So. Some background.
I am a Jewish girl. My parents are both Jewish. I am Ashkenazi, or an Eastern European Jew, and I live in an area with a sizable Jewish population, but I still do experience antisemitism.
So. The run down.
It started with this and it escalated from there, engulfing SJ blogs and political blogs and Jews and PoC alike. And you know what? I’m glad, a bit. I’m glad that tumblr is acknowledging the rampant, unchecked antisemitism that pervades this website and progressive communities alike.
But the discussion is, as always, short of excellent.
The reason that the Jewish loss of life in the Holocaust, the Shoah, is so emphasized is that Jews were the only group targeted for complete and utter extermination. That was the Final Solution. It’s also what happened to a sizable amount of my European relatives, the ones who weren’t lucky, who didn’t hightail it to America after the pogroms.
So yes, white as I may be, I still belong to what could be considered a separate racial group (again, sociologically speaking since biologically race is bunk). My ethnicity puts me at risk for cancers and diseases, and I have a chance of passing on the Tay-Sachs gene to any future children if it turns out that I am a carrier. It’s fatal.
That’s not privilege.
As for the murder of PoC in the Holocaust, yes, it happened. It is no less tragic than the rest of the deaths that occurred. But:
“The fate of black people from 1933 to 1945 in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories ranged from isolation to persecution, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality, and murder. However, there was no systematic program for their elimination as there was for Jews and other groups.”
That’s not to minimize human suffering. It is to take into account.
Another thing, too. Being a PoC does not preclude you from being anti-semitic. Being a gentile is all the prerequisites you need. If I’m not immune from racism, you’re not immune from antisemitism. Capeche, capash.
So yes, do focus on the suffering of all people. But not at the expense of a group that is so very, very easily targeted. I understand that it is an easy trap to fall into, but if you truly care about equality, you will take the experiences of people like me into account in your anti-oppression work. I am alienated from you—work on that, I could be an asset. I want to be an asset, but not if you carry on as it is.
(You don’t care. I am not fooled by a few token gestures, a mere sleight of hand).
The response to this drama has unleashed quite a bit of vitriol, some that I myself have contributed to. You’ve touched on a hot spot, a tender point. You’re aching for a fight.
Trying to make this about those evil Jews making it all about them and oppressing others is an old anti-semitic trope, and guess what, tumblr?
You are not immune. Bitter grapes or no, that is the truth.