System-wide: affecting or relating to a group or system (such as a body, economy, or market) as a whole, instead of its individual members or parts.
Yesterday I blogged about an article explaining that Gal Gadot who is in Wonder Woman was called a woman of color, and how Jewish people are indigenous to the Middle East, although through various battles were spread throughout the world.
I am trying to understand the word systemic, because Linda Sarsour tries to separate Jews into groups, saying that everyone else is discriminated against, but not all Jews who pass as white. How would it sound if we separated Muslims into ones that wear hijab and those that do not and pass as white or latino? I just saw a horrific article about a 16 year old Jewish girl viciously attacked by a gang in London. It seems systemic to me when you hear of direct Jewish attacks every day in every corner of the world.
This happened to me when I lived in Manchester, England. I came home with a bloody nose and black and blue face. That was 1982. This is 2017! 16-year-old girl kicked and punched by an antisemitic gang. As well as being physically assaulted, the teenager was told that ‘Hitler should have killed all you Jews when he had the chance… you should have all been gassed’
It’s so funny, growing up as a ‘mutt’ I just always assume others are mixes of something, and therefore never got into fixating on or worrying about labeling them as something SPECIFIC (race, religion, class, etc.).
But I guess a lot of people feel better about themselves and the world around them by labeling everything; fitting them into very specific boxes.
I know I am looked at as purely white, regardless of the fact that my family comes from and resides in no less than 7 continents, and currently includes: Moroccans, Israelis, Brits, French, South Americans, Australians, Chinese, Germans and Jamaicans. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, non-Jewish. I may not have been born in those countries/continents, I may not be specifically a mix of different religions in my immediate family, but they are all a part of my identity and my children’s.
That’s probably why I get along so well with other ‘mutts’! lol
If identifying as non-white “alienates people of color”, why don’t they have the same issue with white passing Arabs, Indians, Latinos, etc identifying as POC? Why are we the only ones who are singled out? How is that not antisemitic as fuck?
I am not White.
Because Jews are a people – in many colors — from deep ebony all the way to alabaster — who can trace their DNA to a little strip of land no bigger than a fingernail.
But we are not “White.”
And just as science and genetics back this up,** historically in America we’ve been treated as non-white.
There were “no dogs or Jews allowed” in my grandparents generation.
There were quotas limiting the number of Jews allowed in schools in my mom’s generation.
And “Wow you don’t look Jewish” in every generation.
It’s true – we aren’t discriminated against the same way as People of Color.
I am NOT comparing our experience to the systemic and systematic discrimination and persecution that many people face in America.
And it’s true, we DO enjoy White Privilege to a large extent… that is, until people find out we are Jewish and then that can change in a quick slither across the face – whether it’s a joke about how rich we must be, or a comment about how we must not be “fully Jewish” because we don’t have a big nose or dark hair or horns or some bullshit, or “is it true you drink Christian blood.”
And while this is less likely to happen in big cities like LA or NYC, try a small town on a slow day in June and you’ll see it too.
I know that I haven’t experienced outright persecution. I was never arrested or beaten for being Jewish. I don’t get stopped by the police for being Jewish. I won’t get shot coming out of a convenience store for being Jewish.
I know I haven’t faced outright discrimination – I wasn’t passed over for jobs or schools, although my mom and her parents faced this.
I know I have it easy and I am not looking for sympathy or acceptance – nor do I identify as a person of color.
I’m a light skinned Jew.
But I am not White.
And if you negate my family’s experience as non whites who were treated as non whites by Whites, if you say that the discrimination and persecution my people have experienced in America over the years — some systemic, some isolated, but all real and pervasive, then you are erasing our history as Jews in America and there’s a word for that: anti-Semitism.
**. If you take the ancestry DNA test and you’re Eastern European Jewish, you’re results will be “ashkenazi Jewish” – NOT Eastern European.