American Hate- Who’s Keeping Count?

vintage Arithmetic textbook

I’ve lost count.

Of all the mass shootings.

Of murdered children, LGBTQ, African Americans, and Jews.

I’ve lost count of all the violence.

The vicious name-calling.

Defacing of property.

I’ve lost count of all the hate crimes in our country.

But some people are busy counting, playing with numbers that have until now eluded me.

Their numbers are codes for hate.

They are counting out who actually counts in their perverted world.

Discovering Numbers

Just last week I learned firsthand as a Jew that  I don’t count.

Targeted on this blog with an anti-semitic rant that referenced the numbers 109/110.

“Ask yourself,” this coward smugly wrote, “why Jews have been tossed out of 109 counties.  Is it 109 counties that are wrong or is it the group who are forced to leave?”

He ended with “110 and never again.”

Numeric Shorthand For Hate

White Washing their world. Vintage illustration from school textbook “Exploring Numbers”

There is this mysterious world of numbers that has nothing to do with trigonometry but everything to do with hate.

When it comes to numbers white supremacists are interested in subtraction, not addition. Division, not multiplication.

This I learned.

vintage schoolbook illustration

When it comes to numbers white supremacists are interested in subtraction, not addition. Division, not multiplication.

The number 109 is white supremacist numeric shorthand for an anti-Semitic claim that Jews have been expelled from 109 different countries.

Various anti-Semites have compiled lists of alleged Jewish “expulsions” ranging from 100 to more than 1,000 in number, but the figure of 109 is the most commonly cited and probably originates with a list of “109 locations” appearing on a longstanding Australian anti-Semitic website.

Anti-Semites use this figure to claim that Jews must be a malicious and harmful people to have been expelled from so many places; they also use the figure to call for the expulsion of Jews from countries where they currently live.

The concept of 109 expulsions has also led to frequent use of the number 110 by white supremacists, generally to urge that the United States be the next and 110th place to expel Jews.

Learning Through Practice

The history of Jewish discrimination, hatred, and expulsion was, I thought, consigned to the past.

Jews were historically harshly persecuted, denied entrance into certain professions, prohibited from owning land, forced to pay extra taxes, and excluded from the normal education system. They were gradually expelled from Europe: from England in 1290, from France in 1306 and from Spain and Portugal in 1492. They were also expelled from Hungary in 1376, from Sicily in the 15th century, from Bavaria in 1470, from Bohemia in 1542, and suffered pogroms in Russia in 1881, 1891, 1897, and 1903.

There is almost too much hate in the past to count.

Today 110 is sometimes combined with the numerical code 148 creating 1488-110

14 is shorthand for the 14 words, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

14/88 is a combination of the fourteen words and the eighth letter of the alphabet “H”  repeated twice standing for “Heil Hitler.”

I was never good at math as a child.

Numbers made me anxious.

But not half as anxious as I am today about the vicious use of certain numbers.

And the uncountable hate and destruction they bring.

People must be held accountable.

Even as I am firm in my resolve each of us counts.

 

 © Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2022 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

7 comments

  1. Whatever the numbers are, the incidents of discrimination, whether racism, anti-semitism, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim … are far too high. But then … a single incident would be one too many. Why can’t people simply live and let live, why must they control not only their own lives, but everybody else’s too?

    Liked by 2 people

    • The hate crimes are spiking and it is disheartening and frightening. Here in NY a traditionally liberal city, the rise in anti-Asian, anti-semitic and anti-LGBTQ incidents is on the rise.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Indeed it is both frightening and discouraging, for it seems that whatever progress we made toward acceptance and human values back in the 60s is being erased … we are going backward rather than forward. Sadly, I blame religion for much of it.

        Like

  2. What’s so difficult to understand about reducing mass shootings: remove the damn semi-automatic weapons from the hands of the shooters. The mass shootings went down during the brief time they were made illegal, Second Amendment be damned! Unfortunately, as long as one party whines about the other party will confiscate your arsenals if they are in power and the Supreme Court is packed with right wingers, we will get to have more and more of these tragedies. “Thoughts and prayers”, eh!?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Uvalde: AR-15
      Buffalo: AR-15
      Boulder: AR-15
      Orlando: AR-15
      Parkland: AR-15
      Las Vegas: AR-15
      Aurora, CO: AR-15
      Sandy Hook: AR-15
      San Bernardino: AR-15
      Midland/Odessa: AR-15
      Poway synagogue: AR-15
      Sutherland Springs: AR-15
      Tree of Life Synagogue: AR-15
      Colorado Springs: AR-15

      Any noticeable pattern?

      Like

      • Exactly! Congress needs a kick in the ass to deal with it, but they – the House plans on wasting time chasing after Hunter Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden, while denying Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff committee memberships. Revenge is more important to them than dealing with real problems nationally and internationally.

        Like

  3. According to Statista: Compared to the 50-300 people who die in mass shootings, around 20,000 people were shot and killed in all homicides in 2020. The numbers have increased since 2020 with 68 mass shootings so far this year.

    Like

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