There’s a new song/music video called Unity, and as you might expect the lyrics are a total cheesefest celebrating people coming together:
So listen brother, listen friend
Just a little smile, a helping hand
And we all will find a loving kind humanity
We must teach our children to
Treat your fellow friends like they were you
And then we all find some peace of mind and unity
The video presents the song in a We Are the World style, with dozens are musical artists coming together to sing the one song. Sweet right? Except it’s actually not, because the cause the song is asking us to unify behind is the defense of Sholom Rubashkin. Yes, the Rubashkin who was convicted of 86 counts of federal bank fraud. He was also going to be charged with employing illegal immigrants, but the prosecutors dropped those charges because of the extent of the bank fraud charges. He was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for the federal bank fraud charges, and was acquitted of charges that he knowingly employed under-age workers at the Agriprocessors plant.
So this video about all of us lending a helping hand to our brother is actually about encouraging us to donate money to a man who stole millions, employed illegal immigrants, and underage workers. That is such a deeply offensive idea I don’t even know where to begin.
Even more ironic: the video about unity, about everyone being responsible for each other, it features EXCLUSIVELY Orthodox men. There is one woman, who of course does not sing. She seems to be the representative of the fund, but may be Rubashkin’s wife. Unclear (to me, anyway).
So, just to be clear, a song called Unity is actually about Orthodox men coming together to sing and congratulate each other on their incredible work of chesed and be outraged at the injustive being faced by other Orthodox men?
Even if you wholeheartedly support Rubashkin, this particular “unified” group is an unbelievably large load of bullshit. People of like minds coming together?? Who could ever have DREAMED such a thing?
I really rarely get outraged about anything in the Orthodox world, because I come from an Orthodox community, and I think most people drastically misunderstand the Orthodox purview. That said, this has me so upset I am actually nauseous.
Please, whatever you do, do not give a cent of your money to this “defense fund.” If you want to give Tzedakah, how about American Jewish World Service, Magen David Adom, Jewish Free Loan Society, the Medill Innocence Project, or the West Memphis Three.
And just to give you a sense of contrast, here are the previous We are the World videos. They raise money for hunger in Africa, and earthquake relief in Haiti. You know, actual worthy causes. Also they’re more diverse. Also: good.
Pronounced: KHEH-sed, Origin: Hebrew, lovingkindness, compassion.