paranoid Jews? (was: RE: Michael Lerner bashing)

Frances Bolton (PHI) fbolton at
Sat Jul 4 08:56:21 PDT 1998


I've had a couple of similar experiences although, having an "ellis island name,' and having lost a thick NJ jewish accent, people don't assume I'm jewish. I'm now 30, and I've experienced two such incidents. Most Jews I know, except those who have done things like live in the south in the 1940s, have experienced similarly few incidents.

But, since the 40s immigration restrictions and 50s redbaiting, I can't think of any structural violence/insitutionalized racism against Jews. Your examples, as well as my own, are of individuals making anti-semetic comments. I doubt that there is any group in the US that doesn't have such comments directed towards it, and it is more accpetable to make comments about other groups than it is to make comments about Jews. (My mother would now say: Don't say *Jews*, it doesn't sound nice. Say Jewish people.)

While I recognize that anti-semitism is alive, I disagree with you when you say it is "well." It does not have the same structural support as sexism, racism, and homophobia. And, a number of the groups who actively support the racist, sexist, homophobic institutional structure (see: the republicans and the christian coalition) in the US are falling all over themselves trying to be recognized as the strongest non-jewish supporters of the mainstream Jewish organizational agenda.

Apologies to anyone I might have inadvertantly offended with my orogian "paranoid Jew" post.

Cheers, Frances

On Fri, 3 Jul 1998 JayHecht at wrote:

> In a message dated 98-07-02 19:03:12 EDT, you write:
> << I suspect US Jewish paranoia is
> a cynical ploy to get a disproportionate amount of attention/political
> favors for pet projects such as Israel and Holocaust museums? >>
> Frances,
> I was swimming by a lake in upstate NY with my two kids and these two
> fisherman were going on and on about "those greedy jews" and other nasty
> comments about jews. Ever been in a similar situtation? What would you do?
> I (unfortunatley) ignored these guys, mainly because I didn't want any trouble
> for my wife and daughters. When I was a kid, I played in an ice hockey league
> in NYC and caught anti-semitic shit - which I can only surmise they assumed I
> was because of the name on my jersey. Paranoid? I don't think so. I consider
> myself fairly "assimilated" however, there are enough assholes out there who
> will chose to define me however they damn please!
> While I'm willing to accept that organizations need their causes (and
> contributions) supported by, perhaps paranoid feelings, anti-semitism, like
> racism, sexism, and other prejudices, I assure you, is alive and well.
> Jason

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