Hate has no home here.

The message is simple and strong. Who could object?

Obviously, the haters.

It’s hard to believe there are still so many of them. Hasn’t humankind evolved?

When nurse practitioner Thomas Flood put a small sign in the window of his medical office in Medina, he did it to welcome people and encourage kindness.

It even looked patriotic. There was a heart with a slice of the American flag in it right next to the words “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE.” Underneath, the same message was written in Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, Korean and Urdu, a Persian script.

Apparently, some people find hope offensive when it’s in a different language.

In December, someone sent an anonymous letter to the Medina Family Practice and Wellness Center that said Flood’s “political views” will “cost him” in the community. The person alleged to be a coach speaking for other coaches and parents who would no longer send their athletes to him for physicals.

Is it ignorance? Is it hate?

In December, LeBron James posted a video on Instagram Stories and typed some lyrics from a 21 Savage rap song that read, “We been gettin’ that Jewish money. Everything is kosher.”

No, it isn’t.

It’s not kosher to post anti-Semitic lyrics, even if you are the world’s greatest basketball player.           

James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has 46.5 million Instagram followers. That’s a lot of people to influence.

He apologized and deleted the post, but how many people saw it?

I also hate apologies that use the words “if.” “If I offended anyone” means you aren’t really apologizing.

“Apologies, for sure, if I offended anyone,” James told ESPN. “That’s not why I chose to share that lyric … I actually thought it was a compliment, and obviously it wasn’t through the lens of a lot of people. My apologies.”

But words about Jews and their money have hurt, and killed, Jews in the past. Millions of them.

The rapper apologized, too. Sort of: “The Jewish people I know are very wise with there (sic) money so that’s why I said we been gettin Jewish money.”       

Still, not the most enlightened apology.

I find it puzzling that James wasn’t aware how anti-Semitic and hurtful those lyrics were, seeing how he spent so much time with and around Jewish people and benefited greatly from their influence. As the Cleveland Jewish News has reported, he played basketball at the Akron Jewish Community Center and the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood, was coached by David Blatt with the Cavs, and has played for the Dan Gilbert-owned Cavs and Micky Arison-owned Miami Heat.

Then we have the Women’s March. What could go wrong?

Organizer Tamika Mallory attended the Nation of Islam’s Saviours’ Day event last year with other Women’s March Inc. founding members. At the event, Louis Farrakhan blamed Jewish people for “all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men.”

She even posted a photo with him on Instagram and referred to him as the “Greatest of All Time.”

Folks, you’re either for or against hate.

Then, there’s Shaker Heights.

This week, the school district announced it will leave the Greater Cleveland Conference and go back to the Lake Erie League next year, in part because Shaker players were the targets of racial slurs and threats.

Scott Stephens, executive director of communications for Shaker schools, told Fox 8, “There have been instances more than once where our kids have been on the receiving end of racial slurs and things of that nature.”

Let’s be blunt: African-American athletes were called “porch monkeys” by kids at Strongsville High School, who also chanted the N-word at them during a game, according to The Shakerite. In a lacrosse game, a Medina High School player used the N-word and threatened to lynch a Shaker player.

The men’s basketball coach Danny Young told WKYC-TV, “I had kids in the locker room this year crying because they were called those names.”

He said the decision to leave the conference was for the safety of his team.

My grandkids live in Shaker. I love that their class photos look like a Benetton ad. Most who know Shaker admire and celebrate its racial diversity. Unfortunately, outsiders aren’t so enlightened.

Young said it’s time for a serious conversation about racism. He’s right. Let’s include anti-Semitism, too.

We all know better. It’s time to do better.

It’s time to make America a place where hate has no home.

Read Regina Brett online at cjn.org/regina. Connect with her on Facebook at ReginaBrettFans. 2018 Best Columnist, AJPA Louis Rapoport Award for Excellence in Commentary.


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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