Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hey everyone, we're not racist - we're nice to Black people!!!

The following is my response to an article on Aish.com about Chelsea Clinton's marriage to a nice Jewish boy. Well, the article was itself a response to readers responding unfavorably to the author's first article. All these articles and responses are getting me confused, so just read my damn rant.

You can find the original article HERE.

Two things -

1) I have only found a commitment to Judaism with Reconstructionism/Renewal. I studied Jewel (an Aish seminar), I am not ignorant of Orthodox views. I come here because there are many interesting topics Aish covers, including information on traditional Ashkenazi customs. The reason you don't understand your readers' perspectives and need to put them down is because if you actually opened your minds up to them, you might not be able to look down upon us as 'uncommitted'. Or you might find unexpected meaning in our ways of practicing. You can write 10 articles about intermarriage in "response" to dissenting opinions. But I feel they will not do much because they are not responses so much as REACTIONS. I won't waste time explaining why some feel intermarriage is ok, or even beneficial to us sometimes, because I don't feel it would make much difference when the one you speak to has already made up their minds.

2) As a Black woman (and Jew by birth) of African descent, please stop talking about Black Jews (Ethiopian or otherwise) as though we are props to be used in supporting your image (and by YOU, I mean beige-skinned, of western culture). Your point about Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) is wrong because it wasn't a case of Israelis helping Ethiopians or Jews helping "others". It was a case of SOME Jews with access to resources helping SOME MORE Jews who did not have access. Both groups are Jews.

By the way, the Beta Israel were forced by the Rabbinic authority of Israel to undergo a "symbolic" conversion upon arriving. There are many areas where Ashkenazim refuse to rent housing to them (or Sephardim), and laws are broken to keep them out of various schools attended by other beige, western Jews. So not only does mentioning "Operation Moses" NOT prove being anti-intermarriage isn't racist, it actually highlights the endemic euro-centric racism in Israel, not to mention the diaspora of almost all Jewish organizations.

Seriously, what is it with the "we're nice to black people!" or "oh those bastards, they were mean to black people!"

Whether it's the otherwise amazing documentary, "The Corporation" talking about original intentions for the 14th amendment to the American constitution while showing stock photography of po' Black folk with some Delta guitar blues in the background, or watching "Inglourious Basterds" where the nazis can be identified as evil because they discriminate against and make fun of Black folks - as if almost every European or White American wasn't doing the same thing. I get that Nazis are evil and that the Americans are the good guys in this situation. You don't need to whitewash history to try and ring home, "hey, these are good/bad people". Do White folks think of Black folks as puppies? Like, "oh my GOD. Those bastards were MEAN TO PUPPIES!!! INNOCENT PUPPIES!!!"

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