Last Tuesday I heard this fascinating episode of Code Switch, an NPR podcast “cover[ing] race, ethnicity and culture.” For this round, they looked at the place that Jews occupy in America’s odd definitions of all those things. Ultimately, it…
…wasn’t totally off base. They narrated the American Jewish experience of becoming White clearly, accurately, and charitably: as a combination of White society’s whims, and of the desire (or need) to reap the benefits of Whiteness. This meshes well with the shockingly-civil social media debates I’ve gotten into with fellow Jews about our racial identity. The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that light-skinned Jews get White privilege no matter how they personally feel about it.
Gabriela Geselowitz is a writer and the former editor of Jewcy.com.
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