With an occasional Miz Shoes Reviews.
What to make of Bernie Sanders, the Jew. See, there is this whole thing going on among American Jews... is Bernie Jewish enough? Why doesn't Bernie talk about his Judaism more? I'll tell you why, because he doesn't have to. His Jewishness, to any degree, is the two ton gorilla in the room. Take this political cartoon by Pat Bagley. The whole joke depends on a single premise: that all Christians (even the Pope) are anti-Semitic, is a given. And why shouldn't that be a given? Donald Trump was endorsed by the KKK and the Nation of Islam. The only thing those two groups have in common is a virulent anti-Semitism. (Editing for clarity here, I'm not saying that I believe all Christians are anti-Semites, just that the whole premise of the cartoon depends on that assumption. Which makes the joke not funny, at least to me.)

Just last month, I had a stranger use the phrase "he Jewed me" as she described a business deal that she felt had not been to her advantage. I had just told her my name, and she still used that expression and she was insulted by my response. I didn't slap her, so I don't know what she was so pissed off about. I only called her out on her appalling manners and overt racism.

Is it racism? Because, you know Jews aren't really white. They're...Jews. Don't believe me? Try typing "are Jews" into your Google search engine. Auto-fill suggests the answer: Are Jews White? And how many hits does that get you? A cool 71 million articles. MILLION. And there isn't an easy yes/no answer to be found. Even in Israel, there are questions. Jews: are we a religion? A race?

When you search the Ellis Island data base to find your Jewish ancestors, you have to search for Hebrew. I had this conversation many years ago: Jesus was not a Jew, he was merely of Hebraic extraction. I still don't know what that meant. But back to Bernie.

Try typing Bernie Sanders into your Google search, and the number one result is "Bernie Sanders Jewish". That must be a less pressing issue than are Jews white, because that comes up with a paltry 11 million hits. Predictably, the headlines are "yes, but not enough", or "yes, but too white", or "yes, but he doesn't like to talk about it." Which is also a matter of media spin, because when he does talk about it, nobody seems to listen.

Still, it doesn't matter, because in the American mind, such as it is, Bernie is a Jew, and if there is one thing everyone can agree on, that history has taught us, it's that nobody likes the Jews. Even the delicate dancing around of the problem that Bernie doesn't carry minorities because he's a white male is bullshit. Bernie doesn't carry minorities because he's a Jew and even though Jews were in the forefront of the labor and civil rights movements, when push comes to shove, a white woman is perceived to be a better choice than a Jew of any gender.

As the great Bob Dylan once said, "Who says you can't go home again, of course you can." It's true. I did. What he should have said was that you can't start blogging again once you stop.

Turn and Face the Change

R.I.P. David Bowie. When I heard the news, I was instantly transported back to autumn of 1972, when "Changes" played in heavy, yet always welcome, rotation on WVUM, the voice of the University of Miami, and WVUM played in the lobby of my dorm, and I wasn't a lobby rat, but I did spend a number of hours perched in the stairwell, drawing those who were. I met my friend Billy there in the '68 Building. The autumn of 1972 was when I left my home town for good and swore never to return, for reasons that were many and valid.

I've been back in my childhood home for almost a year, so I suppose it is fitting that I was remembering what it was like when I left, and considering "Changes" when I had the following encounter this morning.

A new face is telling me that she is a neighbor, and lives a street over on the river, or near to. I say that's nice. She tells me that the person she bought from was Mitt Romney's wife, Anne's, brother, a Mormon. I say that's nice. She tells me that he is actually a crook. I say that's nice, and not unexpected, really, although I say the latter phrase only in my head, I am sure. Yes, she tells me, he is a crook. When we bought the house, he Jewed us out of $7000 dollars.

Stop, I say. Did you really just say that? Oh yes, she repeats, I did. He Jewed us... Stop, I interrupt. Really? You are using those words? Yes, she tells me with a shrug, I'm from Philadelphia, and... And I'm Jewish, I rudely interrupt again. So, good day to you. And with that, I turned and walked back into my home, and locked the door behind me.

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