Entertainment

Anti-Semitism Rocked A NYC Subway When A Woman Physically Assaulted A Jewish Woman

Hate crimes in this country are out of control. But first, you may be wondering what constitutes as a hate crime.

Under the FBI regulations, a hate crime is when perpetrators acted based on a bias against the victim’s race, color, religion, or national origin. Furthermore, a hate crime is also against those based on preferences of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or gender. The FBI reports that the increase in hate crimes is affecting not just Latinos, blacks, Muslims, and Jews. Some of these hate crimes occur even in the most diverse of cities. 

On Dec. 16, a Jewish student, from Israel, was on her way home on a New York City subway when a black woman began to assault her verbally. 

Credit: YouTube

The student, Lihi Aharon, detailed her entire attack on YouTube and also recorded her assailant, 38-year-old Zarinah Ali. Aharon explains that she got on the train and noticed a woman sitting in the subway with a bunch of her belongings next to her. Aharon said that is when she asked her if she could move her things so she could sit down. We can’t be sure if this interaction made Ali lash out at Aharon, but either way, Ali went off on her. 

Things escalated when Aharon sat down next to a man that was wearing a Yamaka. Ali began hurling anti-Semitic slurs at that man, which is when Aharon started to film her. 

Credit: YouTube

“She was yelling at him, shouting at him, ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is most great] and ‘Allah will kill you,’ ‘nasty Jews,’ she was citing clauses from the Koran and ‘when you see a Jew you got to kill him’ and she used a lot of profanity,” Aharon explained to Fox News. 

In the video, Ali can be seen taunting Aharon by making kissing faces at her. Ali also begins anthologizing Aharon saying that she doesn’t mind if she records her. Ali is visibly behaving in a deranged way. Not just because she is saying offensive things, but because of her demeanor toward being filmed, almost as if she was on drugs. Things only got worse from there. 

The assaulter then knocks the phone away from the victim and then proceeds to grab her by the face and scratch her. 

Credit: YouTube

Aharon details the events of that evening, and the scar that Ali left her is still visible on her face. Aharon tells her friend to record her, but Ali knocks her phone away from her as well. 

Eventually, the police were called on the scene, and Aharon was somewhat apprehended. 

In the video, Aharon can be seen sitting on the steps of the underground platform while a police officer looms in front of her.  Aharon continues to record while Ali spews the most hateful words toward her and another Jewish man. 

“It makes me feel very humiliated and sad that anti-Semitism still exists,” Aharon told Fox News. “It’s disturbing, and it’s scary to think that our world is going in that direction. We must stop this.”

Aharon adds that she believes Ali realized she was Jewish after she began speaking in Hebrew to the man who was also verbally assaulted. 

Ali was arrested, but it remains to be seen if she will be charged with a hate crime. 

Credit: YouTube

“We have confidence that once the District Attorney’s office gets all the facts and completes its investigation, it will prosecute this crime as the hate crime it is,” Ziporah Reich, Aharon’s attorney told the network. 

The police did report that Ali was intoxicated when she was arrested and that she had been arrested numerous times before. 

Ali said she wears her scar proudly and that it is a reminder that people should help others if they witness a crime. 

Credit: Twitter/@jarosawpapis

Typically, on the train, it is very rare for people to intervene when they see someone else being verbally assaulted or physically assaulted. This is usually because they don’t want to get hurt themselves. 

This attack against Ali happened just days after a kosher store was targeted in Jersey City. Three people died that day.  Last year, another hate crime against Jewish people occurred at a Pittsburgh synagogue in which a shooter shot and killed 11 people. The FBI reports that in 2018, they saw a 16-year increase in hate crimes in the country, which is an increase of 61 percent of the 7,120 incidents.

“We’re seeing a shift from the more casual offender with more shallow prejudices to a bit more of an older assailant who acts alone,” Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, told the New York Times, last month. “There’s a diversifying base of groups that are being targeted. We’re getting back to more violence.”

Watch the full video here.

After More Than 70 Years, The Cannes Film Festival Will Finally Have A Black President And It’s Going To Be Spike Lee

Entertainment

After More Than 70 Years, The Cannes Film Festival Will Finally Have A Black President And It’s Going To Be Spike Lee

James Gourley / Flickr

Spike Lee is returning to the 73rd Cannes Film Festival a couple of years after BlacKkKlansman debuted there, this time as the jury president. In over seven decades, the prestigious film festival has never had a black president overseeing the artists who decide which films will win an award. 

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be president of Cannes jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time,” Lee said in a statement.

The 62-year-old director won Cannes’ Grand Prix for BlacKkKlansman which also earned Lee his first Academy Award. Prior to his recent release, Lee hadn’t participated in Cannes in 22 years despite having seven of his most beloved films like, She’s Gotta Have ItDo The Right Thing and Summer Of Sam, playing there. 

Lee releases a heartfelt statement about becoming the jury president.

Lee said this particular film festival is the most important in the world and that it significantly impacted his career.

“It started way back in 1986 – my first feature film She’s Gotta Have It, which won the Prix de la Jeunesse in the Director’s Fortnight. The next joint was in 1989 – Do The Right Thing, an Official Selection in Competition. And I don’t have the time nor space to write about the cinematic explosion that jumped off, still relative to this, 30 years later,” Lee said in a statement. 

Do The Right Thing might be Lee’s most well-known project. The film which uses building racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighborhood as an exploration of violence as activism was solidified as a part of history when it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and Libray of Congress. 

“Then Jungle Fever 1991 – Official Selection in Competition, Girl 6 1996 – Official Selection out of Competition, Summer Of Sam1999 – Director’s Fortnight, Ten Minutes Older 2002 – Official Selection in Un Certain Regard and then BlacKkKlansman 2018 – Official Selection in Competition where it won the Grand Prix, which became the launching pad for the world theatrical release which led to my Academy Award for screenplay,” he continued. 

Many have felt that Lee has not gotten the respect he deserves as a filmmaker — at least not until fairly recently.

Despite being nominated four times across three decades, Lee wasn’t awarded an Academy Award until 2019 for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

“Spike Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas. Lee’s flamboyant personality is sure to shake things up. What kind of president of the jury will he be? Find out in Cannes!” Cannes President Pierre Lescure and festival head Thierry Frémaux said in a statement.

In the New York Times profile leading up to his Oscar win, the paper examined the ways in which Lee has been relegated to the fringes of prestigious filmmaking: throughout his career, he has earned less money and received less funding than his white counterparts, and has had difficulty getting projects off the ground. 

Lee’s inclusion might be Cannes’ first big step in correcting its diversity issues.

“That’s the dilemma of a talented black artist in any field,” collaborator and author James McBride told the NY Times. “You have to recreate the genre, otherwise you don’t survive. Stevie Wonder is not a pop musician; Stevie Wonder is a genre. Michael Jackson is a genre to himself. Spike Lee has moved into that territory. Spike Lee is not short on talent. What Spike Lee is short on is friends in the industry, and the kind of space to fail. He has no room to fail.” 

While Cannes has struggled with diversity around black and women directors, Lee as a jury president could be a healthy step in allowing other perspectives in. 

“I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named president of the Cannes jury and of a main film festival. The Lee family sincerely thanks the Festival de Cannes, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux and the great people of France who have supported my film career throughout four decades. I will always treasure this special relationship,” Lee said.

Leaked Emails Show Stephen Miller Believed DREAMERs Would Replace White Americans

Things That Matter

Leaked Emails Show Stephen Miller Believed DREAMERs Would Replace White Americans

Win McNamee / Getty

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller is still in office, despite mounting proof that he harbors white supremacist’s beliefs and numerous politicians and activists calling for his resignation. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” vertical published a series of Miller’s emails leaked by an ex-Breitbart news editor. 

In the emails, Miller expressed fear that DREAMERs would replace white Americans and suggested deporting immigrants on trains to scare them. SPLC’s Michael Hayden says Miller is a supporter of the “great replacement theory” championed by white supremacists who fear white people will become a racial minority. The theory has been echoed in the manifestos of mass shooters and prominent white supremacist leaders. 

Miller believes his fellow Republicans aren’t hard enough on immigrants. 

“Demanding DREAMers be given citizenship because they ‘know no other home.’ That principle is an endorsement of perpetual birthright citizenship for the foreign-born,” Miller wrote in an email.  “Not only will the U.S.-born children of future illegal immigrants and guest workers be made automatic U.S. citizens, but their foreign-born children will too because, as [former Republican House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor said, ‘Our country was founded on the principle.’”

Miller praised Florida’s very own former governor Jeb Bush for his use of moderate rhetoric to push extreme policies. The emails leaked are from around 2015, when Miller was an aide to Senator Jeff Sessions before being selected by Trump.

 “Jeb [Bush] has mastered the art of using immigration rhetoric to sound ‘moderate’ while pushing the most extremist policies,” Miller wrote in an email. 

Former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh provided over 900 emails to SPLC in which Miller expressed disdain for non-white immigrants. McHugh says she leaked the emails addressed to her from Miller to expose the hidden “evil” of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. 

“In a November 2015 email that Hatewatch has not previously published, Miller forwarded an interview with Phyllis Schlafly from far-right conspiracy website WorldNetDaily that argued undocumented immigrants should be shipped out on trains to ‘scare out the people who want to undo our country,’” according to SPLC. 

25 interfaith groups call for the resignation of Stephen Miller. 

Yesterday, 25 faith groups, among them many prominent Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders including the Anti-Defamation League, The Nation’s Mosque, and African American Ministers in Action, signed a letter calling for Miller’s resignation. 

“Stephen Miller authored many of these destructive policies and helped ensure their enactment via his network of anti-immigrant officials throughout the federal government. Further, these policies have been paired with heightened and unrelenting anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric coming from the White House,” the organizations said. 

The group also called out the Trump administration for allowing white supremacist views in the White House. 

“At one point in history, harboring a white supremacist in the White House could harm an administration. Today, President Trump appears unbothered by his close official’s ties to white supremacy. This cannot stand. As organizations of many faiths, who feel love and respect where Miller advances disdain and hate, we call for his resignation immediately,” the letter stated

Last November 100 lawmakers demanded Stephen Miller resign. 

Miller has been in the hot seat for a while. Last year 100 lawmakers demanded the advisor’s resignation, a couple of weeks ago 25 Jewish members of congress joined that call following Rolling Stone’spublication of a different set of leaked emails that further establish his support of xenophobic ideas. 

“A documented white nationalist has no place in any presidential administration, and especially not in such an influential position,” the 100 representatives wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump. “Miller’s white supremacist influence on your immigration policy, and it seems like that his perfidious adherence to extremist ideology has shaped your administration in ways that are not yet public.”

In the Rolling Stone emails, Miller called refugees “foreign-born terrorists” and expressed a fondness for a book called “Camp of Saints” which is a favorite of neo-Nazis.

“The dystopian 1973 novel is widely regarded as racist and traffics in fear-mongering about immigrant invasions. It is popular among white nationalist circles and has been invoked by former White House aide Steve Bannon and Iowa Congressman Steve King,” according to Newsweek

Other emails show Miller is using his influence in the White House to coordinate anti-immigration policies that reflect his views. 

“In the emails, [senior advisor at ICE Jon] Feere strategizes with Miller about how to use the federal government to amplify their anti-immigration message; tees up potential attacks on prominent Democratic politicians; directly briefs Miller in great detail about upcoming enforcement actions and policy changes in the works; and recommends to Miller people the administration should hire to expedite its immigration agenda,” according to Rolling Stone

While Miller has still not resigned, the pressure is continuing to mount in Congress and among activists.