information come to light about how they abuse adults as well. If there are rabbis or other leaders in the Reform and Reconstructionist circles where I made my home (and I’m sure, statistically, there there must be some non-zero number) using their trust and authority to commit assaults or other abuses against members of their congregations, I’d be very happy to see that come to light as well. But even that is of far less impact than what we know the Catholic Church did. The RCC scandal wasn’t that among millions of Catholics around the world, some of them ended up being pedophiles who assaulted multiple children. The scandal was that the people who make the business decisions for the RCC decided to keep these people on the payroll and provide them with new positions that allowed them new opportunities to abuse – even enhanced opportunities to abuse, as they didn’t need to overcome the community’s mistrust as they would have done had they stayed where people knew of their crimes.

In short, the RCC was targeted not because pedophiles exist and some of them are Catholic. The RCC was targeted for criticism because they made callous business decisions to prioritize their self-interests to the extent that even risking violence and lasting harm to others was not enough to cause them to choose the less evil path.

Crokin and The Richie Allen Show are the appropriate comparators here, not Jews.


*1: Gunfire that, IIRC, didn’t hit or injure anyone, but was instead used to break through locks and/or scare folks.

As a separate note, I still remember a quote from a friend’s co-worker, speaking to my very visibly Jewish friend:

I’m not anti-semitic. I would never call someone a Jew!

One shouldn’t be able to graduate high school with that level of ignorance.

Edited: Oct 23, 2017 2:30pm Pacific: Previously the penultimate sentence began: “The RCC exists because…” I think I meant to say “the RCC scandal exists because ….” But whatever the exact wording, and regardless of whether or not that would have been technically correct, what I believe true, and what is probably close to my original intent, is the new wording: “The RCC was targeted for criticism…”

I wish I could remember what I was thinking, but whatevs.

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