By Jake Novak
It’s one thing to be factually wrong about a particular issue or problem in our society.
It’s something else to deny the truth, but keep it to yourself.
And it’s something entirely different and destructive to promote an inaccuracy, misconception, or outright lie with all your power and resources just to avoid accepting the consequences of the truth. In fact, that’s a recipe for the destruction of civilized society.
Welcome to 2018.
There’s an extremely long list of basic facts about crucial issues in our society that aren’t simply denied, but violently rejected and met with enduring counter-narratives.
Let’s look at three of these key denials:
- The Carnage in African American Neighborhoods
No decent human being should be smug, crass, or uncaring about the spike in black homicides in this country. If it seems like it’s getting worse, it is. Chicago, Baltimore, and parts of Los Angeles are dangerous to be in at night, especially on summer weekends. In Chicago alone, more than 70 people were shot and 12 killed just this past weekend. That’s not a typo. In these crimes, every victim is almost always a black person. In these crimes, the shooter is almost always a black person.
Imagine the anguish many African-Americans must feel coming to grips with that reality. The people you most identify with won’t stop killing each other. To their credit, a good number of not-so-famous black pastors and even a few local politicians have dedicated their lives to facing this problem head on and trying to fix it. G-d bless them.
But they’re just too darn lonely.
Many black leaders politicians not only deny this horrible reality, but in order to deny it in the most attention grabbing way they change the subject to something else: Police shootings.
This strategy should be laughed out of consideration on mathematics alone. In 2016, 7,881 African Americans were killed. More than 97 percent of them were killed by other black people. But the Al Sharptons, Corey Bookers, and media pundits want to talk about how cops are killing young black men like hunters on safari. It would be a joke if so many people weren’t falling for it and the stakes weren’t so high.
Hollywood gets into the act too, producing movie after movie and TV show after TV show about innocent young black men killed by the police. “Monsters and Men,” which is scheduled for release later this year, goes so far as to demonize an African American police officer character. This, despite the fact that more police presence and more black cops in these murder-ridden communities is precisely what is needed to save young black lives.
As this denial continues and grows across not just much of the black community, but liberal and moderate white communities as well, we might as well be resigned to the terrible fact that the death toll of black-on-black murder will continue to grow.
- The 2016 election
The delusion about the meaning of the last presidential election and who won and lost is on display in America 24/7. The simple truth is that Donald Trump won partly because the mainstream party nominee who is perceived as less of a politician has won every presidential election since 1968.
Even more so, he won because he was blessed with a terrible opponent, Hillary Clinton. One doesn’t need to dislike Mrs. Clinton to realize she wasn’t a strong or overly persuasive candidate. Her negative ratings were through the roof, a fact that only seemed to elude alarm in Democrat circles because Trump’s negatives were higher. But that didn’t make her a better candidate, even by comparison.
Somehow, admitting that they lost fair and square and without any effective meddling from Russia or anyone else is beyond the ability of just about every Democrat, liberal, and Trump hater in America. Make no mistake, this denial is the true impetus behind the round-the-clock anti-Trump coverage on the mainstream news media channels, the hatred for him in the entertainment media, and of course the never ending investigation of him and his 2016 campaign. None of this is healthy or productive for the Democrats and their allies. But accepting that not only did they lose to a controversial political novice, but lost because they force fed Hillary Clinton down America’s throats is too hard a truth for them to accept.
- Israeli-Palestinian Peace
The belief that Israel and the Palestinians can make peace if Israel makes concessions such as withdrawing from more land and providing more economic aid is one of the strongest and enduring delusions in the world. It ails almost every major world leader, and so many Christians and Jews alike.
The saddest thing about this delusion is that it ignores both optimistic and sad truths on the ground.
The happy truth it ignores is that there already is relative peace between Jews and Arabs inside the state of Israel, where Arab residents enjoy more freedoms and prosperity than anyone else in the Arab world with the exception of dictators, royal families, and their cronies. Israel’s Arab population is a living example that pluralism can succeed, even in the Middle East. The sectarian nonsense and misery of countries like Iraq and Syria is close to Israel geographically. But culturally, that misery is centuries removed from its borders.
The sad truth that even Israelis have a hard time accepting is that so many of Israel’s Arab neighbors will never accept peace with them. How horrific it must be to have to wake up every day knowing people living so close to you are bent on murdering you and your children and nothing can be done to change their minds!
And so, the result is the world tries to ignore it and promote an alternative reality. That alternative reality includes delusions about how Israel must do more for peace and the U.S. needs to be a more “balanced” moderator in the region. This is all nonsense, and very much the product of the subconscious realization that the Arabs won’t ever change, so we might as well try to blame each other for the continuing conflict. It’s akin to Stockholm syndrome, where captives not only begin to identify with their captors, but also start to blame each other for being captured in the first place.
Sadly, these three denials are just the tip of the world’s iceberg right now. But they’re probably the ones we’re encountering with the most frequency as American Jews. We must work to destroy these denials first before we can move on to anything else.
Jake Novak has been a TV news producer and editorial columnist for more than 25 years, with expertise in political, economic, religious, and cultural issues. He has produced shows at CNBC, CNN, FOX, and several local stations across the country. Novak is a graduate of the Yeshivah of Flatbush, has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University, and a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny and watch out for future columns on 5TJT.com.