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View Diary: Swastikas and Torched Cars. In 2011. In Brooklyn. (211 comments)

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  •  what's truly weird though, is.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Matt Z, SwedishJewfish

    .... What exactly is Jewish ethnicity that they can point to as distinct from any of a person's other ethnic characteristics?

    As I understand it, within Jewish culture, Jewishness is matrilineal: if your Mom is Jewish, you're ethnically Jewish.

    But at least in America, if your Mom or Dad are American, or if you're born in America, you're "ethnically American."

    And Jews who live in e.g. Europe, are "ethnically European" as well.   Asian Jews, African Jews, Australian Jews, etc. etc., all around the world: they are ethnically Jewish and ethnically Asian, African, Australian, whatever.  

    So how is it that the hate-monsters single out the Jewish aspect of someone's ethnicity as distinct from let's say "Irish-American" ethnicity or "English-Australian" ethnicity of e.g. the children of an English immigrant to Australia?  

    There was a time when Irish immigrants (and other immigrant groups) faced ferocious bigotry in the US (and presumably similar factors occurred with other immigrant groups in other countries), but over time that receded.  I was reminded of this one night hearing a well-respected Irish author speaking on National Public Radio, use the phrase "the Irish race" as a historic reference.  

    Or is it something to do with degree of assimilation?  As if one has to give up every last vestige, down to the level of one's old family recipes?   Would the hatred recede if Jews gave up "Jewish food" any more than if Italians gave up Italian food?  

    The capacity of humans to "otherize" each other based upon the smallest differences, is truly shocking.  I'm told that in the genocides that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia, a country whose industrial and technical infrastructure were easily as good as those of Poland, the "smallest differences" included things like the size of crosses atop the domes of churches.  

    Scientifically it comes out that the harshest axes of competition among animals often occur between species that are the most similar in terms of their ecological niches.  This makes much sense of the rest of it, humans being above all else, animals in ecosystems.  

    Yet one would think that our cerebral cortexes would be more powerful than our amygdalas.  "Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly..."

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sat Nov 12, 2011 at 10:41:25 PM PST

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