kuklarusskaya said: So I just made a submission, but wanted to ask: You say "White Jewish people are not PoC". Shouldn't you, instead of being a non-Jew deeming who is and is not PoC, defer to Jews? And also, please note that Jews *CAN* be white-passing, typically only in America and seldom in Europe, but are never "white".
If white Jewish people aren’t white, what are they? Because Jewish isn’t a race. They may not be WASPs but white Jewish people are still white.
^CASE IN POINT
This is quite possibly the most ignorant shit I have *ever* heard.
Ah yes. We’re not a race, right?
I mean, we don’t have distinct genetic markers, right? (Shit, wait, we do.)
But like, there are just white jews right??? (Shit, no, that’s right, there are Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Mizrachim, etc. ALL OF WHOM CAN BE POC)
And like, we are white because like, white people tooootally haven’t been enslaving and committing genocide against us for over 2000 years because we’re white too!!111 right???
We don’t have our own languages or anything though, right?
We certainly don’t experience any oppression right?
Oh wait. We’re one of the number one targets of hate crimes across the world. Forgot about that.
But that’s cool. Casually erase millenia of history and oppression, as well as current conditions, because you have deep seated antisemitism that you refuse to address.
Goyim gonna goy.
Smfh ignorant idiots.
…right. But you still didn’t answer my question. If white Jewish people aren’t white, what are they, because Jewish isn’t a race.
I’m aware Jewish PoC exist, which is why I distinctly said “white Jewish people”. And yes other white people have caused atrocities against Jewish people of all colors, including white Jewish people, but in that case that’s xenophobia (which of course can still yield terrible outcomes)
JEWS ARE JEWISH
We are Ashkenazim, Mizrachim and Sephardim, for the most part. So yes, Jews are a fucking race. How is this difficult? There are distinct genetic markers for Ashkenazim, Mizrachim, and Sephardim.
There are non ethnic Jews who convert. But, ethnically Jewish people are ethnically Jewish. This is not difficult. Jews are an ethnoreligious group. Derp.
But ethnicity =/= race. You brought up how within Jewish groups there exists different languages and genetic markers, okay? To explain this the way I’m seeing your argument: There exist different languages and genetic markers amongst those in the Black diaspora. But no ones saying Black Jamaicans, for example, are a race of their own just because they have their own language.
I give up, but you have successfully offended and inflamed the Jewish race on Tumblr, for the most part. Erasing how we identify and the oppression Jews—as a race—have experienced, is pretty gross. Pretty sure we were victims of mass genocide throughout history based not on our religious practices, but our race. Our Jewish race. That we can’t erase or pretend is just a religion. Jewish atheists are murdered and oppressed regularly.
Generally, I highly recommend that, as a goy, you not try to label Jews as whatever you decide them to be. But instead, when a Jew explains it, sit down and listen. Otherwise you just act like a white person who decides who gets to be what, because of their perspective. If you’re not Jewish, you should never, ever, identify what Jews are and are not.
Right. But you aren’t a race??????? And you may not have all or any of the white privilege that WASPs have (I’m speaking from a US standpoint since that’s where I am) but that doesn’t pull you out of being white????????????
Uh. We are a race.
I’m not understanding why this is so difficult for goyim to wrap their heads around.
"That doesn’t pull you out of being white??" Well no. Because we’re not fucking white. We never have been. Ever. A small percentage of Jews can be white passing. But we have never, ever everbeen white. And I don’t know where you get the idea that we are/were (likely from antisemitic rhetoric that says Jews aren’t white to white people, but can be labeled as white by non-whites in order for both groups to oppress us successfully), but I’m a Jew. I’m telling you. We are not white. Most Jews will agree with this. However, it doesn’t matter.
It is up to Jews to make this decision.
Therefore, in the future, I ask that you act more responsibly in your activism, and when asked about Jewish identity, remember: You’re not Jewish, so don’t you dare try to speak for us. Chances are, like here, you’ll be wrong. And that’s offensive and erasure.
Technically I believe we’re an ethnoreligious group, but we certainly have been racialized as being non-white in the past and still occasionally are today (not so much in US, more so in European countries).
I think the confusion comes with the fact that a lot of us aren’t really POC either—some of use look just as white as our white neighbors (I happen to be one), but a lot have physical features which are distinct from white people (or that matter, POC), but which aren’t coded as being nonwhite until they suddenly are (this would be the “stereotypical curly dark haired person with a big nose” that usually turns up when you see a drawing of a Jew).
We’re not alone in this, as a lot of people from North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucauses, Central Asia, and parts of Eastern Europe, as well as the Romani have a wide assortment of physical appearances meaning that some look white and others look non-white but as not really POC. Usually these groups (except for Jews) are slipped into the POC side of the divide, despite the fact that which side of the divide they fall into is ambiguous
This is also where it is relevant to remind everyone, once again, that modern theories of race come from the desire to sort out “Jewish blood” from pure Christian blood. The idea of Jews as a race, as a separate group of people who might blend in but were never actually part of European culture, laid the bedrock for the pseudoscience of racial traits so necessary to the African slave trade.
Let me make it more clear: without identifying Jews as a separate race, white Europeans would never have had the tools to describe race as the thing that made black Africans different enough — inferior enough — to deserve slavery.
The idea of “Jewish blood,” a thing that could taint and ruin Christians by exposure and association, runs deep through European history. It crops up in all kinds of places: in laws forbidding intermarriage between Christians and Jews, in legal penalties that single out Jews for harsher punishment if they rape a Christian woman than if a Christian man rapes a Christian woman, in eugenics programmes all over Europe and North America. Jews are an ethnic group, but Jews have historically and continue to function as a race. The places Jews can function as white are places where assimilation is high and the percentage of Jews present renders us unremarkable — New York, LA, Chicago, and other large American cities, primarily.
I am not a white woman in the rural South. I am an other, a Thing to be regarded with suspicion. The first time this was made clear to me was when I was in fifth grade and a boy attacked me with a razor blade in the school library. I was a dirty, filthy thing. His father was a Klansman. He knew what Others looked like — and with my frizzy Jewfro and weird (Sephardic) last name and strangely set, hooded eyes and pale olive skin, I was it. I still have the scar. It was the first of many. Some were emotional. Some were physical. But I never received them because I was a white woman. They were always connected to my Jewishness — to the thing that was innate about me, the thing that could be identified on sight, the thing that I cannot change and cannot help.
Race is a socio-cultural construction. The culture that has determined the idea of race is not Jewish culture. It is the dominant white Gentile culture in which we have been tolerated participants, but rarely fully embraced. Jews experience race differently because many of us are white-passing, and in some places, function much like white people, but over our whole history? We are not dominant. We are reviled Other. And any assertion of Jewish whiteness that ignores Jewish voices, Jewish experiences, and Jewish history is an inherently ignorant assertion.