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Antisemitic incidents more than double in Michigan in 2021

incidents of anti-semitism more than doubled in Michigan in 2021
Jon Tyson
incidents of anti-semitism more than doubled in Michigan in 2021

Incidents of harassment, vandalism, and assault targeting Jewish people more than doubled in Michigan last year, according to the Anti Defamation League's annual audit.

Carolyn Normandin is Regional Director of ADL Michigan. She said the increase was fueled in part by people becoming more fearful during the pandemic, causing them to lash out against minorities.

"It's a global phenomenon," she said, adding that the political divisiveness in the U.S. also is part of the explanation.

As to what people can do, she said people should always report incidents of antisemitism, either to local law enforcement, or to ADL. And she said they should not be silent when witnessing antisemitism or other bigotry.

"If anybody says anything that smacks of antisemitism or of racism or of homophobia, or any of the other hateful types of rhetoric that's around, they should call it out, they should not accept it," she said. "We do not have to allow hatred to become normalized in the state of Michigan."

Incidents in the ADL audit are investigated by the group to confirm their authenticity. The 2021 audit found 104 incidents of harassment of Jewish people in Michigan in 2021, and eight incidents of vandalism.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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