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.

History

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.

The Future

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
Obama Defeat Signals Race, Rural Problems CBS News two-to-one margin, one of the widest margins of the primary season. ....... Behind her, a young man waved a bowling pin - a symbol of the cultural distance between Obama, who bowls poorly, and the state’s working-class white voters. ...... let the West Virginia results pass without comment.
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? TIME one in four Clinton voters in West Virginia said race was an important factor in their vote ....... national polls suggest trouble for the GOP in almost every state ...... Democrats recently seized congressional seats in conservative districts in Illinois and Louisiana; last night, they grabbed a Mississippi seat that Bush carried 62-37. ....... tailored her campaign towards the "beer track" after Obama started drubbing her among wine-trackers ...... once the nomination is decided, she won't play the spoiler: "I will work my heart out for the Democratic nominee." ....... asked Obama if he would launch another "national conversation about race," as President Clinton did. And Obama said: No. "I'm less interested in a conversation about race in the abstract," he said. "All the self-flagellation, it's not useful. African-Americans get all riled up, and whites get defensive."
How Second Life Affects Real Life the qualities you acquire online — whether it's confidence or insecurity — can spill over and change your conduct in the real world, often without your awareness ....... subjects using good-looking avatars tended to display more confidence, friendliness and extraversion, just as in the real world: they approached avatar strangers within three feet, and in conversations tended to disclose more personal details. Ugly duckling avatars, meanwhile, stayed five and a half feet away from strangers and were more tight-lipped. ....... People with tall avatars (three or four inches taller than the stranger avatar) negotiated more aggressively than the short ones, while short avatars were twice as likely as the tall ones to accept an unfair split — $25 versus $75.
Obama Targets Battleground States CBS News state Democratic leaders proposed a plan to give Hillary Clinton 69 delegates and Obama 59. Obama said the proposal was a legitimate solution to the problem, but the Clinton campaign rejected it last week.
Clinton's West Virginia Win Won't Cut Obama's Lead (Update1) Bloomberg
Mixed results for Clinton in new poll Boston Globe
Hillary Clinton may need Barack Obama's help with her campaign debt Los Angeles Times a $21-million debt, half from her own pockets ........ having raised more than $240 million. At the end of March, he had $51 million in the bank. ....... She could use the $22 million in general election money to help fund an Obama-Clinton ticket in the fall campaign, election law experts say.
Will Obama Help Pay Off Clinton’s $25 Million Campaign Debt? MTV.com
Look for Clinton to exit after last primary
MarketWatch
Victorious Clinton vows to fight until 'everyone' is heard Los Angeles Times

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 Bloomberg prevents candidates who drop out of the race from raising money after the nominating conventions to repay themselves for personal loans. ......... Obama, 46, is keeping the door open to the possibility of helping pay her debt, which includes more than $10 million in unpaid bills to vendors and consultants ....... Penn, to whom she owed $4.5 million through March 31. ...... She has between now and the convention to raise money to retire the loan or else she will have made an $11 million contribution to her campaign
Top 10 Reasons Obama Defeated Clinton for the Democratic Nomination Huffington Post fifteen months ago, conventional wisdom viewed Obama as an audacious long shot. The very idea of a first-term African American senator with a name like Barack Obama defeating the vaunted Clinton machine seemed preposterous. ........ he insisted on one key rule: no drama. There was little of the infighting and division in the Obama operation ......... Penn's divisive leadership style and failures as a strategist doomed the campaign organization to dysfunction ......... he mistakenly believed that California had a "winner take all" primary. Obama's team hunted for delegates in every nook and cranny of America ........ Obama ran an active, on-the-ground campaign in every contest, from California to Guam. ...... The Clinton campaign had no fall-back plan when it failed to capture the nomination on February 5. There was no money, no organization and no plan to contest the states that lie in the land beyond Super Tuesday. ......... Obama ran the best field operation in American political history -- particularly in the all important Iowa Caucuses. ....... opened offices everywhere, hired and trained great staff, and managed through simple, streamlined structures ..... developed structures to integrate and effectively use volunteers, both on the ground and through the Internet ........ developed highly sophisticated new Internet tools to allow volunteers around the country to participate meaningfully in voter ID and get out the vote operations. ....... massive fundraising operation ..... one-and-a-half-million donors ...... almost one of every ten Obama primary voters (so far there have been 16.3 million) will have made a financial contribution to his campaign. That is beyond unprecedented. ........ message has been consistent from Day One ....... hope and inspiration ........ She didn't hesitate to play the fear card .... she never managed to inspire and resolve that fear into hope. ......... America's overwhelming hunger for unity. Americans - and particularly young Americans - are sick of Republican appeals based on the things that divide us, particularly race. It isn't 1988 anymore. A whole generation has passed from the scene and been replaced by young people who simply don't get the passions that allowed the fear of "Willie Horton" to decide the 1988 presidential race. ............ most importantly, they want change in the way special interests dominate Washington .... Mark Penn, the consummate lobbyist-insider himself embodied the very thing people believe is wrong in Washington. ....... Inspirational, articulate, brilliant, funny, attractive and naturally empathetic - his history as a community organizer, his experience abroad, his beautiful family, accomplished wife, and adorable kids ......... While the Clintons represented the Bridge to the 21st Century, Obama is the 21st century. His own, multi-cultural story is the future of America. As the campaign tested him, he showed he was cool, deliberate and effective under fire. ....... historic, transformational leader ....... the American President who leads the world into a new progressive era of unprecedented possibility.


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