The Jewish Angst
Ants in the pants, Jewish angst, it's for real.
Me, NYC, Jewish Identity
There are more Jewish people in New York City than in Tel Aviv. The Jewish people feel more at home in NYC than at any other place on earth. That is the message I get.
That is curious. Because NYC is the first hometown I ever had, and I was past 30 when I got here. And it is to do with my background. Kathmandu was hostile to my Madhesi identity, Kentucky was hostile to my nonwhite identity.
Someone had to convince me to move to NYC. It was another Madhesi, a Goldman banker. "You will like it here," she said. Was she right.
There are 13 million Jewish people on the planet. There are 13 million Madhesis on the planet. Jesus was a Jew. Buddha was a Madhesi.
I was more than aware of the Holocaust and racism before I ever came to America: there are major mentions of the Holocaust in Nepali poetry. I could have told you minor details from MLK's life when I was at high school 10,000 miles away. But most of that was intellectual. I got introduced to the emotional structure of racism in America coupled with anti-Semitism by way of a young Jewish woman: Elizabeth.
There was no sex or alcohol that night. But we did spend the night together next to each other naked. On the same floor only a few feet away was an Afghan guy from a refugee camp in Pakistan and a young Hispanic Indian woman, I think from Peru, Indian as in indigenous. They were not naked, but they were in embrace too. That night became fodder for all sorts of rape stories and insinuations for the rest of my time in that town.
Coming face to face with the emotional superstructure of anti-Semitism hit me hard. I come from a part of the world that has major caste, ethnicity and gender issues. But this new beast I was seeing was really something. It had its own unique character. The intensity of it was unsettling.
I took a stand against anti-Semitism in Kentucky where there are no Jewish people, there are no Indians. I had no money, no power, just the strong instinct to take the stand, and I did. I bet my college career on it. I don't know if I am a college dropout or a high school dropout: I think I am both.
And so I am not taking shit from any Jewish person in NYC. No Jewish person who was born, who grew up in NYC that I might have come across in the city's political circles has taken the high risk stand against anti-Semitism that I have taken. I humiliated the WASP college president on stage at the graduation ceremony and proceeded to make small talk with the Jewish Dean standing two steps away: "Thanks for giving me that extra year." Thousands watched.
Political Consciousness, Or The Caste Ladder
If you do the political consciousness thing, if you are a downtrodden people, you make effort to forge alliances with other downtrodden peoples. Madhesis and Jews are allies. Women and minorities are allies. You are essentially trying to build a progressive coalition that is less about identity and more about issues. Making progress on race and gender is not an anti white male agenda.
But if you do the caste ladder thing, you just end up with a whole bunch of infighting. Who is above? Is the Italian guy above the Jewish guy? Is the Indian guy at the bottom? Maybe not. Indians got huge global numbers. And we are also moving fast on money.
I tried to do the political consciousness thing on a string of white women in Kentucky, they as a rule stuck to the caste ladder thing and inflicted major pain.
Where does this anti-Semitism come from? It all goes back to Jesus. Jews put Jesus on the cross, and the Christians are still angry. Does not matter that Jesus himself was a Jew, and that is how they did capital punishment back in the days. Why do Christians do electric chairs today, I wonder.
Christians are not "perfected Jews" any more than women are people who wish they were men.
Just Say No
Black people like sex, Jewish people like money, and the rest of us are monks. For anyone to say or suggest Jewish people like money falls in the same category as the n word. It is not to be tolerated. I am the one who likes money, that is who. Utter social intolerance for expressions of anti-Semitism has to be cultivated. That has to be one of the progressive goals. Just say no.
Milk Gone Bad
I have seen WASPs react to the very term Jewish like you utter the word, and somewhere in the WASP mind milk just went bad. Are you Jewish can be a loaded question both ways. I have seen grown Jewish men try to hide their Jewish identity even when hiding is not possible.
The Buffer People
If you think about it, the Jewish people are neither western nor nonwestern. Anti-Semitism can be cured just like polio could be cured. The world owes itself to cure anti-Semitism. The day the world cures anti-Semitism is the day the huge gulf between the west and the rest is no longer there. Curing anti-Semitism is not to be a favor to the Jews but humanity's favor to humanity.
Okay so Jesus died. So what? That was a long time ago.
Holocaust, Childhood Trauma
Murder falls in the category of childhood trauma. Holocaust was millions of murders methodically perpetrated by a sophisticated state machinery. That makes for enormous trauma. And it was not that far back in time at all. The pain is for real, and it is there. The gutsy thing to do is to deal with the pain the right way.
You have to relive all your past experiences that might have bothered you and you have to vent your feelings about them. That applies to childhood trauma, that applies to the Holocaust. Reliving the Holocaust means learning all facts about the same. And then you have to get angry and express that anger in legitimate ways. And you have to do it collectively.
A total spread of democracy across the Arab world the mass movement way like in Nepal in April 2006 is the best answer to Israel's security concerns. I say fuck the Saudi family.
I don't know more about the Jewish heritage, religion, culture than your average Jew. Heck, I know little. But I will go head to head with anyone, Jewish and otherwise, in terms of the Jewish political predicament and the possible plan of action for the future.
The Jewish Identity In New York City
In The News
Clinton Wins in Landslide in West Virginia U.S. News & World Report Clinton swept nearly all demographic groups and won overall by a 2-to-1 margin ..... Clinton would score a net gain of no more than a dozen delegates ....... she will stay in the race at least until the final primaries conclude on June 3. ..... five contests left, with a total of 189 delegates—in Kentucky and Oregon next Tuesday; Puerto Rico June 1, and Montana and South Dakota June 3. ...... Obama, however, is strong in Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota. .... The DNC rules and bylaws committee will meet May 31 to consider the Florida and Michigan situation.
Obama’s Michigan Trip New York Times
Despite West Virginia, Obama wins more Democratic grandees AFP she will fight on through the five remaining primaries. ...... Obama Wednesday won the support of three more superdelegates -- an Indiana congressman, a Democratic student leader and the chairwoman of Democrats Abroad. ....... Pundits had been near-universal in declaring the race to be over .... 60 percent of Democrats want Obama to pick Clinton as his vice presidential running mate ..... Obama leads Clinton by every metric -- pledged delegates, superdelegates, popular vote tallies and number of nominating won. ..... The Democrats as a whole were celebrating after grabbing a rock-solid Republican congressional seat in the southern state of Mississippi.
Should Obama Worry About W.VA?
Victorious Clinton vows to fight until 'everyone' is heard
Clinton status puts focus on her $20 million debt The Associated Press Clinton will have to deal with her campaign's more than $20 million debt — a step that could test her relationship with Barack Obama and raise new issues in campaign finance law. ....... Among her options is transferring that debt to her Senate campaign committee and paying it off with contributions to her 2012 re-election effort. ....... the answer lies with Obama and his vast network of contributors. ..... Clinton would have only until the Democratic convention in late August to raise money to cover her loan. After the convention, she could only raise up to $250,000 toward paying it off. ........ Clinton has raised more than $22 million for the general election. If donors approve transferring any of that money to the Senate committee, some lawyers said it appeared she could use it to pay off the debt.
Clinton Deadline Looms for Recouping $11 Million Personal Loan