Wednesday, February 1, 2017

You've Got Hate Mail!

Sleepy in Albuquerque: On Friday January 13th (wouldn't you know), Abq Jew became yet another proud and sorrowful Jewish journalist / blogger to receive not one, but two! yes two! hate mail messages from an unknown antagonist.

Now, technically, these were not hate mail messages. They were submitted via the Contact Form on the Abq Jew website, and not from any of the email programs we have all come to know and ... love.

That actually makes these messages a bit scarier.

The antagonist actually entered his contact information into the Abq Jew Contact Form. Sort of.
  • Name: William Pierce (1933 - 2002), Wikipedia tells us, was "was an American white nationalist and political activist. He was one of the most influential ideologues of the white nationalist movement for some 30 years before his death."
  • Email: is what's known as a disposable email address. Use it once, throw it away. Very difficult to trace.
  • Phone: (505) 266-0155 turns out to be the number for Congregation B'nai Israel of Albuquerque, which is listed on the Abq Jew website.
It was not necessary to enter the information into any of these boxes. The Contact Form can be submitted (and, alas, often is) without any of this information.

But the antagonist did have to complete the CAPTCHA (for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) form to prove that he is a human and not a robot.

And, of course, he had to enter his messages. Individually. Twice.

Usually, Abq Jew receives unsigned messages like this one. If the sender is willing to take the time to enter the message and complete the CAPTCHA form - there may not be much that can be done.

If you would like to see what these two hate messages said, please go ahead and click Abq Jew Peace Love Messages. CAUTION! Extremely offensive language!

But first, please allow Abq Jew to summarize for you.
  • The antagonist did use the antiquated, almost cute terms of uncertain etymology
  • The antagonist did issue curses of more than Biblical intensity (see the Tochecha, the Big Rebuke, Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 28:15-69).
  • The antagonist did, almost poetically, allude to many eras and types of anti-Jewish persecution, with the firm implication that much worse is yet to come. Imminently.
  • Depending (of course) on how (or if) one wishes to read these two hate messages, the antagonist did threaten Abq Jew, his family, the Jewish community of Albuquerque, and, indeed, Jews everywhere. Personally, as well as universally.

Extremely offensive language

Again - if you would like to see what these two hate messages said, please go ahead and click Abq Jew Peace Love Messages. But if you would not like to see - that's OK. Just keep reading. There's lots more to talk about.

So, Abq Jew hears you, his loyal readers, ask

What can you do about these messages?

Well, the first thing that Abq Jew did was to notify local rabbis, synagogues, and Jewish organizations that these hate messages had been received.

Starting with the the New Mexico Region
of ADL, the Anti-Defamation League.

As it turned out - that was all Abq Jew had to do. Our New Mexico Regional ADL Director - very quickly and intently - notified everyone who needed to know that this incident had occurred.

This included the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the highest levels of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), and several other cyber-hate investigators and agencies. All of them responded.

But Abq Jew has gotta tell ya - the best response came from Mikey Weinstein, the founder and leader of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Reminder: Abq Jew most recently wrote about Mikey in Onward, Christian Soldiers! 

America's Best Christian™ Battles America's Toughest Jew

Mikey was quick to share some of the hate messages he receives, just so we could compare. You could write a book with all the hate messages Mikey gets - and Mikey's wife Bonnie has.

Now, Abq Jew has been posting blogs for more than six (6) years, and these are the first really hateful messages that he has received. 

But Mikey was impressed!

He even congratulated Abq Jew for making it BIG, right out of the box!

9.5 on the parallel bars! Rookie of the Year!

Abq Jew tried to follow Mikey's advice to take a different route to work. Since his bedroom and office are just a hallway apart, Abq Jew decided to go outside and come around to the front door.

And so Abq Jew had the opportunity to meet members of the Albuquerque Armed Response Team and the the Albuquerque Police Department - after he set off the alarm, scared himself, slammed the door, and got locked out of the house.

Still and all, Abq Jew is proud and sorrowful to say he has earned his echoes.

The use of triple parentheses or triple brackets, also known as an (((echo))), is an antisemitic symbol that has been used to highlight the names of individuals of a Jewish background. Use of the notation was brought to mainstream attention in June 2016, and has been classified as a form of hate speech by the ADL.
Tweeters, both Jews and non-Jews, now place their own names within triple parentheses as a sign of solidarity.

An Albuquerque police officer blocks traffic after a bomb threat was called in to the Jewish Community Center near Academy and Wyoming Tuesday morning. (Jim Thompson/Journal)

But let's be serious for a moment.

On Tuesday January 31st, a bomb threat was phoned in to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque. This was just one of the more than 50 bomb threats that JCCs all over North America have received during the last few weeks.

Nicole Perez has written about this incident in the Albuquerque Journal. The JTA, of course, has covered the series of bomb threats - including what they sound like.

This must not be allowed.

More importantly, this blatant, open anti-Semitism
must not be allowed to become the new normal.


Anonymous said...

Cowards. What have they contributed to make the world a better place for all?

Unknown said...

They want the world to be a better place for them only.

Karen said...

Wow. I'm new to your site; via an MRFF article. I'm really baffled by antisemitism, even though I grew up with an antisemitic mother. But I am also a child of the liberal West Coast Catholic church of the 1960s and 1970s, and the nuns who taught me at school emphasized loving everyone, regardless of religion or cultural background. As an adult, I have found the Jewish people I've known to be wonderful, meh, and everything in between--just like most of the rest of humanity.

But then there are people like these, that are just... I don't have a negative enough descriptor. I'm ashamed to be of the same species.

As an aside, I did not know about the pejorative use of (((Name))). Among the people I hang with on the 'net, we often offer each other (((HUGS))) when someone is having a bad day, and the enveloping parentheses are meant to illustrate putting arms around someone. However, none of us wants to be rude, to Jews or anyone else! Do you think we need to use an alternate?

csp123 said...

I just read about this in the New York Times' "The Week in Hate" column. So appalling and sickening. You are obviously a mensch to be able to keep your sense of humor through all this. Take care. #NoHateInNM

Unknown said...

I also just read about this in the New York Times' "The Week in Hate" column although I have lived in Albuquerque for the past 40 years. Is there anything I can do to help? I know many others in town who would also be willing to help if there was only something we could think to do. Some of them may already be following your blog. From now on I will be following your blog and will spread the word about it. It is a real shame that such people as the one who sent you that horror feel they have been empowered and freed by the recent election.

Karen Hanson said...

Marc, I was sickened when I read in the New York Times about the anti-Semitic comments you have received on your blog. I am an American Muslim. I have experienced quite a few incidents of Islamophobia, and sadly, I have come to expect them. Muslims, after all, are the new Japanese, the new communists, the new blacks, and the group that most people are comfortable hating. But because of publications like the New York Times and C.A.I.R. I also have heard about the rising tide of anti-Semitism, and I am sickened. It's as if Trump's ascendancy to power has given all those who hate anyone a free pass to express their vitriol whenever they want. And this is not the America I remember. I want you to know that as an American and as a Muslim I stand with you and with anyone who has to experience any sort of hatred based on who they are, the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation, their religion--anything. Hatred will never win. Wishing you peace! #Resist

judith rael said...

I too saw this in the NY Times. plunged me into a bit of a funk. not jewish, i'm 78 years old, female, and grew up taught by my okie dad who relocated us to CA during the depression, that each generation would automatically better itself relative to the prior one. guess not. my husband, now deceased, grew up in a little no-name Spanish/native American village on the outskirts of santa fe. I think the little adobe they built from their own mud still stands near the hospital there. he was a grand man...his family, of course, back in the 30s and early 40s, were discriminated against, not able to eat in 'white' cafes, etc. but he is one who did move on, to work in the field of medicine, ending up in CA also, where we met working in a VA medical ctr. just giving you a little history to maybe let you know that some who aren't jews, have the same values and connections to humanity that jews have hung onto for so long, and have taken inspiration from your suffering and overcoming which, it seems, you and others like you are fated to endure even now. with so much love, from judy rael.