Filtering by Category: Race

Are Jews White? U.S. History Says, It’s Complicated (The Forward)

The first time someone told me I was white, I was seven years old. Three of my friends, all of them light-skinned black kids like me, taunted me in the schoolyard after my father dropped me off.

“That’s not your real dad,” they said. “He can’t be because you’re white.”

I was devastated. But I remember my father reassuring me that they were wrong; not only was he my father, but also, I was black, even if I was lighter than the other black kids.

My parents raised me to be secure, as racially mixed and Jewish. These were non-negotiable parts of my identity.

But as I got older, I began to understand that there was a third element to my racial identity: I am white-passing. This means that I am frequently mistaken for white, even though I am not.

Passing in the black community is about more than just appearances. It is a loaded term that refers to attaining aspects of whiteness but only at the cost of one’s blackness.

Read the full op-ed in The Forward.  

What The Women’s March Can Learn From Marc Lamont Hill (The Forward)

Last Wednesday, Temple University professor and former CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill gave a now-infamous speech to the United Nations on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

His conclusion sent shockwaves through the Jewish community. At the end of his impassioned speech condemning Israel, he suggested that there is a place for resistance outside of non-violence, endorsed the BDS movement and called for “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”

Critics of his speech attributed to Hill a call for violence against Israel’s Jewish population.

Some commentators even went so far as to charge that he had promoted genocide.

In the immediate aftermath, Temple University’s board chair accused Hill of hate speech and CNN severed ties with him, though media watchers suggest that this latest incident was not the main cause of his termination, but rather the straw that broke the camel’s back.

At first, Hill dug in.

Read the op-ed online at The Forward.