Random thoughts loosely connected by the U.S. election.
This week someone called me ‘White’ and clearly considered that to be an insult. Unless her Facebook profile picture was a lie or she was a black Rachel Dolezal, she was no less Caucasian than me. It did get me thinking.
The conversation, minus the more insulting language aimed at me, went like this:
- Me: Why is it racist to call Michelle Obama ‘an ape in heels’ and satire to label former US President George W. Bush a chimp?
- She: Are you ‘White’? You must be White to say something like that. Bush was a warmonger.
- Me: Obama has been at war longer than Mr. Bush, or any other American president; has bombed seven countries† in six years and has authorised an estimated 503 drone strikes in areas that are not formal operational areas of combat (Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen). [Isn’t the Internet wonderful? Of course I had those figures in my head!]
- She: I have been fighting ‘White privilege’ for 25 years and you are not going to stop me.
Realising she should really check her dosage I was inspired to produce the following graphic and allowed the conversation to end before she checked my Facebook page and then turned to attack Israel. Am I being paranoid?
For all that the conversation had me thinking.
Are Jews White?
K.K.K. support, neither requested or thanked by Donald Trump, is said to prove Trump voters are racists. The KluKluxKlan certainly do believe in White Privilege and seek to protect it. But they don’t accept that Jews are White.
They don’t make a distinction between European-appearance Ashkenazi Jews who make up most American Jews and darker skinned Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. Ethiopian Jews, like the young lady pictured or Chinese Jews don’t even enter their consciousness.
For millennia Europeans considered the Jews among them to be something other than French, German or whatever, long before Hitler’s racial theories.
It’s ironic that a large proportion of anti Israel Democrats oppose the Jewish State as a form of ‘white’ oppression of ‘black’ people. They did so long before Trump threw his hat into the ring. Where do you think from Ferguson to Palestine came from?
So who are the racists – those who think Jews are white; those who think Jews are not white; those who are offended that most of Trump’s votes came from whites or those who think whiteness (perhaps only combined with money) is some sort of existential sin?
Barry Shaw posted an excellent comment on antisemitism preceding Trumpism. I have stolen it in full, here.
Can anyone think of another election in which the candidates attitude to Jews, Judaism and Jewish issues played such a large part – and not just among Jewish voters?
Did Ivanka marrying a Jew ‘trump’ (pun intended) Chelsea marrying a Jew? Did Ivanka actually converting, by Halacha, and raising her children Jewish trump Chelsea’s Hanukka donuts under the Christmas tree?
BTW this is making its way round the Internet:
Q: What’s the difference between liberal Jews and Donald Trump?
A: Trump’s grandchildren will be Jewish!
Sad how many Jewish are quietly nodding their heads. You can insert your own Anthony Weiner joke.
What about the advisors? Does the proposed appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist and Senior Counselor for the Presidency of Donald Trump trump close Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal promoting his Jew Hating ‘Jewish’ son Max (later condemned by the Clinton campaign)?
For the record 5MFI will wait and see about Bannon. I have read him condemned by some and defended by other credible people.
Jews are hugely important to the Democrats both as voters and financial donors. Yet the across the board support for Israel that the party once exhibited is no longer. Assuming the Millenials, the only sector whose support for the Palestinians is greater than their support for Israel, increase their influence in the party the situation can only deteriorate.
“There continue to be stark partisan differences in Middle East sympathies. Conservative Republicans maintain strong support for Israel with fully 75% saying they sympathize with Israel compared with just 2% who sympathize with the Palestinians. By contrast, liberal Democrats are much more divided: 33% sympathize more with Israel, 22% with the Palestinians.”
I wonder how many Jews stayed at home rather than vote for either candidate?
On the other hand, neocons who are mostly Jews who left the Democratic Party to find a new home with the Republicans condemned Donald Trump now presumably are homeless.
Support the workers – they have all the best songs.
If you ever thought the one thing that turns otherwise rational Americans into ranting idiots was gun control the election of Donald Trump has proved you wrong.
The impetus to write this came from an acquaintance of mine who is a very well-known America-Israeli musician. It was his use of ‘basket of deplorables’, long after the Clinton campaign had sensibly backed away from the term, to describe anyone who voted Trump . Several of my friends from the Israel music scene expressed similar feelings.
Thinking about it I realised that working class whites, similar to those who provided the majority of Trump votes also provided the majority of their music folk/country/pop/rock genre. Without them, musically, they wouldn’t exist.
Yet it seems to them those same white, working class are too stupid and ignorant to know what is in their best interests. Same goes for women who betrayed their sex by voting the ‘wrong’ way. There must be a word for that.
Famous last words.
The Democrats didn’t lose because of racism, homophobia or a glass ceiling. They lost because they picked an unattractive candidate with a truckload of baggage. She was associated with the previous office holder who failed, in the eyes of many Americans, to deliver on promises of ‘Hope & Chang’.
Israel? Too many red flags on both sides for an Israel advocate to feel secure. We will just have to wait and see.