Monday, January 15, 2007

An Open Letter to unnamed persons

Dear persons,

Discussing how an ultra-orthdox Jewish community might change the character of your community does not immediately make you a bigot. It is human and timeless to be apprehensive of how large numbers of people unlike oneself might change one's community. You cross over into bigoted when you selectively quote this article (for example: “There is no piece of land, if they have their eye on, they aren’t going to get. There is very little if they wanted, they could not get. They have literally taken over the town.” Information *not* quoted by you: "Marc Shapiro, Ph.D. a University of Scranton theology professor who concentrates in Judaic studies, thinks the Nadvorna sect’s impact on Scranton will not be nearly as far-reaching. “Basically they just want a place where they can practice their religion,” he said. “They’re not going to be getting involved in the Rotary Club or running for political office.' ”) and start talking about how "those people" have taken over a New Jersey town and will have a go at your town next. A couple of generations ago, other people who were already in your town were saying the same thing about your ancestors, who were right off the boat at that time. It is this sort of racism that is the most insidious, because I am sure that if I asked you would say that you are not a racist and *certainly* not an anti-semite. Please do not act surprised when I speak up about the fact that I am uncomfortable with such a conversation. I know that you truly do not mean to be racist, but in this case, you are.

5 comments:

Whit said...

At first I thought you were referring to "elderly relative", but then I saw where the paper was from and quickly realized otherwise...

However, I think this is a good opportunity to reminisce about the time that ER went all wild and crazy at the polls and voted for DEMOCRATS (oh the shame) because they had Irish instead of Jewish (whispered softly even though you're on the phone in your own home)last names.

I really wish ER wouldn't call me at work to tell me this sort of thing, because when I spit out my coffee laughing its hard to clean off the keyboard and monitor...

Grendel said...

I solve the problem of prejudice by the simple expedient of hating everyone. :) I've also got this great idea that will simultaneously sovle the worries of overpopulation and double the average I.Q. . .

Anonymous said...

T says:
I'm personally weirded out by the last sentence in that article "deep down, they are nice people". So, what does that mean? Sheesh. I wonder if anyone would even read this article if it was written about...say...a Baptist community (just as an example) coming into town?

Kate said...

Yeah, I had problems with the article, too. Really, insert any community name and it is pretty offensive. However, the article was, in a twisted sort of way, at least *trying* to be balanced.

Grendel said...

Well, now I remember when the Baptists came to town. It was a dark, dark day. . . :)