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Rav Avigdor Miller on Equal Rights For Everyone

Q: Is there anything wrong with the African American community striving for equality? Didn’t we Jews also try to do the same?

A: No, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. The African Americans have the right to strive for equality. There’s no question that everyone has the right to better himself and his place in society. Our claim is only that you must make this attempt for equality by legal means – not by power and not by force. We Jews, whatever we gained was not gained by forcing. It was not gained by burning down cities.

And we also did not request any privileges. The most we wanted was equality. But that we should be offered privileges above the rest of the population never entered our minds. Affirmative action?! Affirmative action – that’s one of the euphemistic names of a policy that is used to camouflage a movement that is intended to give privileges to them more than to others. Affirmative action means to give jobs and other privileges only to them – even when it means discriminating against more qualified people. And open admission to schools means to allow anyone to enter, even though that person is not qualified. And the qualified fellow loses out. Such things are absolutely unfair. And that is what is wrong in the present struggle for control of public office. The politicians who support these unfair and wrong policies in order to placate the vandals who are burning down cities are a danger to all of us.
TAPE # 62 (April 1975)

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There are 13 Comments to "Rav Avigdor Miller on Equal Rights For Everyone"

  • A says:

    African American want exactly what we all want, to be treated with dignity and fairness. MLK was unequivocal about non-violence, his murder by a white supremacist empowered the voices of the Black Panthers and the rioters of the 60’s and 70’s.

    Let us not forget the 300 year ugly history of racism in America, directed against blacks and Jews alike, the segregated facilities, the lynchings, the denied opportunities – and how it was the great struggle for civil rights – in our own lifetime – that helped us Jews too. We are in one boat, an officer that can pin a black man’s neck to the ground for 9 minutes, instead of cuffing him, shows signs of a society that has uncivilized elements in it, let us not delude ourselves that a Jew with a long beard and payos would get different treatment.

    Our hallmark as Jews is that we are “rachmanim” we are ennobled when we are able to express empathy and heart for those less fortunate then us.

    • Sammy says:

      I think you missed the point my friend.
      Of course everyone should be outraged about the george floyd incident.
      The Rabbi is referring to those who hijack these ideals to get whatever their greedy hands can grab.All in the name of “being oppressed”.

  • roger says:

    A- You’re speaking nonsense! My parents arrived on these shores without two nickels to rub together! Hard work and perseverance actualized the American dream not a sense of entitlement! The average inner city African American today has a 20% chance of having a male adult present in the home!! These kids are raised in drug infested crime filled streets!!Their odds of being killed or imprisoned in their adolescent years is overwhelming! The demonrats control their votes to the tune of 95% by plying these households with ‘goodies’ like welfare, foodstamps,etc. No incentives are initiated to assist them climbing out of their misery because that keeps demonrats in power! Trump and his staff (Dr.Ben Carson, Jared and Ivanka,etc.) are desperately attempting to turn this around !! The filthy lying mainstream media are controlled by anarchists like soros and cryin’ chuck!! They get paid to demonize anything Trump does!!!!

    • QUCH says:

      Roger that! Thank you.

    • A Yid In LKWD says:

      Thank you Roger for explaining so beautifully how blacks are stuck in a vicious cycle. How is someone raised in a black community, educated in an underfunded school, and then unable to get a decent job because of a lack of an education supposed to turn out different than his father and perpetuate the cycle?

      • Sammy says:

        Many have. It is INDEEd difficult, but that cannot be helped from any outsider. The only one who can change ones habits is the person himself. That doesnt mean its easy, it is not an envious position, but its reality. Giving more things and and “lowering the incline” doesnt help that. quite the opposite, it alllows others who DID grow up better equipped to take the same rout, thus damaging the societal fabric entirely

  • Moshe G. says:

    to “A Says”. Your comments appear to be to tinged with an unintended anti-Rabbi” insinuation. Rabbi Miller’s answer is denouncing the Civil Rights movement for what it has become – not for what it was intended to be. Many of the well educated and hard working people of color consider Affirmative Action a racist policy, as it implies that given equal rights, people of color could not compete in the marketplace.

  • anonymous says:

    I applaud A.
    What happened to our parents cannot compare to what happened to the blacks.There are simple differences between the origins of blacks and Jews in America. Blacks were slaves in this country until 1865 and then there was a civil war to keep them as slaves.
    The inhumane treatment of blacks in the south, continued until the 60’s when the civil rights movement finally gave them equal rights. Even today there is deeply ingrained racism against them. They do not have a fair playing field because they are fighting ingrained racism. Racism against blacks applies even to those that are highly successful and well educated. Even when they become President of the US.
    Most of the hatred for Obama is due to his being black.
    The recent case of the white lady in central park with an unleashed dog calling the police on a Harvard educated black is one example.
    The football players who were castigated for being anti-american for protesting cops killing blacks were completely peaceful but were still ostracized.

    Jews are either white Europeans or Mid-Eastern who came here as poor immigrants. They were never slaves or treated as poorly as blacks. They struggled like all races and nationalities, but were never picked on.

    To generalize from inner city blacks to all blacks in America is the very definition of RACISM.
    If one Jew publicly commits a crime, the first announcement in the papers is that a Jew did it. We cringe when this happens and we shouldn’t do it to others. The person being Jewish is as irrelevant as if he were Irish or Italian.
    The GOP under Trump is no longer ashamed of being racists. Blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, etc …. We can be racist against them all.

    Looting and property damage is wrong and illegal. That applies to whoever does it. White or Black.

    The recent weeks have shown that blacks still suffer from discrimination and are treated differently in America. How may blacks need to die in police custody before we realize that it is not just a few bad apples ?

    The social net created by foodstamps and welfare is good for all Americans. I know a few kollel members who Boruch Hashem benefit from them. The Democrats believe in taking care of all Americans . Republicans believe in letting poor Americans suffer without healthcare, food or housing. Which side is the Torah on?
    Republicans believe in white collar looting of the treasury when they gave the millionaires a gigantic tax cut. Then they need to cut funding for the social net because the government is now broke. Trump and the GOP went into the treasury and looted money.

    • rr says:

      comment is full of a liberal mindset

    • anonymous says:

      you forget whe the jews came to america in the first place. the europeans didn’t bother enslaving us. they simply wanted to kill us and our families. progorm comes to mind.

      the point is – yes the african americans were enslaved but after 100+ years there is very little they can show in terms of their efforts to make it work. that lack of success is a direct result to their situation.

      stop crying “it’s not fair” and start producing!

    • alex says:

      Your comment that democrats believe in taking care of all americans is what is wrong with liberalism

      Govt’s job is to protect people not take care of people. Lyndon Johnson’s great society has brought us more poverty, And FDR’s social security has been bailed out more times than the average Antifa protestor.
      Social programs should be designed as safety nets and not as a lchatchila way of living

  • My 2 cents says:

    It has nothing to do with having been slaves. There are plenty of law abiding honest black people. The ones rioting are a bunch of lawless thugs. I am sure there are many good blacks who are cringing because of the bad image these thugs (I don’t want to call them people) are causing. They just enjoy looting and pillaging and hurting all those businesses and people who are innocent and never harmed them and this is a feeble excuse for them to go on the rampage. We probably don’t have enough jails to lock them all up in, but they should definitely be punished. It is terrible that a police officer caused a man’s death, but his own brother spoke out against these hoodlums. They want to make a peaceful march for justice, okay, but not act like barbarians.

  • Alex says:

    I take strong issue with your statement – ” most of the hatred of obama is due to his being black”. That is an uttlerly false and insulting statement to 60 million americans who identify as republican conservatives.

    Obama was a liberal president who presided over awful policies. His treatment of israel was terrible. His apology tour to the mideast portrayed America as a bad country. Obama care is a complete failure not to mention the lie about keeping your doctor.

    I find it interesting that you bash republicans but all the inner city decay is in cities that have been run by democrats for the last 50 years.

    Ronald reagan said when we stop compartmentalizing americans with labels as African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans etc.. we will achieve equality, When you consistently use identity politics as bait to get votes you exacerbate the problem instead of solving it.