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Earlier this week, DeSean Jackson posted anti-semitic content on social media, including a quote inaccurately attributed to Adolf Hitler about the Jews dividing black people, and some praise for known anti-semite Louis Farrakhan. Jackson has since apologized twice, and reportedly accepted an invitation to attend the Holocaust memorial in Philadelphia.
Julian Edelman, the Patriots wide receiver, is Jewish. On Instagram today, he offered a poignant response to Jackson and a proposal for an uncomfortable dialogue:
Edelman said that he did not embrace his faith until later in life and that therefore he felt that any anti-semitism he observed was directed at other people. However, it started to dawn on him when he was called a kike — a Jewish slur — on the football field in 2011.
“I think the black and Jewish communities have a lot of similarities,” Edelman said. “One unfortunate similarity is that they are both attacked by the ignorant and the hateful. It’s really hard to see the challenges a community can face when you’re not a part of it. So what we need to do is we need to listen, we need to learn, we need to act. We heed to have those uncomfortable conversations if we’re gonna have real change.”
Edelman proposed to take Jackson to the Holocaust museum in Washington DC, and for Jackson to take him to the Museum of African-American History and Culture: “Afterwards, we grab some burgers and have those uncomfortable conversations. This world needs a little more love, compassion, and empathy.”