It’s Pesach today, so I’ve been trying to think of Pesachdic things like struggles for freedom and new beginnings, but I can’t stop thinking about what happened in Kansas.
The sad thing is that I’m not even shocked that a White person carried out an act of racist violence against Jews. I think I kind of expect that anti-Jewish racism grows when there is an economic recession. I’m also not shocked that some people have made this all about Israel and oppression of Palestinians. I’m used to these assholes who don’t understand the difference between Jewish colonists in Palestine and Jews who aren’t colonists in places that aren’t Palestine (though I realise all non-indigenous people in Kansas are colonists). I’ve encountered plenty of White people who like to use Palestinian suffering to justify their racism against Jews.
The bit that did shock me was the US media reacted to it—that anyone could be unsure about the killer’s motives when he was yelling ‘Heil Hitler’. Because I’m always hearing that in the USA [Ashkenazi] Jews are White. So even though I expect the media to be shit when reporting on acts of racist violence against Muslims and Arabs and Desis, I’m surprised when they’re like this about Jews.
It’s a good reminder that we shouldn’t confuse access to White power with liberation. Jews might be given access to White power when it suits the interests of White supremacy (for example when they can use us to perpetuate oppression of Muslims and Arabs) but our Whiteness is always provisional and can be taken away as political and economic circumstances change. Instead of seeking to become White we should be fighting to dismantle Whiteness.
That last paragraph made me gasp and then spend an hour reflecting.