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Daniel Delgado @DDelgadoVive
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Here’s the thing: people who really go through life as nonwhite don’t just check “white” because they think that’s what they’re supposed to say. Thread.
This is why Latines keep frustrating US Census efforts to categorize us, marking “other” in large numbers.
When I fill out forms like this, I put “American Indian” (the closest they have for Native from South America) and “Other.” I don’t mark white for my Jewish ancestry, because my experience of Judaism is not as a white person. #intersectionality
(I do not mark “American Indian” when that might flag me for services specifically intended for Natives from North America. In that case, I mark “Other” twice.)
What the Pew data show are that the vast majority of US Jews DO experience Judaism/Jewishness as white people.
The sudden flood of Jews saying “I’m not white” when they probably mark “white” on the Census smacks of convenience. White for the privilege, nonwhite to avoid the callouts from people of color.
This is an issue in Latine communities, too. There are lots of people who like to mark “white” whenever they can. Families rewrite their histories to deny indigenous descent. Then they go out on the street, get treated like crap, and don’t feel so white anymore. It’s complicated.
White is a vague term by design. White supremacy likes to keep the boundary and definition fluid so that groups can be moved in and out of it to suit the needs of the most powerful.
So talk about how you feel complicated about your identity, by all means. Just don’t use it as a dodge for examining ways you might be perpetuating white supremacy (or racism, if you prefer that term).
FYI, it is almost Shabbat here, so if you comment on this thread I may not see your reply until tomorrow night! Shabbat Shalom!
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