I recently saw a post that concerned me. It was about Ye (formerly Kanye West) and his barrage of antisemitic remarks. Perhaps you saw it too? He’s been in the news so often for his hate-filled rhetoric. This article looks beyond just him to the whole trend of antisemitism being on the rise.
(Here’s the article that spurred me to write this article: https://katiecouric.com/news/rise-in-antisemitism-kanye-west/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=WUC_Wednesday&utm_term=all_users)  

Finally, some attention on the growing anti-Semitism that the media seems to seldom report. Although Jewish people don’t carry placards, march in parades, come up with slogans, they are being preyed upon as much as, and in some cases more than, other segments of our society. Hate targeted to any group carte blanche is difficult to witness and most certainly not acceptable in the workplace.

It’s upsetting how this hatred and lack of tolerance is being unleashed in our world. It affects your workplace, the teams you work on, the colleagues and clients you interact with, and the family members you embrace or distance yourself from.

As a leader, you can make a difference. We all can. 

Several months ago I was watching the TV news and the Toronto area published a statistic that the most hate crimes in the past two years weren’t against Blacks, Asians, LGBTQ2S? or other segments you might guess… they were against Jews.

In the words of Kim Kardashian who spoke out on this issue, “Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.”

The time to remain silent has passed. Please speak out against hate of any sort. When you see an inappropriate comment, report it, speak up, shut them down.

We can all make a better world by spreading kindness so abundantly that hatred has no room to grow. Nip hate in the bud. Yes, you can make a difference, one person at a time. Start with yourself.

When you hear an inappropriate remark, politely challenge it. I don’t mean be aggressive. Quite the contrary. Be inquisitive and not threatening. Just call them on it. You could say something like, “I’m sorry, I’m not quite sure what you mean”, “What makes you say that?”, or “Hmmm, that’s an interesting take. Why would you think that?”.

In other words, call them on it. Zero tolerance.

Let them know that you notice that remark and you’re not going to let it slip. Avoid the temptation to be snippy or use sarcasm as the point will be lost. Instead, attempt to open up the dialogue, perhaps introduce another perspective. With any luck, and if they’re not completely brainwashed, they will consider your input. 

Hate and prejudice is learned. We’re not born narrowminded and with firm belief systems. We are taught them. That’s good news because we can learn and teach those willing to learn (not everyone is).

Years ago, I had a church-going, God-righteous mother of a friend proudly tell me that she had, “jewed down” an upholsterer to get her chair redone. I reminded her of my husband’s last name and that Christ himself was born a Jew. I was 30 years old. Proud of myself.

Though sadly she will likely say it again, she won’t say it front of me.

Imagine, if several people in her life told her that was an inappropriate phrase. Eventually, if we all speak up against what we won’t tolerate, behaviour changes. Silence is tacit approval. No one, no race, colour, creed, gender, background, education level, or ethnicity, no one should be looked down upon. The only time it’s okay to look down is when you’re extending your hand to help someone up.

Equality in the workplace and in life. Yup, I can get behind that one.

©2022 Marion Grobb Finkelstein (MarionSpeaks)

Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
Recipient of APEX “Award for Leadership in Service Innovation”
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Leadership communication expert, Marion Grobb Finkelstein shows leaders at any level how to build resilient and respectful workplaces by changing how they communicate. Chat with her at www.facebook.com/MarionSpeaks or
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Post your comments and reactions below. What about this article resonates with YOU?

Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Marion Grobb Finkelstein helps leaders use their natural communication strengths to build resilient teams that talk.


  • Thank you so much, Marion, for raising this important topic. Hate has no place anywhere, workplace included. I could not agree more. And this rise in anti-Semitism, for example, is frightening. There is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of hate in the workplace. Hate is toxic as it leads to mistrust, animosity, and disrespect among team members and between leaders and their employees. How can a team work to its potential without the trust and respect of its leader and fellow employees? Kudos to you, Marion, for taking a stand and having the courage to voice your beliefs. I hope company leaders will read your article and my comment and take to heart the good work that you are doing and how you can help them be more effective leaders and enhance their team’s communication and performance.

    • Roz, thank you so much for your insightful commments, and a HUGE THANKS for writing your book, “Meant to Be” (https://roslynfranken.com/about-the-book.html) about your parents’ amazing survival, love, and triumph over tragedy as Holocaust and atomic bomb survivors. They knew all too well what the kinds of hate they suffered at the hands of their evil captors can lead to if we don’t stop it. Hate cannot be tolerated. It is like cancer in the workplace and it will spread unless we all take a stand and stop it by speaking up. The cost of hate in the workplace is lowered team effectiveness and thus has a direct impact on the bottom line. And the cost goes far beyond that. Thanks for speaking up.

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