Jews of color exist and heres why it matters – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on December 23, 2020

As identity politics continues to dominate discussions both inside and outside the Jewish world, it must be said that acknowledging additional challenges some groups of Jews face notably women, Mizrahim, blacks and LGBTQ doesnt require us to be divided or pitted against one another.To put it more bluntly, Jewish unity in the fight against antisemitism doesnt necessitate sticking our heads in the sand about privilege within our own communities. Refusing to recognize inequalities, whether historical or present-day, will only enable oppressive trends to continue. We cannot grow and improve as a community, as a country, by sweeping shortcomings under the rug.Todays Jewish community has an extremely diverse and rich history. Together, we have faced persecution on nearly every corner of the earth, at the hands of all the major world religions, and under the rule of Europeans, Arabs and beyond. We have a shared collective trauma as the Jewish people, but we also have different experiences. That is not to say one is better than the other, but these differences should be recognized.Today, we again face an onslaught of antisemitism of various forms, ranging from the online sphere to terrorism to the far Left to the far Right. Yet in response to some of this antisemitism, too many activists are whitewashing our unique stories in the name of fighting antisemitism together. We arent stronger when we erase the trauma or challenges of Jews of color, Jewish women, or LGBTQ Jews. We are stronger when we acknowledge them and fight for genuine equality.To pretend as though the minorities within a minority (Jews) have the same opportunities and experiences in society is disingenuous and hypocritical when at the same time we demand that the world recognize how antisemitism impacts the experiences Jews have in society.Of course, its a fact that a British Jew faces challenges and concerns that a British Christian does not even have to think about. But its also a fact that a Jewish Ashkenazi man in Israel who comes from a family with two working professional parents has an inherent upper hand over a Jewish Mizrahi woman in Israel who was raised by a single mother. That is not to say that the Jewish Mizrahi woman cannot be immensely successful more so even than the Ashkenazi man but acknowledging the systematic disadvantage that one faces and the other does not makes a difference. It allows us to be honest about where we are as a society, as a people and as a nation.When we tell Jews to stop talking about the inequalities they face as black Jews, as Jewish women, as LGBTQ Jews, as Mizrahim when we say, Why cant we just be united? Were all Jews it is really no different from others responding to antisemitism by saying Why cant we stop talking about our differences? Were all Americans! It is an excuse not to face a painful reality that we still have a lot of work to do as a society.

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Jews of color exist and heres why it matters - The Jerusalem Post

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