I read about Mackelmore’s unfortunate costume choice yesterday at his Seattle performance. He wore a black “bowl cut” wig with a large nose and Chasidic beard. He looked like he could be walking the streets of Pico/Robertson or Crown Heights. He looked as if he was mocking the Jewish people (my people) and some deemed him to be anti-Semitic. I have to say that was my immediate thought.
On his website he wrote, “Unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard,” he wrote. “I’m saddened that this story, or any of my choices, would lead to any form of negativity.” He went on to state that he just grabbed those items to make a costume. At my apartment, I think I have a pair of plush cat ears and a tail if I wanted to make a costume up on the fly but Macklemore’s outfit looked like it took some thought and planning.
Listen, I think the guy made a mistake and thought he was being funny. Unfortunately, there are pictures taken and he got caught. I don’t think his intent was malicious but it was offensive. Racism, anti-Semitism and sexism in its worst form is subtle or disguised as a joke. I would rather someone call me a kike to my face then behind my back. My point is to you, Macklemore, just admit you made a mistake because I don’t think anyone is buying your excuses. I’ve said it before, but the worst thing you can do is NOT making a mistake but defending it.
Being a Jew is at the core of me. I know I would be a dead Jew if I were alive in Europe during World War II. I remember watching a documentary on the Holocaust. In the documentary there were pictures that Hitler had of what Jews looked like: black hair, big noses, beards and horns. Minus the horns, that was Macklemore’s outfit.
My Grandfather (may he rest in peace) would always tell me, “everybody hates the Jews.” I always thought he was being paranoid but I really can’t name one group that really digs us. I think it’s because we are perceived to have all the money and when you live in the material world where money buys happiness, then that would be a reason to hate us. I don’t have much money and I live in the spiritual world where my happiness is generated by esteemable acts like helping my fellow man.
I forgive Macklemore like I forgive Donald Sterling because everyone, no matter what they’ve done or said deserves forgiveness. I wish for both men that they learn from their actions and make amends. I say amends rather than apology because an apology is just words, an amends means amending your behavior. I also think that Macklemore should take a trip to the Yad Vashem museum in Israel or maybe watch “Schindler’s List” a few times.