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  • Writer's pictureJewish Examiner

Color Me Jewish

I realize that whenever I walk down the street anywhere in the world except for one place, what people see if they bother to notice me, is a white woman. The exception is in Israel. In Israel they see a Jew.

Tamika Mallory has become the poster girl (woman actually) for the idea that white Jews uphold white supremacy. Unfortunately she is not alone. Her high profile image as a leader of the Women’s March, her support of Louis Farrakhan and recent revelations of antisemitism in the leadership of the Women’s March, make this an easy fit.

The idea that white Jews uphold white supremacy is a new form of antisemitism. It plays especially well with young people who have no knowledge about antisemitism or the history of antisemitism. That’s how a young rapper, 21 Savage, can apologize for lyrics about Jewish money he did not understand were steeped in age old antisemitism.

So what was so wrong with Tamika Mallory’s statement? After all, I just said that people see me as white. That is until the moment I open my mouth and the Jew in me comes out! Historical antisemitic white supremacy says Jews are not white. Not even a Jew that looks like me. So to claim we uphold white supremacy is simply untrue but it is a way to marginalize Jews. The fact that no one is calling the police because I was sitting in a hotel lobby, waiting for friends at Starbucks, or doing my job as a realtor, doesn’t make me, or any other Jew, the upholder of white supremacy.The actual upholder’s of white supremacy are the people making those calls to the police.

But it goes deeper than that. White skinned Muslim’s are not accused of upholding white supremacy. Not every Muslim woman wears a hijab, and Muslim men who are light skinned and wear nothing to indicate their religion are not included. Biracial light skinned people are not categorized as upholders of white supremacy. Nor are latinos. Only the Jews.

Are there Jews who are racist? Yes, because we are not immune to any of the maladies of man. That still does not make us, the Jews, upholders of white supremacy, because nothing about our Judaism informs us to be racists. People are not racist because they are of the Jewish faith. So to claim white Jews are upholders of white supremacy is inherently antisemitic.

The irony of this line of thought is that Jews are the targets of the majority of hate crimes according to the FBI and a more recent survey of hate crimes in NYC. Antisemitism is a shape shifter. It is how it can be found on both the Right and Left on the political spectrum. This form of antisemitism is a new form of an old hate. It is happy to hide under cover where it can thrive because most people are looking for it in the Neo Nazi hiding places.

Antisemitism is clever. We are hated for not being white (regardless of skin color) and hated for being white. It leaves us with no place to go in an either or worldview. It denies the unique character of our people. Nor does it take a genius to see how easy it became to frame zionists then as white supremacists.

An antisemitic storm is brewing. The evidence is in the statistics. Don’t let the storm winds carry you to what will be the wrong side of history.

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