Who Are the Luckiest Jews, Blacks, and Latinos?

At The City College of New York in the late 1930s, my father, an Orthodox Jew, wrote his senior class thesis on anti-Semitism in America. He delineated common realities of the era, such as Jews’ admission to law firms, country clubs and colleges being denied or restricted, and various other manifestations of popular and institutional anti-Semitism.

Yet he taught his two sons—my older brother and me—to believe that we, as Americans, were the luckiest Jews in Jewish history.

With the obvious exception of Jews living in Israel, he was right. I can state this with some authority, having written a book on anti-Semitism and taught Jewish history at Brooklyn College.

Despite the existence of anti-Semites and anti-Semitism in America, American Jews are indeed among the luckiest Jews in Jewish history. Even with the re-establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, many more Israeli Jews have moved to America than American Jews have moved to Israel. This is not a reflection on Israel, which is a country with a high quality of life that is an unparalleled blessing in Jewish life; rather, it is a reflection on America and how good it is for Jews.

Likewise, despite the existence of racists and racism in America, black Americans are among the luckiest blacks in the world. A distinguished black journalist, Keith Richburg of the Washington Post, fully acknowledged the horror and cruelties of slavery. Nevertheless, he thanked God his ancestors made it possible for him to be born and live in America, not Africa. After covering Africa for the Washington Post, Richburg put it this way in his newspaper: “Let me drop the charade and put it as simply as I can: There but for the grace of God go I.”

“Somewhere, sometime, maybe 400 years ago, an ancestor of mine whose name I’ll never know was shackled in leg irons, kept in a dark pit … and then put with thousands of other Africans into the crowded, filthy cargo hold of a ship for the long and treacherous journey across the Atlantic. Many of them died along the way, of disease, of hunger. But my ancestor survived . . . He was ripped away from his country and his family, forced into slavery somewhere in the Caribbean. Then one of his descendants somehow made it up to South Carolina, and one of those descendants, my father, made it to Detroit during the Second World War, and there I was born, 36 years ago. And if that original ancestor hadn’t been forced to make that horrific voyage, I would not have been standing there that day on the Rusumo Falls bridge, a journalist—a mere spectator—watching the bodies glide past me like river logs. . . . And so I thank God my ancestor made that voyage. . . . I empathize with Africa’s pain. I recoil in horror at the mindless waste of human life, and human potential. I salute the gallantry and dignity and sheer perseverance of the Africans. But most of all, I feel secretly glad that my ancestor made it out—because, now, I am not one of them.” (italics added)

That is why millions of Africans prefer to live in America than anywhere else. That is why more than 2 million Africans immigrated to the United States in the recent past (compared with the 388,000 who came as slaves). Unlike the many Americans—black and white—who believe the leftist libel about America oppressing blacks and all other nonwhites, the millions of Africans who want to come to America know how lucky they would be to be a black in America, as do the millions who already live here. They know they are, or would be, among the luckiest blacks in the world.

And what about Latin Americans? Like American Jews and American blacks, they are among the luckiest Latinos in the world. How could they or anyone else deny this given the fact that tens of millions of Latin Americans left their families, friends, culture, language and very homes to live in America? And given the fact that tens of millions more ache to do the same? What kind of lie must a person embrace to flee to a peaceful, prosperous country whose people treat him generously and beautifully and not think he is lucky to live there?

And, finally, there are the many white Americans—people born and raised in America, many of whose ancestors also fled war, poverty, and oppression in Europe—who not only deny how lucky they are to live America but also vilify the founders of America who made their blessed life possible. Their attitude transcends mere lying; it enters the realm of pathology.

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About Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is The Rational Bible, a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, "No Safe Spaces," comes to theaters fall 2019. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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23 responses to “Who Are the Luckiest Jews, Blacks, and Latinos?

  • America is a white country. It was founded by racist white slave owners for the betterment of whites and whites only. Jews aren’t white. What is Dennis Prager doing here? He doesn’t belong here. He belongs over in Israel with his own kind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p26xGXbam_w

  • Uh, oh. Dog whistle for the collectivists. Just say the word “Jew” and the commies come out of the woodwork!

  • Prager’s article suggests that it’s somehow wrong for Blacks, Jews, and Latinos to decry ongoing injustices in America simply because other places are worse. That’s a ridiculous argument.

    • Actually, it really a pretty good argument, when one considers that in a great many places decrying ‘ongoing injustices’ would get you killed or jailed for life. Also, a great deal of these injustices are trivial — compared to how bad it could be — or imaginary.

      I don’t think Prager or the people whom he quotes are saying that people do not have a right to speak their mind. It’s just that no one is really obligated to take them very seriously when their hyperbole doesn’t match up with reality.

      • Well, let’s just take Prager on his own terms. He describes how his father in the 1930s was one of the luckiest Jews in the world, which given what was happening in the rest of the world at the time is undoubtedly accurate. Does that mean that his father shouldn’t have said anything when he wasn’t permitted to join a particular club, or when he wasn’t hired by a particular employer, simply because he was Jewish? Or when anti-Semites directed slurs against him – should he have simply been pleased that those slurs were just words, instead of what was happening overseas?

        Or let’s go a step further. Today many Trump supporters are pretty unhappy with things like transgender rights and bakers being forced to bake cakes for gay marriages. However, here in the United States we’re all still among the luckiest people on earth. Would you say that the people who are so unhappy about those things should adopt a different perspective?

      • I don’t think the First Amendment is trivial, so therefore I don’t think that using the Supreme Court’s invented ‘right’ to ‘gay marriage’ to overturn the First Amendment is trivial and I would not encourage people to adopt a different perspective over something as important as the First Amendment.

      • That’s fine, of course, but perhaps you might consider that other people could find being turned away by a business because of their sexual orientation to be more than trivial.

      • If that is what had happened, I might agree with you. But I am aware of no case where generic service was denied. In all the cases (including Masterpiece Bakery) the issue was providing a custom service. It would be not different than if I went into a bakery owned and operated by a Black American and asked them to create a custom ‘Klaniversary’ cake.

      • I don’t think that analogy fits. In your hypothetical you’d be asking Black people to put together something that was a direct insult to them. That wouldn’t be the case in the gay wedding hypothetical, even with a custom design. Moreover, the gay wedding thing isn’t even about religion – there are a lot of prohibitions in the Bible, but somehow it’s only with homosexuality that certain religious people draw a line. To me, it really seems to be about expressing disapproval of someone for their sexual orientation.

      • I realize that you think that you can decide whether something is a matter of religion, or how somehow ought to apply their religious beliefs, but that is the essential problem.

        Gay activists had the opportunity to avoid linking ‘gay’ with ‘marriage’ in order to attempt to respond to critics concerns. The alternative was to work, state-by-state, to extend civil unions to same-sex couples. This was too hard, so an end-run was made by getting the Supreme Court to create ‘gay marriage’.

        My analogy was a good one precisely because they are both offensive to the respective parties. Gay activists have gone out of their way to set up people — Christians — who they know would object to providing custom products for a gay marriage and then seeking remedies to destroy those people. I have yet to see gay activists taking this approach with Islamic bakeries or Catholic bakeries in Hispanic neighborhoods.

        The opponents of gay marriage often claimed that gay marriage was not about equality, but dominance. It has become increasingly obvious that these cases of ‘discrimination’ are not about ‘marriage equality’ but about attacking Christians, and, most particularly, Euro-American Christians.

        I used to think ‘gay marriage’ was innocuous and about fairness. But facts have born out that it is not the case.

      • A couple things. I used to be for “civil unions,” because my conception of marriage fundamentally required that it involve one man and one woman. About 10 years ago or so I changed my mind because, really, who cares what my conception of marriage is/was? If gay people want to get married, it has absolutely no effect on me whatsoever.

        Your argument about gay activists focusing on Christian bakeries instead of Islamic bakeries is, if true, a good one. I’m not even sure how one goes about identifying a “Christian” bakery, but in any event the law should apply equally across the religious spectrum.

        I don’t know where you get the idea that the issue is about “attacking” Christianity. Like I said in my previous message, there are a lot of prohibitions in the Bible, and it’s significant that “Christians” seem to focus so strongly on the couple passages about homosexuality. I haven’t heard of Christian bakeries refusing to bake for millionaires, even though the Bible is pretty clear that people should renounce worldly things.

        Bottom-line, I’m confident that Jesus wouldn’t condone the passive-aggressive condemnation of homosexuals — you know, “love thy neighbor,” and “judge not, lest ye be judged.”

      • It’s not a question of whether the law applies equally, it’s a question of who gay activists are targeting for the specific purpose of endangering those people’s livelihoods.

        As for the selectivity of the application of Christian tenets, I don’t think that one can say that Christians are the only ones engaged in such a thing. ‘Being Christian’ is a target to which Christians aspire. There is an active question among some Christian thinkers as to whether it is ever practically possible to follow Jesus’ example in its totality. But, it I think, someone disingenuous to suggest that Christians are the only group of people (religious or otherwise) who cannot achieve that to which they aspire.

        It’s something of a commonplace among those who think that Christians have no right to express or act on their religious beliefs that, somehow, Christians are supposed to ‘take it on the chin’ because of the tenets of their faith. Maybe that is part of their faith, but, fortunately, Christians have a First Amendment that gives them some recourse when their beliefs are abused.

        In achieving the ‘right’ to ‘gay marriage’, gay activists bypassed the difficult job of persuading the American polity of the merit of their cause. Instead, they persuading SCOTUS of the merit and now are outraged that this action is being questioned by the exact same people who they did an ‘end run’ round.

        It was well understood that ‘gay marriage’ was going to be an affront to some people, because of how they conceived the notion of ‘marriage’. The reason that ‘marriage’ was so important was because that is the term that was used as the term used to describe ‘civil unions’ in the laws of most states. The authors of those laws did not use ‘marriage’ to exclude gay unions, but because it simply never occurred to them that there was such a thing as gay unions of the sort presupposed by the gay community. In the end it was easier to simply have SCOTUS reinterpret the word ‘marriage’ to include gay civil unions. The problem is, of course, that an awful lot of ordinary people who have no particular issue with gay civil unions now find themselves legally bound — under the threat of punishment — a notion of ‘marriage’ that they do not accept.

      • Thanks for the substantive discussion, by the way. Here are a couple points that I think need to be pushed-back on:

        1. I’m not saying that Christians need to “take it on the chin,” or otherwise refrain from expressing their beliefs. I’m saying that I think it’s significant that the types of Christians that you’re describing feel that their religion requires that they publicly express condemnation of homosexuals. Until the late 1970s the Mormon Church expressly discriminated against Blacks – if that hadn’t changed, would it be okay in your opinion for Mormon business owners to refuse to serve Blacks? Would it be okay if Christian bakers refused to create a custom cake for a Hindu couple on the ground that they’re violating the commandment against worshiping a God other than the Judeo-Christian God?

        2. I’m not really sure why you describe the issue of gay marriage as so burdensome to some people. If they don’t “accept” the idea of homosexual marriage, that’s fine. I have a million private judgments about people that I make every day, but I don’t feel the need to throw those judgments in people’s faces. Just as one example, if I see a young man walking around with his jeans hanging lower than his butt I draw certain negative conclusions about that person, but I don’t feel compelled to tap him on the shoulder and tell him that he looks like an idiot, even though he does.

      • Your willingness to engage in a substantive and courteous manner is also appreciated.

        Mormons refusing to serve Black American in any way would be a violation of basic decency. You and I both know that. That would be true whether it was against the law or not.

        To ‘discriminate’ is part of human nature. Your position appears to be that it is acceptable to ‘discriminate’ as long as one keeps their ‘discriminations’ themselves. I honestly think there is a time and place to keep one’s opinions to oneself, and others where it is better not to. Collectively and individually, we have to be able to openly disagree with each other.

        When some people openly oppose homosexuality or criticize it and claim that their opposition comes from their Christian beliefs, the assumption is that they are not entitled to make other people uncomfortable. This is a pretty steep price for social comity. There can be no meeting of the minds in silence. There may never be a meeting of the minds between some people on some matters of import, but it will never happen without the ability of those concerned to express themselves.

        Gay activists suing a bakery owner for ‘discrimination’ does not lead to greater freedom or social comity. We’ve simply trade one act of repression for another. No one has to >i>accept repression, though their unwillingness to do so may not change whether the repression occurs or continues.

        By circumventing the normal processes of reaching some kind of compromise — by enforcing silence or using the courts and SCOTUS — the opportunity for persuasion is lost and all that is left is endless struggle. Such may have been the case anyway, but now we will never know.

        I always admired and respected the way that the ‘gay rights’ movement moved from Stonewall to achieving a national coming out’. The ability to change people’s perceptions of homosexuals was (and it unlikely ever to be) complete, but it was one of persuasion, not repression.

        My view is that, eventually, using SCOTUS to create ‘gay marriage’ will be seen as a mistake. It has, in my view, caused an erosion of support for ‘gay rights’ and gay people to lose the ‘moral high ground’.

  • What’s funny about this is that I’m pretty sure the editorial position of AmGreatness is firmly against the making of more lucky Africans and Latinos.

    • Whites realize it’s not really luck, it’s initiative and competence which built America. And then it gets taken by others because “racism”.

      I find it funny that even someone as accomplished as Mr. Prager plays the victim card of “anti-Semitism”. As if pointing out that the fact that most Jews emigrating from Israeli retain duel-citizenship is anti-Semitic.

      Where do whites go when this country is destroyed?

      • When you say “whites” could you be more specific? I haven’t had a DNA test so i am uncertain of my ancestry. There appear to be many William Wallace Gills and Robert Bruce Gills so I assume Scottish blood. Will I still have to leave if I discover that I am 1/128th Cherokee? I have high cheekbones. I spend a fair amount of time in the sun so my skin is fairly tan. Is there some color chart I can check to determine the content of my character?

    • The whites that don’t have to live with Jews of course. They have it made.

  • Why do old white dudes want to keep making up their own universities? Beck U Trump U Prager U?

  • The U.S. is still the magnet for the world. Every day people endorse the greatness of America by “voting with their feet” and coming here. Naturally, the Alt-Left hates this recognition of American greatness–because it destroys the Alt-Left’s narrative.

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