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View Diary: Nobody I Know Thinks of Themselves As White (115 comments)

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  •  Well... the "less Jewish" argument (4+ / 0-)
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    Avila, mamamedusa, Wee Mama, Yasuragi

    is often based on a presumption of Jewish self-hatred, which I just don't buy.  We'd love to be as Jewish as we wanna be, but we can't escape the racial bind of being American.

    Jews have two choices in the U.S.:  to be considered "more white" or "more black."  It's interesting to watch us navigate between those two poles, with right wing Jews dying to be more white, and left wing Jews often dying to be more black.  (The latter sometimes literally, as those Jews murdered for their participation in Freedom Summer -- Goodman & Schwerner -- attest.)

    I think my choice is pretty clear....

    "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

    by hepshiba on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:03:09 PM PDT

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    •  I'm sorry--I'm just not buying this dichotomy (1+ / 0-)
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      the Jewish self-hatred issue is one trajectory--but not the one I'm thinking about--it does exist but it's not articulalry prevalent.

      I'm thinking about the one in which Jews were seen as poor, dirty, etc.  and, as such, less likely to get jobs, be able to support families, etc.

      Do you think the Jews in Europe in the 20s and 30s--the ones who strove to assimilate even before Nuremberg--were doing so through the framework of black-white relations?  And in any case, that framework is distinctly American and a product of our history--whereas racism in general is as old as humanity itself.  That's why I feel that your framework--while certainly applicable in many circumstances--is overstated.

      •  articulalry = weird typo (particularly) nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  *sigh* The diary is about (6+ / 0-)

        U.S. racism. Specifically.  It's addressed in terms of U.S. history.  "Peculiar institution" and all that.  Did you read the diary?  Some U.S. ideas of racism were exported to Europe (Hitler loved Jim Crow, and it served as a model for the anti-Jewish laws) along with U.S. anti-Indian policy (it wasn't called the Lublin Reservation for nothing), but of course the Jews in Europe in the 20s and 30s were not attempting to assimilate on the same framework as Jewish Americans in that time period.  If you want to understand antisemitism in Europe, read Raul Hilberg.  If you want to understand racism in the U.S., read Omi & Winant. One size does not fit all.  Sheesh.

        "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

        by hepshiba on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 04:20:45 PM PDT

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        •  my point is that there are intrinsic complexities (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel, Catte Nappe

          within all ethnic identities and I don't believe that the choice to self-identify with 'white' or self-identify with 'black' was the default framework for all assimilation in the U.S.  No, I haven't read Omi & Winant.

          •  And my point is that there (6+ / 0-)

            is no choice.  The white/black divide exists in the U.S. and immigrants have to negotiate it in their own unique fashion. There's always a push-me-pull-you aspect to inner- and outer-defined identity.

            We simply disagree on this.  And you might find Omi & Winant very interesting, not just for what they have to say about black identity, but all sorts of identity.

            "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

            by hepshiba on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:09:19 PM PDT

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      •  It's not an issue (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yasuragi, hepshiba, poco

        Of  "black-white"; it is one of "white/not white"... With what is deemed "white" being even where there are no blacks or Hispanics or Asians there will still be exclusion...of Jews, of Italians etc... That is why organizations like the DAR and Mayflower Society exist; so even where everyone is "white" there is exclusion because some can claim to be whiter than others...

        Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

        by awesumtenor on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 08:44:43 AM PDT

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