Jews Jews Jews Jews Jews!

No one is antisemitic if you ask them. Not at all!

Certainly not John Galliano, even though you can hear him admiring Hitler in this video. Not Charlie Sheen and not Mel Gibson. These guys were just drunk or stoned and plus, some of their best friends are Jews.

Here is my feeling: Anyone who separates people into Jews and Everyone Else is antisemitic. It is frustrating to argue this point. I tried in another post, when a film reviewer praised an actress for not “trying to mask her Jewishness.” Everyone claimed to be bewildered by the premise that this is clearly antisemitic.

If you tell me about your Jewish friends, you are antisemitic, to my ears. The fact that you distinguish some people as Jews – unless they are orthodox Jews whose lifestyle is defined by religion – then you have a problem.

Me, I’m an atheist but I’m a Jew because my parents and their parents were Jews. The world will always define me as different because the world is nuts. Why the world is nuts about Jews, I don’t know. I’ve been reading about it but I’m not a historian. I don’t need to be a historian to know that most of the world hates Jews.

That’s their problem, though, I’m not going to boycott Galliano because he’s antisemitic. I love his designs and I don’t care about his personal problems. Hating Jews is like hating blacks but more insidious: It’s just ignorance and the need to feel superior. It’s stupid, but evidently we can’t cure stupidity.

Last night I watched a great movie called “The Believer” which caused such an uproar when it was previewed to Jewish leaders that it was released under the radar and disappeared quickly. It’s the true story of a self-hating Jewish student in New York who becomes a neo-Nazi.

Ryan Gosling is the anti-hero. His speech to a group of would-be fascists is so maniacal that it has stayed with me over the years. Each time I see the movie and hear the speech, I laugh out loud at its audacity and absurdity – and because its true. Here it is, copied from the script:

          How many of you think of yourselves
          as anti-Semites?
              (All the hands go up.)
          Good. Actually, the term is a bit
          imprecise since technically Jews are
          only one of the Semitic peoples....
          In fact, Arabs are Semites, as are
          the Eritreans, the Ethiopians, and so
          on.... But for our purposes an anti-
          Semite is someone who hates or is
          against Jews.... Now, why do we hate

He looks around. The room is silent.

          Let me put it another way. Do we hate
          them because they push their way in
          where they don't belong? Or because
          they're clannish and keep to themselves?

Murmurs of "Yeah. Both." But some are confused by this.

          ...Because they're tight with money,
          or because they flash it around?
          Because they're Bolsheviks or because
          they're capitalists? Because they
          have the highest IQs, or because they
          have the most active sex lives?

The audience, confused...

          Do you want to know the real reason
          we hate them?...

          ...Because we hate them.
              (as people exchange
               puzzled looks)
          Because they exist. Because it is an
          axiom of civilization that just as
          man longs for woman, loves his
          children and fears death, he hates
          the Jews.
          There is no reason. If there were,
          some smart-ass kike would give us an
          argument, try to prove we were wrong.
          And of course that would only make us
          hate them more. In fact we have all
          the reasons we need in three simple
          letters: J-E-W. Jew. Say it a million
          times. It is the only word that never
          loses its meaning: Jew Jew Jew Jew
          Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew....

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157 Responses to “Jews Jews Jews Jews Jews!”

  1. Babsalicious Says:

    Hahahaha. Love the title. Can we have one that goes “Muslims-muslims-muslims!” for all my Jewish friends?

  2. Dru Says:

    ^I second that.

  3. Ann Says:

    I grew up in a town that was almost 100% Italian, and my school was mostly comprised of people whose parents, like mine, came straight off the boat onto Ellis Island. I never met anyone Jewish until I went to college. My roommate and all her friends were from Miami and had all gone to a private Jewish high school together. We became fast friends and remain close to this day. I don’t refer to them as my Jewish friends; I refer to them as my college friends, and that is the only distinction between them and anyone else I call a friend.

    Charlie Sheen (who I deplore for reasons beyond this) did bring up an interesting point, though. His gaffe was that he referred to his show’s producer by his largely unknown Jewish name in an angry rant. But if someone refers to Charlie as Carlos Estevez (his largely unknown given name), does that make them anti-Latino?

  4. m8 Says:

    You are are such a mensch! Bubbelah! I love you!!!!
    a fellow (athiest) Jewesssss

  5. sheri Says:

    I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean by “Hating Jews is like hating blacks but more insidious: It’s just ignorance and the need to feel superior.” Seems like hating anyone on the basis of any element of their intrinsic nature — race, religion, parentage, country of origin, etc. — is an insidious result of ignorance or insecurity.

  6. E Says:

    Sheri beat me to it. Please explain this statement: “Hating Jews is like hating blacks but more insidious: It’s just ignorance and the need to feel superior.”

  7. Dru Says:

    I’m going to join the bandwagon asking you to explain the ‘more insidious’ bit, Sister.
    To the best of my knowledge, there are no Jewish people or black people where I live, so I have no experience of either set of prejudices apart from reading about them. What exactly is it about anti-Semitism that makes it that way?

  8. annemarie Says:

    And i don’t get this, “Anyone who separates people into Jews and Everyone Else is antisemitic,” because this post does exactly that.

    ALTHOUGH I’ve always liked being able to claim my underdog status because it’s better than having to having to admit membership of the imperialist motherfuckership (Britain, America), at the same time, I know it’s totally hypocritical because claiming underdog status is as part of the problem. It’s just the other side of the racist coin.

    All identity politics is rubbish. Next!

  9. annemarie Says:

    Ugh, that video of Galliano is AWFUL.

  10. Rach Says:

    Prejudice is ugly no matter what form it takes.

  11. Rach Says:

    … What form? I’m sorry, fried brain. It’s ugly no matter who it’s aimed toward. Prejudice SUX, you guys.

  12. Veronica Says:

    “Here is my feeling: Anyone who separates people into Jews and Everyone Else is antisemitic. It is frustrating to argue this point.”

    I wanted to understand a bit more about the history behind the Israeli state, as a means to understand the current climate in the middle east. For this reason, I read Golda Meir’s autobiography, and to be honest, it frustrated me how she frequently and continuously differentiated between the American people and the American Jewish people…even when it was a positive reference or the groups should have been addressed as a collective.

    Upon finishing the book, I felt like there were two distinct groups in the US: Americans and the American Jews. I understand the need to establish a unique identity, but I felt the language of her autobiography was, to an extent, counter-productive. Ironically, by your definition above this behavior would be antisemitic…

    Personally, I feel like repeatedly pointing out differences (e.g. religion) is unnecessary and gratuitous, but we need to develop ways of talking about them at appropriate times in a way that is not demeaning or exclusionary.

  13. Aja Says:

    I’m glad I decided to check here before sending you the Galliano video. I wanted to believe so badly that it was all a misunderstanding. Anyone who dresses that way her no right making fun of any group. But what terrible things he said. He ought to be ashamed. As a minority, I have no patience for hatred of any group. Because the hater might be cool with black people but you know at one point, they probably weren’t. But then my other pet peeve, one of my ex boyfriends used to throw around “antisemitic” like some black people throw around “racism”. I don’t like when people use those terms and words without true warrant. It’s like the little boy who cried “wolf”.

  14. nadine Says:

    That video is shocking!

  15. JK Says:

    “Anyone who separates people into Jews and Everyone Else is antisemitic.”

    You had me right there Sister. Succinct as always.

  16. Ann Says:

    I grew up in a town that was almost 100% Italian, and my school was mostly comprised of people whose parents, like mine, came straight off the boat onto Ellis Island. I never met anyone Jewish until I went to college. My roommate and all her friends were from Miami and had all gone to a private Jewish high school together. We became fast friends and remain close to this day. I don’t refer to them as my Jewish friends; I refer to them as my college friends, and that is the only distinction between them and anyone else I call a friend.

    Charlie Sheen (who I deplore for reasons beyond this) did bring up an interesting point, though. His gaffe was that he referred to his show’s producer by his largely unknown Hebrew name in an angry rant. But if someone refers to Charlie as Carlos Estevez (his largely unknown given name), does that make them anti-Latino?

  17. Lara Says:

    Oh Sister. The only time anyone openly disliked me before getting to know me was the first day in a college class. The teacher was calling out our names and got to mine. My dad is Serbian and my last name ends in “vic”. I was sitting next to a Muslim girl who looked at me, scoffed and moved to a different seat. Like I was Milosevic’s daughter or something. I had been ready to exchange emails with her to be my class buddy. Oh well.

    My parents raised me as an atheist and my dad fled communist Yugoslavia. When he came here in the 60s he barely spoke English and the black men he worked with teased him mercilessly. I guess everyone needs someone to pick on. Anyhow, my dad has always harbored resentment towards blacks. Growing up, I made it my mission to convince him otherwise but it’s a lost cause.

    All of these idiots are a lost cause. Hopefully one day we can respect and celebrate other cultures/traditions without making it an issue about our differences but instead our parallels.

  18. Paige Says:

    The Believer is a fantastic film, I wish more people knew about it.

  19. Chelsea Rae Says:

    Galliano’s remarks were definitely anti-Semitic, no questions asked. Like you said, though, his social views have nothing to do with how much I love the clothes he designs. As well, he does sound a bit drunk, though intoxication often brings out people’s true feelings.

    However I don’t quite agree with you when you said, “The fact that you distinguish some people as Jews — unless they are orthodox Jews whose lifestyle is defined by religion — then you have a problem.”
    If I were to say, “my high school had Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur off because 70% of the school was Jewish,” that doesn’t make me anti-Semitic, it just means I’m pointing out a fact. I think, it depends on why and the context around distinguishing someone as a Jew.

  20. Aja Says:

    Lara whether you believe it or not, in my life I’ve had people say things to me to the effect of “I was afraid of black people before I met you” or “I really didn’t like black people and then when I met you, I realized this was silly”. While I of course feel slight offense to the nature of this message, I find it harder and harder to get my panties in a wad as I grow more mature. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar and if someone has managed to put their prejudice aside, that’s always good thing in my book. I try to believe no one’s a lost cause. Either way, he raised a wonderful daughter, so he can’t be all that bad 😉

  21. candy Says:

    In the next life, I will never come back or if I do I will choose to be:
    -a flower,
    -or a jaguar,
    -a Cougar (the animal )
    -a bird
    but in no way a human being!
    I know self hate. I remeber a French humorist saying on tv once that “we all have our arab” meaning somebody you hate, the scapegoat.

    Look at this video, Guerlain talks about blacks, he says “he worked hard (like a ….) to make a perfume”, adding that he doesn’t know if ….worked that much”.
    This was last year:

  22. E Says:

    I’m the other E (from the UK) and I’m not asking for any explanations Sister W as this is your blog – and these are comments – not a forum.

    Some forms of discrimination are so deep-seated as to be almost casual or unthinking. Doesn’t make it right – but then getting the hatred-o-meter out doesn’t help either.

  23. Dave C Says:

    Who knew Galliano could be such a dick? He may claim to have witness testimony that the events at La Perle didn’t happen, but the fact he’s been caught on video saying he loves Hitler while mouthing off about eugenically cleansing ugly people with gas surely spells the end of his illustrious career at Dior.

    I don’t know what the problem with the word insidious is BTW. If we use the example given as an err.. example, can you imagine a critic saying that an actress didn’t try to mask her blackness? But the idea that Jewishness is a stigma is heavily implied. It’s insidious because it attempts to slip a vile idea in ‘under the radar’ as it were. ‘In a subtle way but with harmful effects’ as the OED has it. I’m sure there are insidious ways of insulting every race and creed imaginable, but all SW was saying is that people who have issues with race might tend to express their bigotry against Jews in this particular way. She didn’t say it was worse than hating blacks – that’s not what insidious means – she said it was done differently, that’s all. No ‘hatred-o-meter’ needed. Just a dictionary.

  24. Kellie Says:

    I am so ashamed that people still dont know any better than to be ignorant. Having said that, I had never spent one minute thinking about this. Because I only see people for their actions, not what nationality or race they are.

    Somehow I thought there would be some logical attempted explanation of why people are anti-Semites. Not just “because”.

    ugh. I am so sorry for anyone/everyone affected.

  25. Layers&Swathes Says:

    Its hard being a Jew whether you’re an atheist or not…

    In the UK, its somewhat kind of cool to hate Israelis and Jews. People walking around with Keffiyeh printed scarves but not truly understanding what it stands for or what it is implying.

    I often wonder if the world will ever see a 2nd holocaust. Galliano should remember that homosexuals were “f******g gassed” too.

  26. Aja Says:

    I agree with you Layers and Swathes on the homosexual note. I thought to myself “does Galliano know, Hitler would have thrown him in the camps quicker than you could say ‘dress maker'”. But I have to ask? How do you know these individuals don’t know what a Keffiyeh mean? LAyers and Swathes I hope we can politely argue this but you do realize one can disagree with the actions of Israel without hating Jews or Israelis. I am often horrified by the Middle East conflict as I am horrified by my own country when we have done wrong.

  27. Kitty Says:

    I first have to say, that I completely agree with you; any form of dividing people into “us” and “them” is ignorant and unjust. I will, however, agree to disagree with the point, that it’s worse to hate jewish people rather than another ethnic minority. It’s basically wrong to have prejudices against any types of people – as there are so complex and have many sides to each individual.
    This is one thing, I think you have to remember Sister Wolf – you say that if you admire some of Hitler’s qualities it is the same as being antisemitic – how come? I find it odd, that you can so quickly pass judgement towards others, when you lead such an admireable campaign towards people not judging each other too quickly.
    I have not seen the John Galliano interview, so please forgive me, if you mean that this is statement is only towards John Galliano, who might admire the wrong qualities in Hitler. If not, however, please do explain to me how one becomes judgemental, simply by admiring certain (insane, you could say in this case) people’s qualities. Hitler was insane, yes and he did horrible things that good people did not deserve, but it cannot be said that he only did cruel things in his life. My personal opinion is that, even though he might have brought Germany out of financially unstable times, his cruel-doings (nothing seems to be strong enough to describe what he set in motion and ultimately, made people suffer through) overshadows this and I do not find much to be admired in him.

  28. candy Says:

    People are racist! I met a lot of racists in my life. I think it is sad. I also worked for racist people and I can not tell you how much this changed me! This is one of the reason I am very depressed today, it is still there and the words are still printed in my brain.
    I heard this during my lifetime
    -HR talking about me “we could have kept her as an employee but she is too ethnic” I was a receptionist, the company was company owned by jewish people but the person who said that was asian.
    they used to have a blond girl before me and she moved to work in the office while I use to hold a master degree and worked at the reception. she trained me for her job, I found her super nice. Most girls that were at the reception before the blond girl didn’t last long. Me, I lasted longer until they terminated the contract for the reason you know.

    -during a face to face interview for a job “where are you from?” you are not arab are you?” arab women are not tall like you, they are usually short….”

    -during an interview on the phone the man who I was talking to seemed interested in me, then when I said my name and spelled it, his voice changed! and said “no, sorry”

    -my own sister used to say that I was the darker of the family and called me black or indian while I am white in color, I am not white in origin and nor she is. I am fine with my background, but sister used to say those things.

    what I heard about others and witnessed it, that doesn’t mean it didn’t affect me to the core. One day a friend of mine was looking for a job, then she went for an interview but they sent her to another office with another person. so she had to cross the area walking to go see the other interviewer, so the first person called the other one to let her know somebody is coming for the job. The desk door was not closed and it was glass, so the lady was talking on the phone and my friend heard everyhting she said “we can not take her, are you crazy to send her here, she is an arab, I don’t want her, or my god, she is an arab”
    then my friend knocked on the door, the lady said okay smiling and added ‘I am sorry the position is taked”

    my friend was walking fast and crying… while going home.

    my brother wanted to date a girl and the mom said to my brother “hey you $%% don’t you bother my daughter”.

  29. E Says:

    With respect “In the UK, its somewhat kind of cool to hate Israelis and Jews.” – umm no. There ARE people in the UK who hate anyone outside of their ‘norm’ – true – but I don’t think you could describe hate as ‘cool’ or as a given here.

  30. WendyB Says:

    Agree with every word, right down to “Me, I’m an atheist but I’m a Jew because my parents and their parents were Jews.”

    It never occurs to me to think of anyone’s religion. I never look at someone and think, “Jew,” “Lutheran,” or anything else. I find it bizarre that other people always have it on their minds.

  31. candy Says:

    when she meant cool is the attitude with the tee-shirts, I think

  32. Make Do Style Says:

    Stupidity is enough of a reason to be revolted by Galliano. It was pure bile and that is enough for me to go cold. I’d like to say it is such a shame and a loss for the fashion industry blah blah but I wouldn’t mean it. He’s dead to me.

    I’m over people picking on people or talking to people and say ‘you f*&^ing’ anything. Especially when drunk, vile and boring.

  33. jomama Says:

    I’m reading “The Finkler Question”, a Man-Booker prize winner which is all about Jews but not in a good way. It’s quite annoying but for some reason I’m determined to get through it. But reading it has made me hyper aware of any thing related to being Jewish (which I am). Watching the Oscars last night I felt like almost every non-actor winner was Jewish, but again, that’s because I’ve been hyperfocused… then then Charlie Sheen rant and accusation — to which I say… he might’ve said things that touched on anti-semitism…but he’s got a lot more problems than that.

    Then came the title of your post and thought…wow, it’s everywhere : )

  34. Nickie Frye Says:

    Everyone has their prejudices. I fall into a bunch of categories & maybe I even fit a few stereotypes in some people’s opinion. I guess it sort of sucks, but I’m not going to get upset about it. It’s actually nice to know up front if someone is a big idiot. It saves me a lot of time. :)

  35. girl6_nyc Says:

    You had me until this:

    Hating Jews is like hating blacks but more insidious: It’s just ignorance and the need to feel superior.

    In what way more insidious???

  36. Sister Wolf Says:

    Quoting Pulp Fiction here: ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT?

    Dave tried to help and I thank him. I will try again.

    “insidious” means: stealthy, subtle, surreptitious, working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way.

    Okay? To recap, it doesn’t mean “worse.”

    And all racism is based on ignorance and stupidity.

  37. Sister Wolf Says:

    Jomama – I’m reading “Anti Semite and Jew” by Sartre which has been in my bookcase forever. It was all good until the very end, when he stunned me with the exhortation that the Jew should accept his victimhood and otherness in order to be “authentic.”

    Ann – YES, if you call Charlie SHeen “Carlos” in order to shame him, it IS anti-Latino. Intention is everything in this case. Sheen’s “gaffe” was deliberate.

    Chelsea Rae. Duh. If you observe that Jews observing a Jewish holy day are Jewish, yep, you are stating a fact. Like if I say that the population of Uganda is largely Black, duh, it’s a statement of fact. But if I say, my Black postman just delivered the mail, it suggests a problem.

    Kitty – Hitler loved dogs and Wagner. Satisfied?

  38. Cat Says:

    NOW i have seen evidence that he said something racist or anti-semitic!
    You are right Sister Wolf, we cannot cure stupidity. I have had to learn that the hard way after much time and energy was spent trying to talk some reason into a brain that is not capable of reasoning.

    Also, I think you could perfectly argue that hate towards Jews can be more insidious than hate towards blacks, that does not imply that they are not both the product of utter ignorance and stupidity. What’s the problem here?

    @ Kitty: yes, she was referring to the fact that Galliano said “I LOVE HITLER” before moving on to worse. It is not an issue of passing judgement here. If he openly says he loves someone who is known by the entire planet as the leader of something so terrible as the holocaust, he is barely using such statement to allude to his love of Wagner. I find the use of the word “overshadow” quite inadequate when comparing such two things.

  39. Lara Says:

    @Aja You’re right, people aren’t lost causes… I just know that when I meet someone with a racist mindset, I’d rather not waste my time arguing with them anymore, like you don’t get so upset as you get older.
    I tried so hard with my dad, and he’s never cruel or rude to anyone, but I know how he thinks. It’s devastating that people can be so ignorant as to generalize an entire group/race/gender/religion negatively. I think I get embarrassment transfer and shame more than anything with my dad.

  40. TheShoeGirl Says:

    Sister, I am super upset about this whole thing. I’m not sure why because I usually ignore things of this nature and am pretty used to it. I totally agree with your statement that most people hate Jews. I don’t give a shit if Galliano hates Jews and loves Hitler, (who would have gassed HIM along with my forefathers btw) I’m just disappointed to see that he has no self control with his disgusting hate speech in public.

    I grew up in Orange County… Huntington Beach to be exact, where I was the only Jew I knew. I didn’t have ONE Jewish friend so I became embarrassed about the fact that my family (father’s side) was Jewish. If people asked, and they did, I’d tell them something like,”Oh I think my Fathers mom was Jewish so he’s kind of Jewish but we’re really not religious.” I thought being Jewish was something to hide and be ashamed of. I didn’t know why because the part about not being religious was true. I knew nearly nothing about the religion so I didn’t feel the need or have the knowledge to defend it.

    I read your quoted script and it really struck a nerve. I started balling (I’ve since calmed down) and I think it’s because it’s so true. Jews are such a hated people and it’s been historically so. Jews were kicked out of everywhere they settled and were nomads for years and years. But WHY?? That’s something I’ll never understand. When I hear hateful speech from foreign leaders about Jews being the enemy it makes me so sad. How can a religion with SO few people be the target of so much hate!!??

    It’s just all too sad Sister.

    SIDE NOTE: The problem with Charley Sheen Calling Chuck Lavine “Hyam” is that it is NOT in fact his real name. It would be like calling a man of Hispanic descent “Jose” when his name is really Joe.

  41. Andra Says:

    Sammy Davis Jr was black, Jewish and ugly.
    And the most talented human being ever to walk the earth (as far as I’m concerned).
    Black, green, whatever.
    It doesn’t make a difference to the sheep!

  42. Aja Says:

    Lara, if it makes you feel any better, my Mum grew up black and poor in Alabama in the 50’s. To say that through out my life, she has had slight annoyance with white people would be a grand understatement. But I feel her mellowing out more and more within her years. It’s taken her a while to realize the world isn’t as shitty a place as it was in her childhood. And I’m so proud of her for being able to look forward and not let her up bringing keep her from having an open mind and heart.

  43. Layers&Swathes Says:

    Aja – I get equally as irritated when I see someone wearing a useless red Kabballah string around their wrist as much as I do a Keffiyeh scarf. What I meant is that this generation does a lot of “armchair activism” where they think that by wearing something, its representing a view which is often vacuous as they don’t fully understand what it represents. There was a whole hipster movement here in the UK where the Keffiyeh scarf became a fashion staple. I highly doubt the majority even understood what it was affiliated with.

    Of course people can be against the decisions made by the Jewish people and the Israeli government without hating Jews and Israelis but choosing to wear something like a Keffiyeh – if truly you know what it means – is making one helluva statement.

  44. candy Says:

    There is abig difference between jews and zionists. what do you think of this SW? zionism is purely political.

  45. Aja Says:

    Layers&Swathes, I don’t think decisions made by the Israeli government represent all Jewish people. If so, that’s some blind patriotism right there.

  46. Another old biddy Says:

    Reading about all this hatred and the unspeakable things we do to our fellow human beings makes me extremely sad and horrified.

  47. Cricket9 Says:

    I had many issues with my parents but they never, ever had any racist views/attitude. I married a brown guy of a very mixed background (black, white + South American Indian) – they did not say a word about his colour or race. In Poland you learn about Auschwitz in school, but I naively thought that anti-semitism died with Hitler – until my classmate’s father started to spew some nonsense about “Elders of Sion” and their world-wide conspiracy. Later in life I was asked by a “concerned” person “do I know that my fiance (eventually second husband) is Jewish?”. He wasn’t, but I replied “well, you know, the heart doesn’t chose that way”, which shut her up. I was told by a drunk neighbour in Toronto to go back to my country – to which I said “this is my country”. I intervened in an altercation between black neighbour and an Arab neighbour. The black was yelling at the Arab “you just descended from a camel!”. My Jewish atheist coworker said that she doesn’t want her son to marry a non-Jewish girl, it would be “diluting of blood”. A Polish MP said in public that election of Obama means “the end of a white man era”; I’m deeply ashamed that my country elects such morons to the Parliament. I’ve read somewhere that we are all “deep down” tribal and a stranger equals enemy, but I also see examples that we are overcoming the enemy approach and start seeing a “human being” instead, so I’m hopeful…
    About Galliano – what a cunt. These pesky phones with their little cameras are everywhere – how’s that for the defamation charges.

  48. Aja Says:

    Cricket9 one of my most loved boyfriends broke up with me upon quietly announcing that his parents would not be able to handle our relationship and the fact that I was not only a non Jew but was (gasp) black. What a shameful coward he was for dating someone he would never have the balls to defend to his family! But yeah, that sort of stuff stays with you, doesn’t it?

  49. tartandtreacly Says:

    This feels like deja vu and since I’d already said my piece in previous posts, I’ll keep this short: I feel there has to be some kind of middle ground between The Alan Dershowitz 12-Step Chutzpah Program(tm) and JEWISH IS NOT AN ETHNICITY HOW DARE YOU MENTION IT.

  50. firefly Says:

    In class, I sit in a table with a Korean girl who is Catholic, a Jewish girl, a Pakistani Muslim girl, and a Caucasian girl who’s last name is German. I am not any one of those nationalities. Prejudice, racism, sexism and religious discrimination is not inborn. It is taught to us, through our parents and friends and the neighbor down the street, to the nasty jokes and dirty looks and insults passed to one another. This sort of hate is meaningless, and is completely and utterly stupid.

    Our group is pretty mellow, usually I’m the one being insensitive and talking about potentially controversial topics. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I just want to know others’ opinions. But most of the time we talk about Dora the Explorer and Justin Bieber’s hair and crushes.

  51. danno Says:

    Perhaps completely off topic… There are real life applications of race identification. I used to work in a medical facility. Our patients were often advised to browse the premises to kill time while they waited ages to see a doctor. When time arrived to wrangle in a particular patient who had wandered out of earshot we had to find them with our EYEBALLS. If said patient is the 1 black woman out of 10 people, I will direct my staff to find “The black woman.” Just the way we find “that hot guy” or “the blond lady.” I would just as readily refer to my own husband as Asian or my sister as redheaded. My point is that identifying someone by a defining characteristic does not make you racist. I would most certainly draw the line at referring to a patient as a “cholo.” I know SW’s use of that term wasn’t meant to be insensitive but there are slippery slopes everywhere and if you take the stance of zero tolerance than you’ll be expected to walk the walk. To my knowledge nary a one of ya’ll commenter’s said boo to the cholo post. And we won’t since we understand the seemingly harmless humor of it all.
    Charlie Sheen doesn’t have the brain cells left to harbor hate towards anyone that hasn’t stolen his crystalline ambrosia or stuffed his Rolex up her cooch.
    Galliano is far too “flamboyant” to be throwing real stones. Of course he knows Hitler would’ve charred his ass. John is a provocateur in fashion and apparently in casual conversation. A bunch of loud ass twits aiming their i-phones at my dinner plate would piss me off too. They wanted a show. His pilled out ass gave good show.

  52. Sister Wolf Says:

    The ShoeGIrl – I know exactly what you’re saying. I think you should see the movie: Painful, but illuminating and in the end, worth thinking about these issues and how they affect us.

    Tartantreacly -Oh my, jew sound a little agitated about this topic, and not in a good way.

    Another old biddy – Yep.

    danno – Chola isn’t derogatory in my part of the world. And my husband is Mexican American. There is no slippery slope between Chola and “beaner,” one is a style and the other is a racist epithet.

    Your apology for Galliano is ridiculous, but I like how you call him “John.”

  53. Cricket9 Says:

    Oh, so he’s a provocateur now, and they were loud-ass twits. Reminds me of the reason why a big bulldog killed a little rabbit. It was rabbit’s fault, he twitched his nose at the bulldog JUST SO.

  54. Cat Says:

    danno: I don’t agree with you at all about the Galliano thing but I do agree that using a physical attribute, sometimes this being race, to differentiate a person is not racist. If there is a room full of black people and there is one Asian dude, why would you not be able to say “I came with my friend there, the Asian guy”. It is more racist to think that this is racist IMO! My race is part of who I am and as long as it does not influence what people think of me or how they treat me relative to others, I am ok with being identified as Latina.

  55. Cat Says:

    Also, candy, your stories made me so mad. I am so sorry you have had to deal with such horribly stupid people.

  56. Suebob Says:

    I love this bit of Chris Rock’s on patriotism and racism…

    I grew up in a racist family, so you’d think I could spot a racist coming from a mile away, but sometimes it still blind-sides me. Here’s an amazingly racist email I got from a guy who used to be in a club with me –

  57. srenna Says:

    Sister Wolf Says:

    February 28th, 2011 at 2:26 pm
    Quoting Pulp Fiction here: ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT?


    HA HA HA! Perfect quote.

  58. Dru Says:

    I’d still question the idea that anti-Semitism (which, technically, should include anti-Muslim prejudice but I’m using the traditional definition here) is somehow more insidious than other forms of prejudice, Sister- I’ve encountered plenty of people online who might never openly make a crack about Chinese people, Muslims or South Americans, but will still hold forth for days about the inferiority of ‘made in China’ labels, ‘terrorism’ and ‘drug mules’ and god knows what else. It’s not explicitly stated, but the prejudice is there, just coded a bit differently.

    It’s one reason why I learned, when I was still very young, to avoid disclosing my nationality when I was online- people come out with the weirdest shit when you turn out to be something they don’t expect (the commonest ones: “but you don’t sound ______ at all!”/”I didn’t know ______ could be into D&D!”). It’s annoying to be treated like you are your race first, and that’s all there is to you.

    danno: I agree it’s not racist to refer to someone as ‘the black guy’ if he happens to be the only black guy in the room and you don’t know his name, and I think most if not all of us who read the chola post understood that the term referred to a style. But it’s really stretching it to claim that John Galliano was playing provocateur and just said it to give those girls a good show. He was wrong, he got caught, let the law punish him. Being three sheets to the wind is not an excuse.

    Layers&Swathes- I’d never have gone within a mile of a keffiyeh when they were a trend, but that was more because I was uncomfortable with the cultural appropriation involved- I’d no more wear them than I would a Tibetan Buddhist monk’s robes. They’re currently a bit of a trend with our local movie star population, most of whom would probably be unable to pick out Palestine, Israel, Jordan or any of the countries of the Middle East on a map.

  59. Mike Says:

    A proud Jew – I will play the ignorant Jew know and tell you to take Galliano’s fashion sence and stick it up your ass! take as well your Nazi friend and fuck off to what self abscessed shit pit you crawled out of. I feel sorry for you, waking up every day looking at the mirror and who’s looking back, a sorry excuse for a human beening. Intact I lie I’m not sorry, so just fuck off, cunt!
    Is this enough swearing for you!

    Kind regard

  60. Sister Wolf Says:

    What is Mike talking about??

  61. Sister Wolf Says:

    Dru – I think I see what you’re saying. The examples you give all deal with stereotypes. But I don’t understand why you conceal your nationality. Maybe I’m just more confrontational. If someone has an “issue” with your nationality, fuck them! Smash their ignorant stereotypes!

    I hope one day you decide to reveal yourself.

  62. David Duff Says:

    “And all racism is based on ignorance and stupidity”

    Er, not so, actually. It can be based on very hard factual evidence, as any Palestinian, or, Israeli settler, will tell you. Similarly, for much of my early life I detested all things German. These days I have a deep antipathy towards the southern Irish, even the accent irritates me. Equally, there are some national/racial groups whom I instinctively like and admire and warm to, for example Jews and Americans. Are those feelings equally based on ignorance and stupidity? Well, possibly the first but not necessarily the second. However, the notion that we should all love one another all the time, well now, that really is stupider than the stupidest thing I ever heard!

    And, ‘Sis’, take myadvice, toss Sartre in the waste bin, he’s rubbish!

  63. Aja Says:

    Dru I don’t think it’s racist AT ALL to scoff at the idea that almost every product you pick up these days has the words “Made in China” stamped on it. If you care at all about the good of the working class Chinese citizen, you’ll realize this isn’t necessarily a good thing for anyone. Anytime one country holds that much power, they wipe out all the competition and can do literally whatever they like. I do dislike the idea that this one country which holds the labor force of the world happens to have has some of THE WORSE policies known to man in regards to workers. I dislike that you can’t have many products made in America these days and that formal industrial towns on the East Coast now look like ghost towns. But I blame America for that. The businesses wanted cheaper made products, the people wanted better prices, congress wanted to satisfy the business owners, people turn a blind idea to sweatshop abuse . . . that’s what happens. Congratulations, we’ve killed our labor own labor force and left a huge gap where there used to be jobs because of our own greed.

    I also dislike never knowing whether that dress I’m wearing has been sewn together by the hands of children wearing clothespins on their eyes to stay awake. Whenever one country holds such a monopoly on the production of material items, it is never a good thing . . .

  64. Dru Says:

    Sister- that’s precisely my point, stereotypes are now the most acceptable way of cloaking racist/prejudiced sentiments, and even the positive ones don’t do anyone any favours in the long run. It’s all singling people out for something they had no choice in, and it’s not worse for any one minority than it is for others.

    As for the other thing, I’m just cagey (and I get tired of the whole “Wow, you’re from____, I love the food!/movies! blah blah blah” that inevitably results. Just cut the crap, I could do without it).

  65. Dru Says:

    Aja- I’ve visitedsome factories in my day, and honestly I’ve been appalled (understatement of the century) at the conditions. But when I spoke to some of the girls working there, they said this was literally the only work there was for them- one who couldn’t have been more than fifteen actually told me it was either this or begging/streetwalking, for most of them.

    That doesn’t excuse the rotten labour policies and nonexistent enforcement that puts these children in this position, but having seen what I have, I can’t in good faith say that shutting down the factories is always the best thing for the workers in them even if it does make us feel better. Better working conditions, yes, and I’d like a future where young children aren’t forced to go to work to support their families. But Chinese labourers take a lot of heat for the decisions of foreign businesses, and I don’t think that’s fair.

  66. Aja Says:

    I totally agree with you Dru! I’ve never been to the factories, just heard about the horror. What would be great is it the US would crack down on the Chinese government and start putting pressure on them to improve conditions of factories (and if the US consumer started to give a shit and put pressure on their politicians). But I would still love to see some of that labor return to the US. When there are no jobs left on one side, but you know the person who holds the job on the other side is being totally mistreated, it’s still a lose lose situation.

  67. Aja Says:

    SW, I’m so confused by Mike’s statement I don’t even know where to begin. I’m not sure if he’s talking to you or an imaginary person.

  68. candy Says:

    Cat, unfortunately I dealt with people like that a lot and apparently it’s not over yet! I thought by moving here I have dealt with racism but that is not the case. thank you for sharing your thoughts

  69. Danno Says:

    Cricket9 and SW, I am NOT apologizing for Galliano. He is no threatening bulldog. He’s quite pathetic. (Isn’t Naomi Campbell his dear friend?)Dior is gonna lose a lot of money and Galliano will lose his position. I’m satisfied with that outcome. Maybe I’ve simply become desensitized and no longer feel outrage with every belligerent drunken slur I hear. What I see in this video is an addict with a mental condition. Just like Mel Gibson and probably Charlie Sheen. The racists I find threatening tend to keep their mouths shut. They do things like hire only white nannies and send their kids to private school even though they live in the best public school district in the city. They demand everyone to speak English and pale at the thought of a mixed race grandbaby. They have never and would never consider dating outside their race.
    Question: If my Hispanic neighbor shows me a picture of her very “chola styled” granddaughter will she chuckle when I say, “Oh. She’s a pretty little chola, isn’t she?” Such an ugly topic, this racism. Let’s put a bird on it.

  70. Dru Says:

    Breaking: apparently Dior has sacked John Galliano.

  71. Sheri Says:

    I know what insidious means. I think prejudice of any sort can qualify – even a person’s honest effort not to be racist is, in some way, racist. Anti-semitism might seem more insidious to you because of your pesonal experience, but I think it’s a mistake that it is therefore different from any other kind of racism or prejudice.

  72. tartandtreacly Says:

    China has already made minor improvements in its labour laws (perhaps recognizing the growing importance of local markets) – but enforcement is shitty as hell. In any case, I wouldn’t count on reforms to come from bilateral pressure AT ALL. Much more likely to be influential are local governments, private firms, unions, and of course grassroots workers movements.

    Sorry, off on a tangent.

    @Sister Wolf: I feel your stance on this is basically Admiral Ackbar shouting “It’s a trap!”, only instead of the Death Star it’s anti-Semitism and instead of Imperial fleets waiting in ambush it’s coded anti-Semitism everywhere.

    But then again, we all have issues near and dear to our hearts.

  73. Aja Says:

    I agree with you tartandtreacly. Improvement yes, enforcement not so much. But I still think it’s important for some of that labor to come back to the US. Not just for our economy (though truthfully it would help), but also to let China know that it’s not okay to treat workers poorly and to give them a little bit of friendly competition. Whenever I see “Made in the USA” stamped on a product it influences my decision greatly.

    Yeah, I saw Galliano’s firing coming from a mile away. Now let’s see what his next move will be. I think an apology is certainly in order. I hope he’s smart enough to do just that.

  74. tartantreacly Says:

    I agree with you there. I mean, look at what has happened to the Garment District.

  75. Aja Says:

    Exactly. For years I’ve dabbled with the idea of wanting to design shoes. Finding a factory in the US is like looking for a needle in a haysack. So disappointing. If I ran a business I would want to provide jobs for people here. I think that’s a part of being a responsible citizen.

  76. Erika Says:

    Aja, I agree wholeheartedly about American manufacturing. It is really sad and a big part of why we find ourselves in the economic mess we are in. Everything has been outsourced. I feel good about working for a company that manufactures right here. It’s not prejudiced or racist to know that quality is usually better here than it is when mass produced in China.

    Regarding racism/prejudice it’s a sad fact of life. People judge others based upon their color, their religious beliefs, their clothing, their looks and it sucks. The best way to change this is to change the way you react to it. I come from a multi-cultural background and i get a lot of assumptions made about me in person and from just my name.

    Regarding Galliano and others, I believe that it is like this, think what you like but he moment you start spewing out garbage at others you have a problem. I am thoroughly disappointed, my fashion fantasy of meeting him and going through the Dior archives has totally died. I feel bad for him that he would think that this behavior is okay. I also feel bad taht such a talented person would mess up an excellent career based upon ignorant behavior.

  77. February Says:

    Layers&Swathes: the Palestinian Keffiyeh represents Palestinian nationhood. What about that bothers you?

    Sister Wolf: What bothers me most when I read exactly what a lot of other people brought up. Why the need to distinguish different forms of racial or religious hatred?
    I think this is what gets to a lot of people. As a non-jew, but a minority in the US, I can’t help wonder why these kinds of distinctions are made. Here’s how it looks to some of us. Jews are a relatively prosporous minority in the US (I know not the most prosperous.), and thus, have economic power. Jews have political power in the US. When a Jew walks into a store, usually no one can identify “AHA! JEW!” And the country that receives the most US foreign aid is the self declared “Jewish state.” And, going to back to political power, no US politician can be taken seriously if he suggests ending funding to Israel, while its perfectly acceptable to talk about making Muslims carry id cards, singling out Latinos for special attention when pulled over in a traffic stop and reducing funding for schools that will inevitably effect Black and Latino schools the most.
    These kinds of things, and I could go on and on, make a lot of people (including me) wonder why anti-semitism is often considered a especially virulent form of racism when its effects seem to be minimal TODAY.
    And just to be clear, I’m not discounting the past effects of racism or religiuos hatred against Jews. I’m simply offering some obvious thoughts on the question of ‘why.”

  78. Sister Wolf Says:

    Danno – Last night, I asked my husband about Chola. He informed me that cholo and chola HAVE been used as derogatory so I have to admit I was wrong. I had no idea! To me, these terms were appreciative (white middel-class jew mindset). Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    tartandtracly – Are these Star Wars references? I didn’t see any Star Wars movies. I hear you saying: “Oh stop whinning about antisemitism, jew are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    Erika – I hate the idea that everything I wear has been made in a sweat-shop by desperate women and children. But I don’t want to take away someone’s only source of income. Huge problem.

    February – PERFECT! How dare those jews complain when they run everything! Tell it to Mel Gibson.

  79. candy Says:

    I think we need to distinguish Jews and zionists! those are not the same thing. Usually a zionist is not the kind to be a good person who pray at the sinagogue but the kind who has political powers and abuse them and is a satanist (which is a religion). That’s why we need to understand that the zionists are destroying the jews and creating more antisemitism pretending they are themselves jews (as race and religion) while they are not. Zionism is political.

  80. February Says:

    How refreshing, Sister Wolf. You got my good. My post was all about a challenge to the Jews right to address real grievances. It wasn’t addressing your implied question of why and it didnt bring up valid points. Nice job.

    However, since I’m apparently a hateful anti-semite, let me just push a little further. I guess the problem with racial and religious hatred is all about people not liking you, right? It has nothing to do with the inequalities of political and economic represenation. Thus, pointing out the obvious contradictions in claiming to be CURRENT victims of religious or racial hatred, while having a disproportionate degree of political and economic representation is simply nonsenese. I think I understand now. Thanks for all the insight you’ve brought to this topic.

  81. Sister Wolf Says:

    February – I am not asking for, or defending, my right to address grievances. I’m just noting the phenomenon of worldwide antisemitism. The world hates Jews, it’s a given, and that’s what has been underscored this week.

    Here is my personal theory (I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this before) The three most hated groups are, in this order: Jews, Gays, and Blacks. I wish I could be all three, thereby to be more of a thorn in the world’s side.

    But listen, I am offended by all prejudice, and I mean all.

  82. tartantreacly Says:

    @candy: except that there are some who would argue that antisemitism is often disguised as or couched in anti-Zionism…

    @Sister Wolf: Yes, Star Wars. I suppose it comes across as trivializing your outrage, but let me make it clear that I DO think Galliano’s remarks were obviously antisemitic hate speech. (And I like that Dior’s announcement of his firing was short and unequivocal.) But I DON’T see the issue with pointing out someone’s Jewishness if it is at all relevant or heck, even appreciative.

    I think there are ways to be racist in mentioning race, and ways to be racist in NOT mentioning race (i.e. paleocons who pretend that racial discrimination has nothing to do with urban povery). It’s a fine line to negotiate.

    @Aja: I imagine all those American companies that outsource/offshore do want to Stand For Something, but CSR often crumbles in the face of tempting profit margins and economies of scale. And of course that perpetuates a vicious cycle.

    That’s why AA was so revolutionary (in its own skeezy, mismanaged way…) Because it gave a big EFF YOU to the dominant supply chain model by using its own factory.

  83. tartantreacly Says:

    I am not asking for, or defending, my right to address grievances. I’m just noting the phenomenon of worldwide antisemitism. The world hates Jews, it’s a given, and that’s what has been underscored this week.

    When I was young my dad used to always remind me that people secretly resented and hated the Chinese and feared the onslaught of a Yellow Peril. His aggrieved mindset was formed by unpleasant past experiences, but it wasn’t a healthy way to think and live.

  84. Sister Wolf Says:

    Tartandtreacly – It’s all in my mind? Hahahahahahahahahahaa!

  85. candy Says:

    I agree but usually those who use the word zionist know well (so I hope) that there is a big difference between an ideology and a race. The zionists hate jewish people! this sounds crazy but the jews are used by the zionists. People who condemn Israel, I hope they understand that the people of this country are not responsible because the zionists DO NOT want to do good for their people but for the power they seek in the NWO. Proof that zionism has nothing to do with jews are the rabbis who condemn it. For me that speaks words but there are people in the shadows who hate the jews and justify it with Israel and there are people who hate zionists and deep inside they hate the jews. This is wrong because there are jews who know the difference. The rabbis againts zionism are an example. Zionism is a system not a race.

  86. Kellie Says:

    “Here is my personal theory (I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this before) The three most hated groups are, in this order: Jews, Gays, and Blacks. I wish I could be all three, thereby to be more of a thorn in the world’s side.”

    My Dad and I were just discussing this last night.
    Blacks are perceived to be responsible for all the crime/drugs etc.
    Gays-the dissolving of our moral fiber/family.
    I still dont get it.

    I know I am looking for logic where there is none.

  87. Aja Says:

    I love these discussions because I find my upbringing really wasn’t much different from a lot of other people’s. My mother told me at a young age, that most people would always think they were better than I because I am black and although this is not true, I should expect it and not be surprised. Now that is complex giving material right there. But I can’t blame her. It was what she was told and so on. Vicious cycle. And yes, I agree with Tarandtreacly. It’s not a healthy way to think or live. It doesn’t help anything or make you feel better.

  88. Jacqui Says:

    Funnily, I had just rented The Believer a week ago for the first time and had discussed with a friend of mine how I thought some of that intense anti-Semitism was a thing of the past (i.e. when my mom went to college, her roommate asked where her “horns” were; when I went to the same place many years later, I heard maybe three peeps of small-scale nastiness over my entire four years). I think I have the privileged opinion of someone who has grown up with Miami residents and New Yorkers as friends. Though I’m atheist, I still consider myself a secular Jew, so The Believer was of particular interest…I thought the rhetoric was much better than the flimsy plot, but the rhetoric and Gosling were worth the view. If you haven’t read the short story “Conversion of the Jews” by Roth, you should. It has a lot of the same rage and questioning as Gosling’s character, channeled perfectly through Roth’s prose.

    As per Mr. Galliano, I feel very little except that he probably shouldn’t shit where he eats–having Natalie Portman as the face of Dior perfume, inviting Tavi to front row, a blogger who had frequently discussed her Bat Mitzvah, and then thinking he woudn’t feel repercussions? Silly. I don’t see any difference between someone who has those thoughts and stays quiet versus someone who articulates them. It’s a difficult thing…in a perfect world, I would never hear non-artistic statements from artists/writers etc. because most of them are pure terror, but as a student of poetry I’m not going to not read Ezra Pound because he was racist. Certainly I can note that he is someone whose character pains me, but ignoring him or his work does not make the sentiment go away…I’d rather confront it head-on. It’s easier with Galliano…he put cellophane on models heads. I’ve always found it interesting that some of the ugliest people make some of the most beautiful contributions to the arts…as if the humanity they have is cloistered into those moments when they are creating, and then obliterated when they are in society.

  89. candy Says:

    Kellie, Can you add Arabs please?
    I think since 9-11 arab hatred went to the roof. Although I am not an arab, I have been mistaken for one and know how it feels.
    @Aja one of my teacher in Europe suggested me to change name and go blonde. I have dark hair and eyebrows. She said that we will have to fight twice as hard. She was right on the fight argument!

    Years after that, one of my teacher went to see another teacher in another University to ask if our evaluations could be checked to see if they could accept us for the master year for next year, as we were in a special section (new degree). He said “they all have the same profile all from North Africa!” the teacher repeated that to my French friend who told me. We were a small class, around 8. 4 from North Africa, 2 blacks, one french.
    this happened along time ago.
    I ended up having him as a teacher at the University and he was indeed racist.

  90. February Says:

    Sister Wof- your last comment unscrores my point. This idea that there’s a “phenomenon of worldwide antisemitism” – one that brings Jews to the type of your victim’s of racism heirarchy is absurd. I would agree if it were 1936, but in 2011, the fact that you point to a TV star and a fashion designer as the sources of this ‘insidious’ racism shows just how absurd it is. RACISM AND RELIGIOUS HATRED ARE HARMFUL PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC RAMIFICATIONS OF THE BELIEFS.
    As a minority, I couldn’t care less if someone likes me or doesn’t like me. What concerns me is being economically and/or politically disadvantaged. Jews, specifically in the US, are not economically or politically disadvantaged. In fact, they have a very high representation in both area given the percentage of the population thats Jewish. And stating this is neither “anti-semitic” or an attempt to invalidate the rights of Jews to complain about anything they want to complain about. Its fact. Fact that calls into question this idea that Jews TODAY are victims of some sort of racism that needs to be called out for its especially insidious or invidious.
    Perhaps Jews, having SUCCESSFULLY asserted their rights as human being to ecomonic and political rights, should stop insisting on a special catagory for Jewish victimization, and instead, use their power, knowledge and experiences to JOIN current victims of racial and religious hatred in ending ALL racial and religious hatred.
    That’s all I have to say.

  91. Klara Pölzl Says:

    People do not hate you because you are Jewish. They hate you because you have no heart.

  92. mims Says:

    some interesting points raised on all this… I knew I could count on your blog to have some food for thought.

    I agree with Aja – time and experience has much mellowed my own response to racism. Having grown up an indian muslim in a predominantly white neighbourhood in a small town, once voted the most racist town in the UK, i’ve seen and heard it all, and learnt to take it as it comes, ie not v important. yes i am a ‘raghead’ – erm, what is the big deal? get over it. etc. I agree- it’s not a particularly healthy way to live – to hang on to your victimhood as a security blanket – I see enough of it in my own community and it pisses me off.

    There’s no point in engaging with idiots, whether their idiocy comes out in a drunken friday night barrage, or in the smoothest intellectual lingo. while some of the more vicious extremes make me very sad that such hatred exists in some of my neighbours (a pigshead and blood nailed on a mosque door in recent days) I get a little tired of the vertigo from our own pedestals. Everything is politically charged with potential offence, well over and beyond the point of absurdity – from a sikh child wearing a bangle to a woman’s (crucifix) pendant. Good god, it’s ridiculous. Galliano’s actions were stupid, and Dior’s steps are inevitable – they are a business after all, and this is a big blotch on their brand – but I too echo February’s questions about why different forms of hatred should somehow be put in a heirarchy. when other (not anti-semetic) cultural stereotypes and prejudices are voiced, there is barely a sniffle, if that. The inherent racism and size prejudice in the fashion industry is well known, but it’s somehow brushed under the dust. Muslim id cards, gypsies being kicked out, working class kids being tarred with the brush of hooligan thugs… it goes on, with barely a blink. Anti-semitism is worldwide, but so is a lot of other hate.

    I disagree that anti-semitism is ‘more’ insiduous – all hatred has its stumbling ogres, and silk-tongued serpents too. I work in a fairly highbrow environment in the arts, and oh, it’s quite hilarious catching the mildly raised eyebrows from the moment I walk in the room to the sneaky little innuendos that litter our conversations. In fact it’s weirdly amusing to get into convoluted conversations with older white men and women (usually upper class but not always) who have unapologetically racist views about me, because they at least have the nerve to be upfront about their dislike of me. it’s more disturbing and painful when I meet other folk who try to cloak their repugnance of my colour/faith/gender in patronising, pseudo intellectual waffle, ‘oh, I’m not racist, but…’

  93. Cricket9 Says:

    WTF Klara? We are having a rather meaningful discussion here, so eff off. You have no brain.

  94. dexter vandango Says:

    It seems useless to defend a group, the Jews for example, by saying they’re “just as good as anybody else.”

    Graucho Marx was smarter. He said, “Well, there are a lot of Jews I can’t stand, either.

    But Mark Twain said it best: “The worst possible thing you can say about the Jews is that they are human beings.”

    Racism is lazy thinking. But it’s a form of convenient thinking that I’m guilty of myself. “Republicans are all heartless, selfish, greedy racists.”

    This is clearly not true. I’ve heard that there are one or who who aren’t.

  95. candy Says:

    I think Klara doesn’t understand grief. Grief takes years.

  96. dexter vandango Says:

    Lenny Bruce said he felt sorry for the Filipinos.

    “There are no ethnic slurs about them. They’ve been left out and ignored.”

    And so he said he’s tried to start the rumor that all Filipinos come quick and giggle.

  97. Jacqui Says:

    Bravo, Dexter. Thanks for putting together a trifecta of quotes that puts all of this in its proper perspective.

  98. candy Says:

    what do you think about people who say that “you have a strong accent!” is it racist? I want to ask because I don’t know. I had a discussion with my husband about this and for me this refers to the origin of the person, so is it racist or just a constatation with no harm done? this is employment related, remark was done by the employer.

  99. Sister Wolf Says:

    ** “Klara” is a “person” who keeps commenting stuff like “Why don’t you kill yourself, Sister Wolf?” Same IP as someone who has commented here as “Hitler’s mom.”

  100. Sister Wolf Says:

    candy – I hope you’re not referring to me when you throw in “grief.” This is not a post about grief.

  101. Sister Wolf Says:

    February – Nope, I bet that’s not all you have to say. Sorry about the economic success of many jews. Console yourself with the knowledge that I have no money, alright?

    Aja – For the record, I don’t go around thinking “Shit, the world will never think I’m any good because I’m a Jew.” I don’t like religion, I don’t think of Jewishness much. I sometimes laugh when I encounter antisemitism because it’s so absurd.

  102. Andra Says:

    I guess I’m too dumb to be a racist.
    The way I see it, some people you like, some people you don’t.
    Simple as that.
    Races, religion, ethnic background, nothing to do with it.
    Some people are good to know, some aren’t.
    Whole lot of words and a whole lot of hate being thrown around. Seems like a whole lot of wasted energy.
    Save it for something more important.

  103. Tanya Says:

    Galliano is scheduled to enter rehab immediately. Don’t you just love it when celebrities do that following a documented racist rant? Like everyone’s going to assume that hateful speech stems solely from tying one on?!

  104. Cricket9 Says:

    Candy, why a comment about someone’s accent would be racist? It’s about your pronunciation, not race. In the past I had to find people for a customer service positions, and one of the conditions was “no strong accents”. Why? Because, apparently, people in some US states don’t understand strong accents, and the company thought it’s not a good situation when your customers don’t understand people who are providing the service. I have an accent in English, Spanish and French, will always have it, as long as people can actually understand me, it’s the last of my worries. Is a remark “you have such a blue eyes” racist? Let’s keep it in some perspective…
    BTW, the HR people you describe are deplorable – I don’t know where this kind of behaviour takes place, but it’s illegal in US and in Canada.
    Your comment about grief surprised me; Klara is an obvious troll and an obnoxious idiot, what grief has to do with anything?

  105. candy Says:

    SW, I was referring to you when I talked about grief but I understood that this post, has nothing to do with your grief. I follow your blog and I know when you grief and when you talk about fashion and when you talk about other subjects like this one. I read you because you are intelligent and can seperate your grief when talking about a subject you want to talk about. If that make sense (english is not my first language)

    I guess, Klara was referring to others posts not this one. I said she doesn’t understand your grief because I sense your anger sometimes but not on this subject.
    hope you understand what I mean.

  106. candy Says:

    Criket, unfortunately this happened in Canada.

  107. Homma Says:

    I think hatred towards Jews is deeply embedded in the subconscious of anyone that has been indoctrinated in the Christian (particularly the Catholic – Mel Gibson anyone?) faith and also Christian societies – Galliano is Spanish is he not? Even societies that see themselves as secular such as the French have inherited it. It’s passed down through generations and generations and is based I think on peoples interpretation of the New Testament – told to us from a young age in the form of Bible stories etc etc. It taps into something primal so doesn’t just affect those that consider themselves religious.
    I agree with Sisterwolf in its insidiousness because it’s subtle expression plays out beneath the awareness of people’s conscious mind.
    Forgive me if this all seems too esoteric but it’s almost like the Jewish people embody for Christians some type of archetypal enemy and become the scapegoat and target for villification. This underlying current of anti-semiticism is a burden on the Jewish group mind even if it’s not at a conscious level. It is not something that most people would be aware of or even admit to but regardless I still think it’s easily perceivable in throw away comments, compliments, ‘jokes’ and the like.

    I’m sure there were lots of Germans particularly the educated and intellectuals before Hitler’s time that would never have considered themselves anti-semite but all it took was the ‘right conditions’ and for the embedded hatreds to come out. Right conditions being mass rallys that everyone were forced to go to that created a group mind that tapped into existing prejudices that people were not even aware they had.

    It’s interesting that these tirades against Jews come out when people are intoxicated. The alchohol is not an excuse at all, all it does is allow them to express what they really think, something that the gate of the personality would never allow when they have conscious control of it. Opinions that they would never own in polite company – but there they are – not so far from the surface.

    It’s the responsibility of each and everyone of us to dig deep into our own subconscious, to be on guard against prejudices – most especially we that don’t consider ourselves to have them. We have to recognise any thought or emotion that filters to the surface – sieze it, examine it and destroy it because be sure that they are there in the group mind of the societies we are brought up in and therefore in our own – deeply embedded as fears, victimhood AND envy (‘the Jews control all the money in world through Bank ownership, look at the Rothschilds’ – ‘it’s impossible to work in the media unless you’re Jewish’ – ‘they only look after their own’, ‘I wish I was Jewish, they support each other and have such a network’ – I’ve actually heard these comments casually bandied about) that could one day be triggered and manipulated towards doing horrible crimes against humanity.

    Sisterwolf – I find your posts and comments sections an amazing source of thoughtful discussion of such a varied range of topics, fun and serious. I’ve only ever commented once – some inanity. I’m no writer so forgive me for grammatical errors and my clumsy expression and thankyou for providing such an interesting forum.

  108. Sister Wolf Says:

    Tanya – It’s like a little kid taking a Time Out when they’ve been naughty.

  109. Sister Wolf Says:

    Candy – That’s okay. “Klara” is probably someone with a longstanding grudge against me. Carry on.

    Homma – Thanks for taking the time for your eloquent comment. I hope we hear more from you!

  110. Make Do Style Says:

    Homma – would it be okay if I stood against your Catholicism v Jewish view, not to be an apologist but to assure you that being raised as Catholic has nothing to do with cultural racism of any group. I was brought up in a Judeo-Christian appreciation club (ref family & influences, in my case the Catholic church, our church was twinned with a synagogue as part of Vatican II to promote healing & understanding – beacuse you are right there was a wrong to address), my sister has married a Muslim. I have a sister who is a paranoid schizophrenic, my extended family is a mix of married, divorced, living together, atheist, undecided, Christian, Jewish and Islamic, straight, gay and lesbian. One of my best friends is Hindu and I’m sure most of my atheist friends love Buddhism. The worst thing for me is some of my family vote Tory! I am sure you are right about pockets of Christians but I hope that you understand I’m trying to say not everyone is like that and we have to be louder than the rest to change perceptions.

    I just don’t want Mel Gibson nor Galliano to be an embodiment of anything. They do not represent anything other than themselves. The rest of your comments I completely agree with and I’m not disagreeing with your opening paragraph – it is merely that collectives are created by others we are all individuals and as you say are responsible for our views.

    I would be a fecking saint if I had never thought or said anything wrong based on prejudice because we learn words and intentions from those around us, especially when one is younger and more immature. But we can dig deeper than pathetic generalisations. And we can challenge the stupidity when we are faced with it.

    What has worried me more which is why I’ve come back to this post, is that some people are trying to blame the person(s) who filmed his tirade suggesting that they put him up to it or capitalising on his notoriety.

    We have no idea why they filmed him, my guess would be because he’d been rude to then before and they decided to get him, and rightly so. I’m sorry but this exposure is a service to us all, a chance to assess ourselves and take stock of those who are apologists or attempt to defend him. And those who attack on any level the people who filmed his rant.

    SW kindly tweeted the definition of anti-Semitism and her use of the word insidious is reminder of how vigilant we have to be not to tolerate it on any level.

  111. Sister Wolf Says:

    Make Do – That Franca Sozanni quote in IT Vogue, blaming “parvenus,” was astounding. Fire her, too. What an idiot!

  112. Aja Says:

    I read that too about the editor of IT Vogue saying Galliano was provoked. Well actually Lara brought it to my attention first. But I guess all I can say is maybe she read an early report (because there were a lot of them flying around) which said nothing of his actual actions and just that he called the people “ugly”, which I see no crime in, especially if they’re bothering you. How wrong, I was!

  113. Danno Says:

    “…thirty pieces of silver.” Sozanni is CRAZY stupid.

    I think Make Do Style may have misunderstood me. Just disregard my twits-on-cell-phones bit. My dislike of certain technological advances is neither here no there. It’s related more to a fear of shitting myself in public and having it posted on youtube. Or maybe I’m really a neo-Nazi and resent giggling minorities with their cell phones of truth and justice. I’ll be in my lair swiffering.

  114. tartantreacly Says:

    @Homma: Interesting, your emphasis on collective consciousness and accountability. (Are you by any chance a German national? Just getting a bit of – dammit, that really long term for coming to terms with the past, can’t remember.)

    Personally I DON’T believe that any culture is a personality writ large, Judeo-Christian or not.

  115. Danno Says:

    Forget what I just posted. Realized everything isn’t always about me. Der.

  116. February Says:

    I’m sorry I bothered to post anything here. Something is very wrong with you. You intiate a conversation about anti-semitism (and only anti-semitism) by seemingly searching for some understanding of ‘why.’I guess any actual insight into why it might exist today was not part of your plan. So, no.. you’re right.. everyone is jealous of Jewish intelligence, success and all around outstandingness. Actual social conditions are just anti-semitic dribble meant to mask goy jealousy of the choosen people. Happy now?
    Muslims hate the US because our freedoms, and EVERYONE hates the Jews because they’re just all around PERFECT. Is that the answer you prefer?

  117. dexter vandango Says:

    Calm down, February and March back to your previous, slightly more analytical attempt at an honest contribution. Your sarcasm here is unwarranted, unfair and over-the-top.. especially based on what Sister has actually written.

    Before anyone accuses you of self-revealed antisemitism I would venture to guess that you get pissed off at EVERYBODY quickly.

  118. February Says:

    Actually, Sister Wolf already accused me of being antisemitic in a most INSIDIOUS way. Anyway, since I’m not on Sister Wolf’s Victims of Discrimination pyramid, I’ll just March right back to the Goyim corner and allow the Number One victims of discrimination carry on their lamenting.

  119. Make Do Style Says:

    Danno – hahaha nope it isn’t about you.

    February – oh just fuck off, seriously I cannot be bothered to use proper words on such a facile stupid self centred moron who is aggressive for no reason.

  120. dexter vandango Says:

    Let us agree to celebrate the hard-fought social progress that we have achieved, now that we can ignore religious, racial and sexual differences, and can enjoy loathing and detesting each other for purely personal, individual and trivial reasons.

    Oh, Internet, you’ve brought us so many blessings!

  121. candy Says:

    February, you talk like CNN or Fox news! Muslims are not jealous of the Freedoms because if you know the muslim faith you would see that the freedoms don’t matter, there are other values. It has to do with the US foreign policy which is opressing people abroad such as giving weapons to Saddam and going to war with Iraq after that. I can go on and on. American are the nicest people I met, but the foreign policy of the US sucks!!!!

  122. candy Says:

    -putting japanese people in camps,
    -Vietnam war
    -invadidn Iraq who had no WMD…
    but this is another debate not related to the subject here.

  123. Homma Says:

    Make Do — I completely agree with your comments that not all Christians are of this opinion and that a lot of work has been and is being done in breaking down ideas of this kind. I salute people from all religious groups that work in this way and I think that out of anyone those active in liberal church groups are often working hardest to educate, build bridges, right wrongs and fight against prejudice and oppression.
    Tartantreacly – I understand many people will have a problem with the very premise that my opinion is based on – which is the idea of collective consciousness and group minds. Also, I would like to think that from my comments it’s impossible to discern my nationality, religious or cultural upbringing. You may be surprised if you knew my heritage, I don’t think it’s relevant other than its complexity has probably inspired my desire to understand and explore the questions raised by this post.

    I’m a firm believer that given the right circumstances all of us are capable of horrors that we would never have believed we were capable of AND adversely we are all capable of heroism that we never believed was possible. Ordinary people put themselves at extraordinary risk to save or help others. They fight against injustice and prejudices that they themselves have never been subject to and have no ‘personal’ reason to fight except their love for their fellow man and hatred of injustice, this is understood.

    But since this post is specifically about anti-Semitism, why it exists and its insidiousness I’m basically just going to offer my opinion without apology.

    I guess what I was trying to get across (as I said above I understand people may have a problem with the premise of my opinion – that I am a firm believer in the collective unconscious, group minds and that the fundamentally gregarious nature of man is a huge influence on our actions) is, that for centuries, folkloric interpretations of the New Testament have disseminated the idea that the ‘Jews killed Jesus’ – ever heard it couched this way before? I certainly have. On a deep level of the subconscious (and I truly mean deeply beneath the level of our awareness and good intentions) mind this statement taps into all sort of symbolic and primal feelings about saviours, God and most importantly our own possibility for redemption. The Jew’s ‘murder’ of and in some ways more importantly rejection of a redeemer, a son of God and their ‘arrogance’ in continuing in the assumption of the role as the Chosen People. I personally think this is why people hate Jews without even knowing it.

    I think the insidiousness of this hatred lies precisely in the fact that it isn’t based on skin colour or socio economic conditions or a question of general cultural integration. Religion, crosses all continents, colours and socio economic conditions. Jews have been hounded from country to country, pushed out and have lived in fear of pogroms for centuries. Deep within the Jewish psyche is the feeling that there is nowhere a Jew can truly call or feel at home – even Israel – without fear of being pushed out or murdered one day even if one is not religious at all or really identifies with being Jewish. This is centuries and centuries of fear that is passed down unconsciously through the generations and for good reason. Where can Jewish people really feel safe? Where? LA? Melbourne? New York? Mexico? Yes, there are communities of Jewish people where you can feel safe and tolerated but for how long and where to go when the welcome is outstayed? Because history shows us that apparently the Jews always outstay their welcome.

    The question of anti-Semitism is not just about current conditions; it is also about the future. History has shown that tolerance of the Jews is conditional and temporary no matter how well culturally integrated they are, for example Jews were in the south of Spain peacefully and in perfect symbiosis with other religions for centuries before Queen Isabella drove them out.

    The comments of Galliano and those that excuse his behaviour are incredibly scary because – be sure – they are just the very small tip of a monumental iceberg of unspoken hatred.

  124. Sister Wolf Says:

    February – Awesome. It didn’t take much to get to your real feelings about Jews.

    Danno – Nuts, right???

    Homma -Thank you again. You have nailed it, far as I’m concerned. (But alas, someone will want to pipe up again about “Jews have it good! blablabla.)

  125. candy Says:

    I watched the movie yesterday via YT. It was a very good movie.

  126. Mary Says:

    I reject all religions. So stupid and unproductive.

  127. February Says:

    Candy- Oh? You mean its completely ignorant to make such simplistic and ridiculous claims about the roots of hatred? Do you suggest that usually there are socio-economic cause of hatred, including religious and racial discrimination? Well then Candy, I couldn’t agree more. And I’m glad you agree with the point I’ve making to Sister Wolf.

    Sister Wolf- You’re ridiculous. First of all, I’ve made comments about YOU. You are the one that started insidiously calling me an anti-semite when I pointed out that Jews are the most successful minority in America after women. And therefore, its absurd to claim some sort of dangerous undercurrent of anti-semitism is going to take over. And I pointed out that Jews have a very high political represenation in the US, and it so happens, that as a group, Jews are in fact rich. These are facts, feel free to look them up.
    Secondly, I was under the impression that I wrote that I believe that Jews, having successfully overcome the effects of discrimination, should join or rejoin other minorities in combatting all forms of discrimination.
    However, you clearly reacted in such a retarded way (oh, sorry Jews are rich.. it didnt take much to get to your REEEEAL feelings about Jews) because you were sooo put out that I suggested that Jews were not eternal, holy or special victims.
    Get a grip you idiot. You’re pointing to Galiano, Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson as signs of the great destruction being wrought by anti-semitism. Black Americans have the highest unemployment rate in the country. Arizona legalized police harassment of Latinos. Gay men and women can’t marry because the straight majority won’t let them. And the majority of American people favor Muslims carrying around special ID cards. (Not to mention all the politicians that are allowed to spew anti-Islamic filth.)
    Might I recommend a book called “The Coming of the Third Reich.” The author has the audacity to write about the social, political and economic conditions in Germany that lead to the rise of the Nazis. What an anti-semite he is. Everyone knows there’s no possible reason for anti-semitism…

  128. Sister Wolf Says:

    February – No you may not recommend The Coming of the third Reich. Unless you are going to identify your own ethnicity, I can’t continue this dialogue. Clearly, you feel affronted by those rich uppity Jews who rule the US. (BTW, 8% of the US congress is Jewish)

    Jews HAVE helped other minorities and participated in the civil rights marches of the 60s as you must know. But your resentment of Jews will discount this and all other efforts. Jew hating was around long before The Third Reich. Shakespeare himself was antisemitic!

    Your resentment of Jewish “success” is exactly what I meant by insidious. Thank you for being such a good example of resentment and the propagation of myths about Jewish “power.”

    ps If you’re going to be so passionate about minorities, you might want to stop calling me retarded. I have an autistic kid and we prefer other language.

  129. February Says:

    Sister Wolf- You don’t want anyone to even be aware of the fact that anyone is Jewish unless they’re Hasidic, yet you think my ethnicity is so very relevant? How odd.

    I don’t feel ‘affronted’ by ‘rich uppity Jews,’ I simply feel confused and mildly amused when some people insist that Jews are a underpresented or endangered minority today. Like you did.

    And, you might have noticed that I used the word “rejoin” when I wrote about Jews joining with other minorities in civil righs issues.

    Anyway, I’ll have to decline your condition of revealing my ‘ethnicity’ in order to continue this very enlightening conversation with you. You’re a dime a dozen. There are dozens of you on Fox. Hundreds of you preaching hatred and filth and unconditional support of Israel (lest you reveal you ‘anti-semitism’) in Evangelical churches across the US. And hundreds of thousands rationalizing dropping white phosphorous on Palestinians.

    I have no “resentment of Jewish success,” as I not only make my living off of successful Jews, but my maternal grandfather happens to be one as well. What I do resent is the fact that many people seem unable to actually discuss anti-semitism or Israel with calling people ‘anti-semites’ or suggesting that everything that’s said must stem from ‘resentment of Jewish success’ or some irrational hatred of Jews.

    I wish your child the best.

  130. Sister Wolf Says:

    February – It seems cowardly to blast away at jews and enumerate injustices by other minorities without identifying your frame of reference.

    I am not preaching filth and hatred but your feelings about Palestinians and Israel explain your positions.

    Good for you, making a “living off of successful Jews!” Der Fuhrer has a Jewish granparent as well, btw.

    “I wish your child the best” ?! God, what a condescending cuntish way to sign off. A coward AND a cunt…what a bargain, as we jews like to say.

  131. Layers&Swathes Says:

    Homma – perfectly put.

  132. A Says:

    “Anyone who separates people into Jews and Everyone Else is antisemitic.”

    Based on this definition, I know plenty of antisemetic Jews. Probably even some reading this.

  133. Layers&Swathes Says:

  134. Dru Says:

    ^I’d have bought the premise of the article if they hadn’t tried to bring Tibet into the equation as a comparison- the Guardian did write extensively about the conflict when the flareups of 2008 happened.

    Also, I find the idea that non-Israeli Jews are blamed for Israeli occupation policy more than a little strange- I’ve questioned it often enough myself (and I’ve questioned the policy followed by China in Tibet oftener than that), but surely questioning the actions of a state is not the same as racist criticism of its people? That idea is something that, forgive my saying so, doesn’t sit well with me at all.

  135. Dru Says:

    also: it’s equally acceptable in many, many circles to couch anti-Arab (also Semites, are they not?) or anti-Muslim biases in criticism of their perceived misogyny, terrorism or the notion that Islam promotes it (witness the shitstorm over the proposed construction of a Muslim community centre a short distance from the site of what used to be the WTC towers in New York). Anti-Jewish sentiment is not the only kind of prejudice that gets cloaked in this fashion, and it’d be pushing it to say it was.

  136. candy Says:

    stop fighting please!

    Dru, I was against the Muslim Center they were trying to build because of its location. I think after 911, Muslims should lay low.
    February, I didn’t follow the conversation you had with SW, I just responded to the comment about Muslims. For me, the medias tell you that Muslims want to end the US freedoms but that is not true! They just don’t like the injustice some Muslim countries have endured with the US foreign policy. It would be good if the world has a meeting to discuss differences and also to stop ingerence in other countries policies, both ways.
    Most countries you see revolting today have Islam in their policies. To have democracy, you have to seperate religion from politics. Most leaders such as Gadafhi insist on religion while they are not that religious and pretend they are good muslims who want the best for their people.

    Look at this video, Ben Ali hidden treasures:

  137. Make Do Style Says:

    Hammo – thank you for more well written discourse. I do hope you knew I was agreeing with you but am proud of my socialist liberal upbringing and we rarely get good press!

    I hope and pray the tolerance is not temporary but you are right to suggest Galliano and his apologists are the tip of the iceberg.

    Sister Wolf – ignore February, how annoying that someone can appropriate a month of the year to vent such ugliness. Vile. What is it with people who bring other issues in to what was a post on Galliano and his anti Semitic rant.

  138. candy Says:

    sorry if I talked about politics Make do style, I know that’s not a good subject. Politics and religion discussions always end up in a bad way. I’d rather talk fashion and Art.

  139. liz (the who cares girl) Says:

    I wish I was Jewish.

  140. Dru Says:

    Candy- it wasn’t on the site, it was a few blocks away and if I remember the particular sect that proposed it were Sufis- the Muslim equivalent of peace-loving hippies. And why should Muslims lie low, anyway? It’s been nearly a decade since 9/11, surely it’s too much to expect the innocent members of a community to keep paying the price of the terrorists’ guilt?

    As for the protests in Egypt, Libya etc I thought it was about North Africa and the fact that the people are fed up with their dictatorships- not about the religion being followed. (but if Pakistan is the next country to revolt, I’ll eat my words)

  141. Aja Says:

    I’m with Dru. I’m all for the Mosque. No one needs to lie low. We are Americans. We are a melting pot. We need to remember that. But more than anything we need tolerance. And acceptance and understanding. It’s the only way, people.

  142. tartantreacly Says:

    @Homma: What a terrific comment! I’m afraid I can’t be as thoughtful in my response as you were in yours, but here are my thoughts:

    No, your nationality has no bearing on anything, but the focus of your attention did strike me as a little German in spirit, at least! (I hope you know what I mean by that. ;-D)

    While I can’t judge the the impact that centuries of persecution have had on the Jewish psyche (if there is one), I am generally skeptical about arguments based on some kind of collective or cultural memory, especially when we’re talking macro-level, stretching for generations across continents. It’s all a little fuzzy and reductionist. That there is some kind of racial memetic hindbrain archiving and disseminating all those pogroms and Crusades and other instances of racially-motivate violence, all that hate, in a grand mystagogical clash of civilizations.

    Even if there exists a collective consciousness/memory, it must be constantly evolving, shaped by co-existing and competing forces (what I’d meant when I said no culture is one personality writ large.) While it may be true (or at least arguable) that Jews have been persecuted and oppressed throughout history due to a dominant Christian mythology that cast the Jew as the Betrayer, is it also not possible that social, political and economic circumstances were the deciding factors? (I don’t know much about the pogroms – I confess to a poverty of knowledge here.)

    Anyway, even though I’m generally more interested in institutional racism, this is a good discussion!

  143. Sister Wolf Says:

    Dru and Aja – I’m all for the mosque in NYC. Every argument against it is absurd if not straight up racism.

    liz – You could convert!

    tartantreacly – It is a good discussion! It would be even better if everyone realized that history didn’t begin in WWII.

  144. candy Says:

    I think they can build a Mosque or Community centre somewhere else but not in that location. They should have called it “Multicultural Peace Center opened to any religion” including atheists and buddhist etc.. This way the concept of Peace is emphasized.
    Religion is a personal thing.

    I know Aja I am with you on the tolerance and peace issue but respect goes both ways that’s why I say lie low.

  145. candy Says:

    My husband is Muslim and he thinks the same about the Mosque that it should be built somewhere else. It is not racism, it’s just that we suffer a lot because of a few. We both think religion is personal. The more you talk about religion the more you end up being victimized nowadays, especially Islam.
    I even think that the idea of the Mosque was not brought by muslims but somebody else, not by the Imam, to create turmoil.

  146. tartandtreacly Says:

    @Sister Wolf: Weeelll, history might not have begun in WWII, but there are those who would argue that it begun in WWI! 😉

    We each of us are myopic in different ways.

    @Dru: People don’t hold the overseas Chinese answerable for the PRC’s policies because people don’t even hold the mainland Chinese answerable for the PRC’s policies. The CCP, after all, is the Big Bad slapping the brainwashed masses and then asking the brainwashed masses, “Why are you slapping yourselves?”

    (That does not mean all those overseas Chinese students who mindlessly cheered on the Beijing Olympics torch relay – aka China’s Great Fascist March Through History – from the sidelines are innocent though…)

  147. Hortense Says:

    Way late here, but $0.02:

    As a bisexual transgendered half-Jewish, part Romani, the rest whitebred non-neurotypical disabled unemployed weird looking person (as if any of that experience qualifies my thoughts or deeds):

    all oppression is all oppression is all oppression.

    Stating degrees of it is NOT helpful. Let’s not forget that seemingly inane or merely annoying measures taken against various groups under Hitler ended up culminating in a clusterfuck of destruction of lives and cultures of many different types. All oppression and hatred is insidious as fuck. I know what Sister meant at the beginning, insidious being that at first antisemitism may be written off as so ignorant as to be merely ridiculous or is easier to hide behind rhetoric at times, but let’s just not make these comparisons. Hate sucks across the board! (Even if we all indulge in it in small ways–all the more reason to recognize and call it out!)

    Racists are just people who don’t feel special enough, so they are inventing an identity through denial of the legitimacy of another’s. Galliano’s ridiculous cultural appropriation in his outfits shines all the more now. And that Italian Vogue cunt going on about “pieces of silver” and “parvenu” proved how much of stereotyping is almost free-association/unconscious spillover. All this has done for me is show just how idiotic fashion people mostly are…something I always argued against before.

    The most chilling thing of all was the look on JG’s face as he spewed his poison word jism: that’s the look of ‘i’m an idiot and i’m taking you down with me, world!”

  148. Sister Wolf Says:


  149. Dru Says:

    candy- I can see where you’re coming from, and I would have agreed with your point that the centre should have taken itself elsewhere- if it had been a reactionary place, or one that created controversy for the sake of it. But that’s not the case, and though you and I may disagree, the mere act of being Muslim and having a place of worship a short distance from Ground Zero isn’t disrespectful to anything, IMHO. The proposed place was a community centre which, as far as I could tell, was open to any faith- nothing scary there.
    Respect does go both ways, but it’s still my feeling that anti-Islamic sentiment is actually anti-Semitism, v. 2.0. (of course, v. 1.0 is still alive and kicking, look at the events of the last week).

    tartandtreacly- I did go to one of the Olympic torch relays- to protest, not to cheer it on. Honestly, it just makes me upset, more so because it seems so hopeless, the international community just can’t be bothered to pay attention. And there’s nothing we can do except take in the refugees and make a stink whenever a stink needs to be made (like in 2008).

  150. Dru Says:

    Sister you got spam!

  151. Sister Wolf Says:

    Dru – Thank you! We don’t want Penis Enlargement to sully this discussion!

  152. vancouverista Says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter. :)

    I realize I am a few days late to the conversation but I still want to participate. As an “ethnically” Jewish person (not a “religious” one) I first really want to thank Homma for all your thoughtful comments especially this paragraph (which actually made me cry a little):

    “Jews have been hounded from country to country, pushed out and have lived in fear of pogroms for centuries. Deep within the Jewish psyche is the feeling that there is nowhere a Jew can truly call or feel at home — even Israel — without fear of being pushed out or murdered one day even if one is not religious at all or really identifies with being Jewish. This is centuries and centuries of fear that is passed down unconsciously through the generations and for good reason. Where can Jewish people really feel safe? Where? LA? Melbourne? New York? Mexico? Yes, there are communities of Jewish people where you can feel safe and tolerated but for how long and where to go when the welcome is outstayed? Because history shows us that apparently the Jews always outstay their welcome.”

    I pretty much can’t say it any better than that. I recently realized that I have lived my entire life feeling shame for being Jewish. This is partially because I have a made up last name, changed by my grandfather and his siblings to something that sounds ‘white’ to avoid the stigma of our real last name and how ‘Jewy’ it sounds.

    No matter what ignorant people say about anti-semitism being a thing of the past, it isn’t. I’ve personally experienced it quite a lot of it and I live in Canada. I’ve also come across this attitude that the commenter “February” displays, that since it’s 2011 and not 1936, these attitudes are gone. No, they aren’t. I had a former friend who revealed himself as an anti-semite once he learned of my ethnicity, who also veiled his hatred behind anti-Israel “political” sentiments while being completely ignorant of the situation. This was someone raised Catholic, who left the church to be an atheist but was taught by his family to be anti-semitic and so didn’t even realize he was because it was his ‘normal.’

    Just my thoughts. Thanks for encouraging a dialogue about this topic that is so often discouraged.

    Another thing I wanted to bring up is that

  153. vancouverista Says:

    whoops ignore that last sentance :)

  154. vancouverista Says:

    err… last half a sentence

  155. Sister Wolf Says:

    Vancouverista – Thank you for commenting! You can bring up that Other Thing any time you like.

  156. Aja Says:

    I still don’t understand what draws the line between “criticism of Israel” and being an anti-semite. Because it seems to me as if the lines are quite blurred. And that is wrong.

  157. Hallie Says:

    Holy shit Sister, I LOVE The Believer. One of my all-time favorites.

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