Over the past year, racism—as well as the attempt to root it out from every corner of society—has become national obsessions. From police departments to school systems to corporations, the hunt for systemic racism and its perpetrators has led to significant policy changes. Anti-racism, built on the foundation of critical race theory, spurred efforts to mandate racial representation in everything from elementary school plays to corporate board membership.
At the same time, anti-Semitism has been on a multi-year rise, manifested most brutally in deadly attacks on synagogues and Jewish gatherings. Jews have been increasingly scapegoated and demonized on the political left and right, accused of perpetuating the pandemic, secretly subjugating non-whites, and controlling world finance to hoard wealth away from whites. Chants, posters, and t-shirts denouncing Jews—and their proxy, Israel—could be found at both Black Lives Matter and QAnon protests. And trendy anti-Semitism was felt keenly on campuses in 2020, with a reported 33% rise in accounts of campus harassment—in a year when most schools did not even have in-person classes.
These two driving forces have each gained enormous cache in politics, academia, and media, and with significant overlap. Is anti-Semitism an inevitable byproduct of anti-racism, which tends to blame high-achieving ethnicities for the circumstances of their less prosperous counterparts? How do we best champion black advancement without unintentionally fueling other discrimination? Can we reframe our national debate about race, culture, and group achievement in a way that does not condemn or promote one group over the other but rather fosters opportunity for all individuals regardless of color and creed? Join us as two of America's foremost freethinkers discuss these questions and more.