July 16, 2024
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July 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

It is invigorating reading the slogans created by Link readers as a “show of force via word” due to the surge of antisemitism in the country since the Oct. 7 massacre perpetrated upon Israel by the terrorist entity Hamas.

Unfortunately, among voices supporting the terror, or opting to remain silent, which indicates support of such, have been members of the Black community, including but not limited to members of the U.S. Congress’ Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, students and faculty at all too many universities and colleges — even elementary and high schools — Teaneck included. This has given me impetus to revisit the events of Mississippi Burning herein this letter, in remembrance of the two Jewish men murdered on June 21, 1964.

According to mississippitoday.com, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner came to Mississippi as part of the “Freedom Summer” to work for the civil rights movement, including investigating the Ku Klux Klan’s burning of a Black church. The Klan’s Imperial Wizard, Sam Bowers, called on the Klan to repel this “communist invasion, counter-attacking the movement’s leaders at night.” Goodman and Schwerner were jailed, then released to the Klan who executed them and burned their bodies, which were found 44 days later, 15 feet down an earthen dam. In a 1967 federal trial, seven men were convicted only on conspiracy — none served more than six years. The Congress on Racial Equality states on their website (rac.org) that “Jews made up half of the young people who participated in Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. In 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of orchestrating their murders.”

What does it say that the Black community may have been grateful that Jews were a presence at Freedom Summer on their behalf — two having died assisting the Civil Rights movement — yet today try and find enough of a presence from the Black community coast to coast standing with the Jewish community against antisemitism and violence?

Come out, come out, wherever you are, and take an ethical, if not moral, stand against evil!

The righteous have no color line!

L. Charm Tenenbaum
Teaneck
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