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As a Jewish person (don’t let the last name Wahlberg fool you), I’m really fucking pissed off about Jake Croman, a University of Michigan freshman who might actually be the personification of the rationale behind anti-Semitism. While all of us have had a bad experience with an Uber driver, berating him or her with insults such as: “minimum wage faggot” (while clearly being recorded) defies the stereotype of Jews, and Michigan students, being intelligent.
Here is the video:
This story actually gets worse. Jake is the son of Steven Croman, a sort of real-life Wolf of Wall Street, repeatedly named one of the worst landlords in the city of New York and embroiled in a seemingly perpetual series of legal battles due to his own less than stellar practices. While, perhaps true to my Judaism, I admire success and the accumulation of absurd sums of money, doing so while using ex-police to intimidate minority families, cutting gas and water supplies for months to homes with children and blatantly lying your way to mega millions is fundamentally un-American.
Jake’s homophobic and obnoxiously pompous rant was supposedly prompted by an anti-Semitic remark made by the Uber driver. I’m not buying it. The driver has a confirmed 4.8 star rating from over 2,600 trips, and Jake’s claim he “filed a report with the Ann Arbor police immediately after” seems to be about as legitimate as his father’s business dealings, as the Ann Arbor PD has no record of any contact with the younger Croman. It’s literally impossible to drive an Uber in Ann Arbor if you refuse to drive Jews. That would be like not allowing black riders in Kenya. You’d have no business.
The internet has exploded with vitriol and hate, not just towards Jake, but Jews in general. The newly created jakecroman.com has received nearly 40,000 hits in less than a day — a juvenile and crass looking site featuring some of the “highlights” of Jake’s social media, and the past of his father. Comments on linked articles to student newspapers, YouTube, and online publications range from “let’s ruin his fucking life,” “when can I kill this Jew,” “typical Jewish cocksucker,” to “the time will come and they will be the first to go.”
I’m sorry, but fuck you Jake for doing this, not just to the driver (who very well might be an opportunist cunt) but to our people. It’s awesome your life is so great, the fact you can “sit on your ass all day and watch some TV” is fucking amazing, and you’re incredibly lucky to be able to do that and go to a school like U of M. A lot of us here were born “lucky.” It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and I don’t think anyone should apologize for the hard work and success of those who came before them. But we, the well-educated, well-supported, and well-funded, younger generation has a responsibility: to take what it is that we have been given and make an actual positive impact on society, and those around us.
Regardless of what was said to prompt this, in 2016 there’s no reason to ever use homophobic slurs, in gest or anger. In the era of the worst wealth inequality in American history in which the average family of 4 lives on less disposal income than in 1970 (adjusted for inflation) lambasting an engineer for making extra cash driving an Uber, while you boast about your father given wealth, is despicable.
This kind of shit is part of the reason people say so many awful things about us, why we are perceived as the sniffling schemer with a bad hairline and a 7-inch vertical jump. This is a major reason anti-Semitism did not die with Adolph Hitler. Trust me, I know Ann Arbor. IF they let you stay in school after this, you won’t last long calling people “faggots.”
But at the end of the day, let’s remember this is an 18-year-old kid. We have all said things we regret, we’ve all made horrible mistakes (you should see who my roommate woke up with this morning) and I’m sure there are times in our pasts we look back on thankfully without video evidence. Calling for this kid to be “killed” is insane, just as extrapolating his comments to be that of all those who share his faith is irresponsible and idiotic.
This, of course, has already taken an anti-frat turn as well, describing him as a “frat bro” and insinuating a link between Greek culture and this sort of behavior. In reality, this is just as far fetched as the internet tough guys talking about beating up Jews on YouTube.
I not only hope Mr. Croman learns from this, but all of us as the future of our nation understand not just the disgusting nature of his comments, but of the reaction as well..