Xiphias Gladius (xiphias) wrote,
Xiphias Gladius
xiphias

RaceFail II: The Wrath Of Cohen

Let me speak only for myself to start with.

Over the Recent Race Kerfluffle, where it became abundantly clear that, among other things, things are messy, people have been living with pain unrecognized outside of their communities for their whole lives, and people often don't understand each other, one thing that was brought up was the idea of white people trying to claim non-white status, for whatever reason, and in whatever way.

Speaking for myself: I sat on my hands for that. And now am not.

Because it's totally true that I have White Privilege. And I don't want to diminish the challenges that people who don't have that, who ARE visible minorities, face, challenges that I don't face. I don't want to make it all about MEMEMEMEME!, because it's not. And the things I deal with are very different than people whose skin colors, face shapes, or speech patterns are different than the majority in the area that they live.


I have White Privilege, I consciously USE it, even. But I don't feel "white". I feel like "The Other". I just feel like I hide it.

Other Jews have been posting about things that RaceFail made them consider -- I don't think any of these people are saying, "We have the SAME experience as black people, or Asians, or whatever." In the United States, we're not legally discriminated against. Being Jewish doesn't block us from marrying whom we choose, unlike some other "invisible", or semi-visible, minorities. We're not generally blocked from education, or jobs, or public life.

Here are three of the posts of people poking around at how being Jewish interacts with the topics brought up during RaceFail:

http://rosefox.livejournal.com/1452657.html
http://abyssinia4077.livejournal.com/274444.html
http://fjm.livejournal.com/728228.html

And yet . . . we don't take our lack-of-significant-oppressedness for granted.

These past fifty years or so, in the United States, have been good. Like under Alexander, some of the times under the Roman Empire, a fair portion of the Caliphate.

But I think many of us consider this to be just part of the way the world goes. Right now is good. That doesn't mean that things will always be good. Hamas or other anti-Zionist organizations will, eventually, get enough friends that people will decide that the Jews don't have any right to Israel -- after all, the Jews killed the Canaanites to get the land, the Canaanites are the Phoenicians, and the Phoenicians are the Palestinians, so they get the right to the land, and the Jews should be kicked out. And, when that happens, the worldwide backlash will include more violence against Jews, and that may well happen within my lifetime, which is one of the reasons my wife and I can shoot, do everything we can to maintain friendly relationships with our neighbors, and think about having skills that are portable in case we have to run.

Because we have White Privilege. But privileges can be granted, and can be revoked. And history is NOT a smooth march toward equality. There are better times, and worse times. Worse times will come, and those who have ANY mark of difference must be prepared for them, even if "worse times" are not NOW.

Who is white? In the United States, right now, Jews, Irish, Italians, and Poles are all white.

But Italians are not white in North Linconshire in England right now. Their "whiteness" was revoked. "British jobs for British workers".

I've got people on my friendslist who can testify to just how tenuous the Irish hold on "whiteness" is in England.

I'm white. Right now. But I'm deeply aware that that could change with really no more than a few months' warning. And that affects how I look at the world.
Tags: judaism, politics
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