Twelve Easy Ways to Distinguish Racism from Antisemitism

Paul Klee, Follows with Concern, As Both are Blind, 1927, pen and brown ink on tan laid paper tipped onto tan wove paper, 41.8 x 30.7 cm

Sometimes, when you have been studying a topic for a long while, it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees, and a fresh perspective can be extremely helpful. I just had a friend from outer space staying for a few days. Since the need to maintain physical distancing made her stay a little tricky, she couldn’t stay for long. It was her first visit on earth, so she’s not that knowledgeable about all the ins and outs of earth ways and did not have the time to contextualize her observations in any great detail. When I asked her what she’d learnt about racism and antisemitism, she told me that the following distinctions had impressed themselves on her:

  1. When something bad happens to a person of colour it’s likely down to racism;
    You can’t play the antisemitism card every time something bad happens to a Jew.
  2. When something good happens to a person of colour it’s either a fluke and means nothing or proves that they are not a proper person of colour;
    When something good happens to a Jew it’s down to their white privilege.
  3. People get funny ideas about Jews because Jews tend to be like that;
    People get funny ideas about people of colour because they are racists.
  4. If something offends people of colour it must go;
    It’s all an orchestrated smear, and who even speaks for the Jews anyway?
  5. If you try to erase all traces of antisemitism, you’ll rip the heart out of Western and Muslim culture;
    If something offends people of colour it must go.
  6. If something offends people of colour it must go.
    That’s just how people thought back then.
  7. You can’t abandon a cause or organization just because of the antisemitism prevalent within it;
    If something offends people of colour it must go.
  8. People still deny that racism even exists;
    Alarmists are forever exaggerating the significance of antisemitism.
  9. Jews who whitewash antisemitism are heroes;
    People of colour who question the “antiracist” narrative are traitors.
  10. Antisemitism is a form of racism, hence, antiracists cannot be antisemitic;
    Complaining about antisemitism in the BLM movement will only create more antisemitism.
  11. Jews keep playing the Holocaust card;
    What about our Holocausts?
  12. Antisemitism is a regrettable but marginal phenomenon;
    Race explains everything.

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