Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Why meritocrats care about racism and sexism and don't give a damn about the white working class

Posted this on my Facebook before realizing something:
Sometimes I think I should deal with things in race reductionist ways because rich people don't give a damn if you point out that they're rich while so many are poor, but they hate being called racist.

Larry Wilmore undoubtedly knew his audience was not in that room. One small part of his audience was in front of my computer.
(Four minute cut of Larry Wilmore's White House speech here.)

Then I saw the reason some rich people care about racism and sexism even though they're indifferent to or dismissive of the working class in general: racism and sexism destroy the beautiful illusion of meritocracy. It's easy for humans to think they are better than people who look like them because those people who look like them must have failed somehow. But only racists and sexists can say an entire race or gender deserves to be kept down because another race or gender is better.

Monday, May 2, 2016

I'm a Zionist Shegetz?

I suppose I know as much about Zionism and Yiddish as most literate goys who've lived in Manhattan and had a Jewish fiancee, which is to say, more than most people who aren't Jewish and more than some Jews, but hardly enough to think I'm especially knowledgable about either Zionism or Yiddish. Today I learned two things.

1. In the eyes of at least one identitarian Jew, I'm a shegetz, a Yiddish word "from the Hebrew sheketz ("detestable," "abomination", "loathed", "blemish")." It "literally translates as "rascal", "scoundrel" or "varmint", its pejorative connotations range from negligible to severe, depending on the context." It's the male version of shiksa. I'd never run into it before, but I'm glad to add a new word to my vocabulary, and being called a shegetz inspired me to post this on Facebook:
I was just called a shegetz, which amused me, and more importantly, helped me see something that's obvious when written out: the first trait of racists is the use of insults that were created for the people they consider "other".

The second trait, of course, is the use of coded language to allude to their insults. So I was pleased that this person avoided code and went straight for shegetz.
2. I had not thought I was a Zionist, because although I know the meaning has always depended on the user and there were both conservative religious Zionists and socialist atheist Zionists in the early days of the movement, I'd thought the only modern sense was that used by rightwing Israeli and Christian Zionists who support dispossessing Palestinians as they pursue their dream of Greater Israel. But before I was called a shegetz, I was told I'm a Zionist because I'm in the first of three categories: Zionists believe Israel has a right to exist, neo-Zionists support the settlers and Israel's appropriation of land the UN never gave it, and post-Zionists believe "that Zionism has fulfilled its ideological mission with the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948, and that Zionist ideology should therefore be considered at an end...used by right-wing Jews to refer to the left wing of Israeli politics in light of the Oslo Accords."

I'm still hesitant to call myself a Zionist. Using the definitions above, I think I'm an anti-neo-Zionist. My take on Israel is that it was a well-intentioned project based on a flawed assumption. Religious states have never been a good idea. Since Israel exists, the pragmatic solution is for the US to stop giving it billions of dollars every year until the one-state or the two-state solution has been realized and everyone within the land Israel currently controls has full citizenship in a viable nation.


Israel could reduce anti-Semitic violence by not calling itself the Jewish state, Finkelstein says – Mondoweiss

Finkelstein Breaks His Silence. Tells Holocaust-Mongers, "It is time to crawl back into your sewer!"

Noam Chomsky on BDS and How the Israeli Occupation is "Much Worse Than Apartheid" | Democracy Now!