Monday, November 15, 2010

Today in hints of anti-Semitism

-A man has his first real job, the one that teaches a young person that working often sucks and it's not a bad idea to go back to school and get work that's more fulfilling, at American Apparel. (Seriously - read the email and tell me that this wasn't the guy's first job beyond at most a paper route.) Blames American Apparel for, essentially, being a retail work environment. And his bosses were "Stupid spoiled jewish men." This information is presented in very much a fight-the-man manner. Jewish=capitalist. Welcome to 1840.

- From Ye Daily Mail:

They are three of the most prominent, and richest, Jewish stars in the Entertainment Industry.
And Jerry Seinfeld, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler came together Saturday night to celebrate their ancestry, with 2,000 other extremely wealthy people, at the opening of the new Philadelphia Jewish History museum.
The celebrities did what they do best when they took to the stage throughout the night, entertaining the crowd of big-donors and politicians who had all paid between $1,500 - $5,000 each for the sit down dinner.
No doubt this event took place, no doubt Seinfeld has harbeh kesef. The lede does not make any claims about Jews being wealthy, or controlling the entertainment industry. What's the issue? Wording. This is quite possibly the first time I've seen a gala event of this nature covered with the words "richest," "extremely wealthy," "big-donors" [sic], and the price of the tickets all worked into the intro. I mean, maybe if the point was that a particular politician was corrupt and the event had something to do with a scandal? In the Daily Mail's tepid defense, there's a possibility that the money motif is because these are American Jews raising money for an American Jewish museum.


Andrew Stevens said...

Not to defend the comment since I certainly don't see what their Jewishness has to do with anything, but the American Apparel whiner was talking about two particular people (Dov and Dan). I don't know who Dan is, but Dov certainly is Jewish and I assume Dan is as well. He was not referring to generic "bosses" or generalized "capitalists," but to two specific Jewish men. The comment definitely qualifies as anti-Semitic in my book, but not in quite the way you took it.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

I think we're actually in agreement. I realized two specific Jewish men were being mentioned. What I was pointing out was that this shared trait was brought up (no reason it had to be) because there's a cultural idea about Jews as exploiters, and the email writer sees his experience with these two particular Jews as confirming something already "known" about "the Jews." If both men had red hair, say, it's unlikely that an accusation of them being capitalist exploiters would mention that trait.

Andrew Stevens said...

Well, I actually think he brought up Jewish because of a stereotype that Jews are wimps. "if. . .dov or dan sends a quiver down your spine then I truly pity you. they are just men. Stupid spoiled jewish men."

I think he's saying that it's really silly to be scared of Jewish men. Still a vile stereotype, regardless. But this one should be resolved by having WWE wrestler Bill Goldberg visit him.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

That could be. I guess it was the combination of the word "spoiled" and the overall complaint the email was about that made me think the "capitalist exploiter" type was the one he was going for.