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02 February 2018 @ 06:18 pm
Differently hated  
The erasure of anti-Semitism
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eub on February 4th, 2018 09:40 am (UTC)
Underlying this pervasive point of view is the notion that Jews, who are often conflated with whites, should “check their privilege,” because anti-Semitism just isn’t as bad as other forms of racism.

As far as people I know experience, it just isn't, in terms of pervasiveness. Many black people say they experience racism every day, in things like being treated differently or watched by the security guard. The Jewish people I know are surprised on a day where they experience anti-Semitism. Is this not what you see?

Which is not to dismiss it. In particular, I'd say it's less pervasive, but it's just as severe in the extremes, like shooting up a Jewish community center. Or... I'm not going to try to weight the Holocaust versus slavery. And the less-severe kinds are absolutely a problem in themselves and they feed the more-severe.

But sure, Jewish people who haven't noticed their non-black privilege should do so; that's not at all the ridiculous thing the writer seems to think. He has an interesting point that the power relations with anti-Semitism are different than with racism, but that fits with what I said: you don't every day slur someone who's your equal in power, but you may build a conspiracy theory and launch a pogrom. It's structurally different. I can point out the results -- less everyday, but terrible extremes -- without erasing anti-Semitism. And as far as I can tell the people he quotes weren't denying that we have neo-Nazis.

Black people also don't know the Jewish experience unless they learn it. It doesn't actually matter who knows less, most of the time. There's not some pie of anti-bias caring or action that has to be divvied up between racism and anti-Semitism. In an individual's life, a few hardcore activists are just tapped out and couldn't do any more, but mostly people could have more of both pie if they prioritize it. Speaking for myself, this is not a tug of war between one and the other; their real common enemy is "just reading stuff on the Internet".
eub on February 4th, 2018 09:44 am (UTC)
Also, I could be incorrect about this, but I would think there's much less anti-Jewish unconscious bias than there is anti-Black. People hold stereotypes about Jews, but not to the same kind of degree as they have assumptions about black people.