Saturday, May 20, 2017

Are Jewish converts transracial? More implications of the Rachel Dolezal case.

If you think Jews are a race, you either think converts aren't Jewish or it's possible to be transracial.

I realized that after making a Facebook comment:
This is my argument for why Jews are white (except when they're black or Asian):

For immigration purposes, European Jews were always considered white.

In the Old South, Jews were so white that Judah P. Benjamin was Jefferson Davis's Secretary of State.

The KKK hated Jews and Catholics because they weren't Protestants, not because they weren't white.

A few specific problems with the argument that Jews are a race:

1. That excludes converts. No one can convert to a race.

2. DNA does not distinguish between Jews and non-Jews from the Middle-East. The fight between Palestinians and Israelis is not a race war because there's enormous genetic overlap between the two groups.

That said, I agree racists can decide anything is a race, and many antisemites are both racists and bigots.
ETA: From DNA tester: 75 percent of Jews trace ancestry to Middle East - Jewish World News - Haaretz - Israel News | Haaretz.com:
Greenspan said he estimates that “No less than 75 percent of Ashekanzi, Sephardi or Mizrahi Jews, their ancestors came from what we call the general Middle East”
If you insist those 75% are part of a Jewish race, what are the remaining 25%?

ETA: And if coming from the general Middle East is the basis for the argument that Jews are a race, all Middle Easterners must be racially Jewish.

Earlier: For anyone who thinks Jews were not always white in the US