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Antisemitism in Skateboarding

It’s taken time and consideration to share on the seeming resurgence of antisemitism. And skateboard culture is not exempt. People who have been paying attention would point out that antisemitism hasn’t gone anywhere, only to reemerge—it’s always here.

With some notable recent instances of overt anti-Jewish hate, we non-Jewish people (who care about anti-racism and equality) can consider things more deeply and decide if we're going to be helpful or harmful; learn or remain ignorant.

It has taken time to educate myself, to listen to Jewish people, and to attempt to convey the information that I believe many of us have overlooked. 

Anti-Jewish hate has a long, sordid history. Most know something about the Holocaust during World War II, but know little more about the millennia of discrimination, oppression, and atrocity that Jewish people have been subjected to. We may also be unaware that a Jewish man invented the ollie, and that skateboarding would not be what it is today without the contribution of Jewish trailblazers.

There is not enough room here to unpack even a fraction of that trauma and cultural erasure, let alone the origins of negative stereotypes and tropes, but we can start by addressing the misconception that Jewish people are essentially “white”. 

"White supremacy always produces anti-Jewish violence"*. With this in mind, we can further consider that—as with all other forms of racism—it is on each of us to do the inner work of confronting our biases to dismantle deeply ingrained beliefs and social conditioning regarding antisemitism, and how it permeates all of western society. In short, a reckoning is due.

I implore all of you reading this to take some time to familiarize yourself with the reality all Jewish people face. Talk to Jewish people. 

Our good friend Zach from @skateb_d has written an enlightening overview of antisemitism, within and outside of skate culture and the industry (essay is linked in our bio).

You can also look at rootsmetals here on IG, as well as the books Jews in America (Eli Wiesel) and Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean (Edward Kritzler).

Feel free to check in with us if you're interested in more resources!


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