I’m of Jewish ethnicity. There are arguments about what to call Jewishness but I feel like it’s more of an ethnicity. I have a higher rate of breast cancer because of the “group” and area I’m from. (There’s a mix of European backgrounds like Poland, Austria and Romania.) Some say I’m white (or Caucasian), some say no. Many Jews check “other” on forms because white doesn’t feel right.
Whether or not I practice the religion of Judaism, I’m still considered a Jew. I often feel very Jew-ish, what ever that means. It’s part of my heritage. It’s in my looks and name.
(As a side note, many people have assumed that I’m Cuban when I was living in Miami. I’ve also gotten Egyptian, Iraqi, Italian and other Hispanic ethnicities. That or everyone thinks I’m from New York—my family is from there so maybe they can hear a faint accent?)
In any case, I have family members who have lived through and died in the Holocaust. According to Hitler, as long as you had one grandparent who was a Jew…but who the fuck cares what he thought? The most bigoted folks try to “purify” their whiteness by kicking the likes of me out. Yet, their ideas are so ignorant and fucked up, it’s best to not take them into account at all.
Jews have had a long road of discrimination. Look at how long it took to get out of the ghettos. There’s still prejudice against Jews even as they have gained power and money.
That said, I realize that I do not face what many people of color face today. There is a privilege that comes with my Jewishness. Whatever I am, I appear white and most of the stereotypes about Jews are on the good side.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?