If it’s not bad enough what Evergreen State College’s Bret Weinstein has gone through the last few weeks, now a group of Jewish Evergreen “bent on the destruction of white supremacy” has written a letter accusing the prof of using his (Jewish) faith to deflect from his “anti-black language and behavior.”
According to the letter, Weinstein “has attempted to position himself as a victim,” and the authors note that if they “remain silent [they] accept [his] unacceptable usage of our shared history.”
“This is not an isolated incident,” the letter says. “This is about Weinstein, but it also about white Jews acting in complicity with and upholding white supremacy, passively and actively. We seek to counter Bret’s narrative and de-center his place in the wider struggle against institutional racism on campus and beyond.”
It wouldn’t take much for Bret to apologize, but he has held fast to his seemingly innocuous position of victimhood, and in doing so has highlighted some of the ways that liberal racism functions. Here we can learn something about how not to react when claims of racist behavior are raised against us. …
What was that process of assimilation that brought some Jews into the folds of whiteness? What was the cost? Whiteness is not a singular tangible thing, it is a construction that evolves as power changes hands and as global structures change with them. …
Whiteness is flexible enough to expand its definition of who is welcomed into its fold, when it’s convenient in maintaining the social order it imposes — some Jews, Irish people, Italians, etc., are welcome to be white as long as black people remain the targets of racialized violence. For us to be white, have access to whiteness (power), some groups of people must continually be othered, denied access to power. This is how white supremacy functions, by creating structures of power of exclusion and othering and in doing so relying on anti-blackness.
Weinstein, the authors argue, is exhibiting a “negation of his responsibility” and utilizing a “gross misuse of the history” by claiming he knows what oppression is: “The lived experience of white Ashkenazi Jews and the lived experience of black people in the US is [sic] drastically different and cannot be equated, and by doing so Bret refutes both experiences.”
Sigh. It’ll be hard to find a more postmodern/intersectional/critical race theorist bunch of hooey … at least until tomorrow, that is.
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