Wednesday, June 24, 2020

By Daled Amos

When it comes to spreading Jew-hatred, Tamika Mallory -- a disciple of Al Sharpton -- learned her lessons well. Back in 2018, she was quoted in a New York Times article, about how much she knew about those white Jews:

Since that conversation, we’ve all learned a lot about how while white Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy, ALL Jews are targeted by it.
Labeling Jews as "white" and accusing them of having "white privilege" has proven to be a winning strategy for Jew-haters, as protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd have devolved into riots, some of them deliberately targeting Jewish businesses and synagogues.

But as we've pointed out before, Jews Were Not Always Considered "White" In The US

In her article, Diabetes and Race: A Historical Perspective, Arleen Marcia Tuchman writes about how difficult the US government found it to pigeonhole Jewish immigrants at the turn of the century. The Dillingham Commission, a US Congressional Committee set up in 1910 to ascertain the "whiteness" of immigrant groups, apparently had their hands full with the Jews:
In the 19th century, the United States Bureau of Immigration had classified Jews as “Slavonic,” a subgroup of the elite Aryan stock. However, the Dillingham Commission took issue with this, insisting that linguistic and physical criteria, including the “Jew’s nose,” placed them among the Semites, lower down on the Caucasian ladder.

  ...extreme nativists, who were determined to end the influx of eastern European Jews into the United States [referred] to the Jews’ physical stature, moral traits, and origins as a nomadic tribe, they insisted that the Jews not be classified as Caucasian at all, but as “thoroughbred Asiatics.”...One author could not hide his disdain for the “primitive, tribal, Oriental” character of the Jews. Yet another wrote disparagingly of the “Mongoloid traits” of the Jews, which he attributed to the blood of the Mongolian Khazars allegedly coursing through the Jews’ veins.
Now at last the Jews have finally made it as full-fledged members of the white race in the US -- only to find out that now being "white" is a bad thing.

How are Jews supposed to respond to the charge of being White?

One recourse has been to point out that not all Jews are white -- a fact that is part of the complex history of the Jews.

 

Ethiopian Jews are, of course, only one example of Jews of Color.

Here is another example of a Jew of Color:

screencap
Gal Gadot. Youtube screencap

When Wonder Woman hit theaters in 2017, the Comicbook / DC site confirmed:
Yep, with a quick google search, it turns out that Gal Gadot is not actually Caucasian, but is in fact Israeli.
For proof that Gal Gadot is not "white", the article pointed its readers to a post by Dani Ishai Behan on the Times of Israel Blog, who addresses the question -- Are Jews A People of Color?

At issue is the culture of antisemitism on the "anti-racist" left:
if we are “just white people with funny hats”, then we are perforce not “really” an oppressed group, thereby enabling anti-racists to retain their credentials without having to listen to Jews or take our concerns seriously.
And by extension, labeling Ashkenazic Jews as "white," makes it that much easier to portray Israel as a  "white colonial project," based on some religious whim, taking advantage of the Arabs.

Behan responds by saying straight out that Jews -- including Ashkenazic Jews -- are People Of Color:
For one thing, we are an indigenous people of the Middle East. Our identity, our DNA, our culture, our language, and our history all attest to who we are as a people – centuries of exile doesn’t change that.
An obvious rebuttal is that the fact remains that Ashkenazic Jews are...white.
Behan's response is -- so what?
but this is fairly common among all Levantine groups, not just Jews. Moreover, fair skinned Latinos, Iranians, Pashtuns, and Native Americans aren’t exactly rare either. This is called “white passing”: the ability to blend in and escape some of the more immediate effects of non-whiteness while still suffering from the marginalization and othering that non-Jewish minorities experience. To put it another way, looking white is not the same as being white. [emphasis added]
You know, Behan may have a point.

screencap
Linda Sarsour. Youtube screencap.

In a second post, Behan writes that Ashkenazic Jews also qualify on the basis of their history for inclusion in the PoC club:
An indigenous people of the Middle East, Ashkenazi Jews were driven out of their homeland by European (and later Arab) colonists and taken as slaves to Europe where they were consistently regarded as savages, periodically massacred, and excluded from society on the grounds that they are a foreign, non-Christian, and non-European (or in the words of our European oppressors: Oriental/Asiatic) presence on European soil. [emphasis added]
The fact that today, Ashkenazic Jews are able to pass as "white," mix with them, and be accepted by them still misses the key point that Behan made before: "looking white is not the same as being white" --

having to hide one’s ethnic background just to be treated as a “normal” human being is not privilege, because white people (*actual* white people, not Jews) don’t have to do this. They don’t need to change their names, or flatten their noses, or bleach their skin, or straighten their hair, or take their kippahs off, etc. The fact that Ashkenazim, and white passing Jews in general, need to *work* just to be seen as regular people really says it all...

winona-ryder-9468380-1-402

A perfect recent example in Winona Ryder, who spoke in an interview of her own experiences of antisemitism as an actress:

“There are times when people have said, ‘Wait, you’re Jewish? But you’re so pretty!’ There was a movie that I was up for a long time ago, it was a period piece, and the studio head, who was Jewish, said I looked ‘too Jewish’ to be in a blue-blooded family.”

True, Jews, to some extent, are able to "pass" themselves off as "white" and do not suffer from the same kind of racism as other groups. But those who exploit this difference in order to attack Jews in the US as benefiting from "white privilege" are jumping the gun -- and show a certain amount of hypocrisy as well:
All in all, we mustn’t make the mistake of assuming Jews enjoy “white privilege” just because our experiences are not symmetrical with those of African-Americans or Hispanics, as to do so would be unreasonable, fallacious, and hypocritical (again, no other ethnic minority is held to this standard). Anti-Jewish racism looks different because the stereotypes are different. In other words, we are not viewed by society as “uneducated thugs”, but as “dishonest”, “conniving”, “clannish”, and “bloodthirsty” mongrels who control everything behind the scenes, and these racist tropes play out in the way we are treated in this country. [emphasis added]
Those who will argue that the economic success of Jews is proof of their "white privilege" are willfully blind to history. There was a time that Jews enjoyed that same level of economic success in Germany and France -- and we all know how fleeting and impermanent that turned out to be.
 
Bottom line, those elements that combine to make a Jew an Ashkenazic Jew make him non-white as well:
Inasmuch as a group’s non-whiteness is contingent on their history, experiences, heritage, and relationship with the concept of “white” as defined by its pioneers, Ashkenazim certainly do qualify as a non-white people.
If other people from the Middle East are considered to be "people of color" -- regardless of their appearance, then the same must go for Jews as well, and the length of time that Jews have been displaced from their home in the Middle East does not make one bit of difference -- "Centuries of displacement from our land does not change this fact, and alleging otherwise is a form of erasure and antisemitism."

Yet, of all ethnic groups, it is the Jews who continue to be begrudged their Middle Eastern roots on account of the color of their skin.

Now that's creepy.

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