I want to say first of all that I enjoyed and appreciated the rest of your article. You made some great points that hadn’t occurred to me before, so thank you! What I’d like to respond to is just about this sentence. It’s a common misbelief, and usually not one of malice, but it’s very dangerous.
Jewish people do NOT own all of the property in America. Not even close. To use stronger words for a moment, this is an antisemitic lie which has been used to directly endanger the Jewish people in the past, and to “justify” persecution once it begins. It’s extremely disappointing to me that Jay Z, an artist I admire, would choose to spread such harmful stereotypes and untruths to his audience of millions of people. Many of whom (perhaps like you) would not know better, and assume he is correct.
As a Jew, I acknowledge my people’s success with pride. But I also know that false and dangerous stereotypes are spread throughout the world (for example, that Jews control the media, the government, the housing industry, healthcare, the world etc.). There are many wonderful sources on why and how these lies came about, but that is what they are in the end: lies used to defame and persecute.
Most racism (like that against black people) is disgusting in that it treats the victims as lesser, stupider, more violent, subhuman, etc. It’s horrific and there is no excuse, but most racism is fairly recognizable in that form. Antisemitism is hard because it bucks that trend. Often, it says, “Jews are smarter and more devious than us good Gentiles. They’re controlling ___ and keeping the rest of us down.” Sometimes, it’s disguised as a compliment. In my opinion, that’s the category Jay Z’s comment falls into. He may not even realize it, but this is such a dangerous, misleading thing to be telling millions of people.
Because in the end, what always happens when people believe they are being oppressed by some secret cabal of Jews running the world is that it becomes a justification. A reason. A “these vermin are controlling us, let’s exterminate them and the world will be better.”
I believe that all people’s liberation is tied up together. Jews MUST support anti-racist movements and work for racial justice (same goes for LGBT+ rights, other religious rights, etc.). Historically, we have: Jews were the second-most represented ethnic group at civil rights protests during the 60s (after African-Americans), despite being only about 1% of the US population. That was just what was right. I don’t think we’re owed jack shit for that. If anything, we all should have done more.
But please, please, I’m begging you all. Work to help us too. Jews are fleeing Europe all over again (look at what’s happening to the French Jewish population). Antisemitism never went away. We need your help too.