Monday, January 20, 2020

Appropriate for Martin Luther King Day (I hope)

I clicked on a Facebook link that led to an article arguing that intersectionality works against Jews because Jews are seen as White.  The same day, I clicked on a Facebook link that led to an article that seemed to be saying that White people just aren't aware of how much privilege they've benefited from due to their white skin.

So today, after our local Martin Luther King, Jr. Mitzvah Day of Service, I was relieved to see that, among the choices of ethnic/racial identities on the survey was the choice "Jewish."  I'm so tired of having to choose between "Caucasian/White/European Origin" and "Other."

What the heck are we, anyway?  Yes, I, myself have white skin and have undoubtedly benefited from white privilege.  That said, if Jews are white, why do right-wing extremists treat us as outsiders, at best, and as "Christ-killers," at worst?  And if Jews aren't white, why do left-wing extremists treat us as white racist colonialists?

I need someone with a better brain to think about this, perhaps a philosopher and/or a theologian with a strong political bent.  I nominate Rabbi Shai Held for the job.  Please do add your own nominees in the comments, if you have anyone in mind.

I'm also more than a little concerned about whether I'm the best person to ask this question.  After all, whatever the answer, I do have white skin.  Unfortunately, I know almost no Jews of Color.  I invite comments from the entire Jewish community


Anonymous Kid Charlemagne said...

I leave the following post from TOI 2014-12-05

and here is the link to SCOTUS case

Tue Jan 21, 01:39:00 AM 2020  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks, Kid. I posted the Times of Israel link on Facebook.

Tue Jan 21, 10:22:00 PM 2020  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Here are some comments copied from Facebook:

Anat Hochberg: Jews aren’t white, but whiteness was conferred on us, and we fought for it. Being considered white and calling ourselves white is only harming us. imo.

Shira Salamone: As Rav Shai Held might say, "Tell me more." How does "being considered white and calling ourselves white" harm us Jews?

Anat Hochberg: whiteness is a harmful oppressive construct. other more well read people can recommend the books on it

Shoshana Yehudah: The question requires Jews to figure out who we are? Some Jews call themselves white because they want the rest of the world to accept them as white. There is value and privilege in being white, at least according to the society we live in. However, if Jews are the people described in the Torah, then we are not white, brown, beige or any other color. We are a multitude of colors, descendants of 12 sons from four different mother's, each with different looks and shades. We accept other nations into our people as equals, so the blending further continues. If you are a Jew and believe you are white, I wish you luck on navigating this society. We are Jews; separate, apart yet part of the rest of humanity. It says something that no where in the Torah is the color of different nations mentioned. I guess that's not what's important to God. Why have we allowed it to be important to us as Jews? MLK day is a good time for Jews to think about why we've allowed color to invade our society, and control how we view the rest of humanity. Just my opinions.

Tue Jan 21, 10:25:00 PM 2020  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is typical liberal claptrap. (I have a stronger word for it, but I'll be civil.) This whole concept of privilege and intersectionality is all a bunch of hooey. Groups discriminate against, and are discriminated against, constantly, with the possible exception of WASPs (now they're hosed in most aspects because they aren't "diverse").

Jews aren't white. Even Jews with white skin aren't white. Jews are the consummate outsiders. We're Woody Allen in Annie Hall, when his shikse girlfriend's parents look at him, they see a Chassid.

My father couldn't get a job in the late '60s with white shoe law firms because he was Jewish. I've been told things by white people in my place of employment that would be a cause for a lawsuit if I were so inclined (I'm not).

This culture of "woe is me, look how oppressed I am" is the reason why Trump got elected, and likely will be reelected (this is not an endorsement, merely an observation).

So stop playing these silly games. Live your life by the golden rule of "Don't be a jerk to anyone." Then you can stop with these silly guilt trips.

Wed Jan 22, 10:33:00 AM 2020  

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