Let’s Unite!
June 18, 2003, 1:00am

I have reflected a great deal over the years about the need for dialogue
and unity among various minority and progressive communities. The
presidential primary process is underway, and this is the time when
the candidates within the Democratic party work to differentiate themselves
from one other. It is important, however, to keep in mind that the
end goal for all of us is to elect a Democratic president who will
work to provide a decent education for the most underprivileged children,
pass tax cuts for the lower and middle classes rather than the wealthy,
protect the environment and a woman’s reproductive choice …
Afterall, why should wealthy people such as myself receive a tax cut?
I will be the first to admit that I don’t need it. What we all
need is a healthy government that can provide the services (such as
education, health care, national and homeland security) that we all
depend on. We must unify and work together in order to accomplish

have held onto their power because they have been able to consolidate
many different conservative movements into a single agenda. The
Democratic Party’s broad vision has allowed for more individuality
amongst progressive movements, but we all must work together for
the next election. There is power in our numbers.

see people trying to divide the unity of Blacks and Jews, in particular.
We can’t allow this to happen, because we have too much in
common to be divided. With a shared history of oppression and slavery,
as well as a common ingrained culture of social justice, Blacks
and Jews, over the years and still today, have been natural allies.

fact, Blacks and Jews have a long and important history of working
together. African-Americans and Jews came together to form the NAACP,
the Urban League and to improve education in the South. African-American
battalions helped liberate the concentration camps during World
War II. One-third of the Civil Rights Movement supporters were Jewish.
In Mississippi in 1964, three young men, one African-American and
two Jewish, were killed by white extremists on their way to investigate
the burning of a black church.

recently, Blacks and Jews worked together in Florida after the 2000
election when both groups were disenfranchised after their votes
were disregarded – Blacks because they were wrongly purged
from voter lists and Jews in Palm Beach County who had mistakenly
voted for Buchanan due to a poorly designed ballot. It was wonderful
to watch Jews and African-Americans come together at rallies during
that important time in our history.

my mind, no one image better illustrates the power that is possible
when African-Americans and Jews work together than the famous picture
of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. walking through the streets of Selma,
Alabama, arm in arm with his friend and fellow civil rights activist,
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Rabbi Heschel and Dr. King together
spoke of a moral responsibility that transcends race and religion.
They taught us that we must stand together to defeat racism and

is the time in history when Blacks and Jews, along with Latinos,
Asians, Women, Gays and all “others” have the potential
to work together. Together we can eradicate not only racism, sexism,
anti-Semitism and homophobia, but also the poverty, corruption in
government, destruction to our environment, corporate control, undermining
of our civil liberties and a woman’s right to choose, and
ongoing warfare that threaten us all. Now is the time to unite.