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Rantz: Progressive Seattle activists have a disturbing anti-Semitism problem

Too many loud voices in the local Progressive movement hold disturbing anti-Semitic positions and not many of their brethren are speaking up.

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The Stranger reports of a recent incident in the Central District where there’s long been tension between activists and Uncle Ike’s, a legal pot shop. To many, it’s a symbolism of gentrification in a predominantly African American neighborhood. The store is owned by a Jewish man, Ian Eisenberg, and at a recent rally, he was the victim of anti-Semitism.

The Stranger identifies Omari Tahir-Garrett in the video above. He tells Eisenberg to “go back to Germany” so that he could “let them Nazis get you again.”

This is disgusting, on its face, and isn’t the first instance of anti- Semitism coming from these activists. Equally disturbing are those who seek to downplay the anti-Semitic commentary.

Tahir-Garrett’s son doesn’t directly criticize the comments, according to the Stranger. Further, activist DJ Martinez told the blog that “I don’t think he’s anti-Semitic or anything like that. I think he’s an elder with a lot of trauma and hurt.”

Let me be clear: Tahir-Garrett’s statements were anti-Semitic. If they are truthful — that he wants to see Nazis “get you again” — then I believe him to be an anti-Semite in no uncertain terms. It’s indefensible and anyone who aims to defend these comments should also be scrutinized for offensive worldviews. Why aren’t more Progressives holding these activists to account? Does their tolerance stop when dealing with Jewish people?

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