Washington Post: Jews and non-Jews are drawn to debates about whether Jews are white. It’s the sort of question that captivates academics and activists, roping in everyone from Israeli “Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot to African American literary luminary James Baldwin.
On the one hand, Jews have been discriminated against for centuries, including by white cultures from Nazi Germany to the United States. On the other, many Jews have attained a significant measure of acceptance, and many can often “pass” as white when not wearing traditional Jewish symbols.
Implicitly at stake in this argument is whether efforts to combat racism should prioritize prejudice against Jews or whether other persecuted populations should take precedence.
Personally, I’ve found this debate beside the point, and this weekend’s disturbing events in Charlottesville perfectly illustrate why: The white supremacists have already made their decision.
When white nationalists descended upon the historic Virginia city to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, their “Unite the Right” rally gathered a veritable who’s who of top neo-Nazis in the United States, including Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and alt-right leading light Richard Spencer, among others.
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