, 25 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
"White supremacy is a protection racket; it offers security on one hand and a lethal threat on the other." bostonglobe.com/ideas/2019/03/…
Why would the son of a Holocaust survivor spend his adult life aiding and abetting a white supremacist autocrat?

Because collaboration with white supremacy is a survival strategy -- especially for white-passing minorities like light-skinned Ashkenazim.
It's not a survival strategy that WORKS, longterm, of course. We saw evidence of that on Wednesday when Cohen gave his testimony. But it can be very appealing to some.
Leveraging minorities against each other is, of course, one of the primary mechanisms by which white supremacy sustains itself.
In return for assimilation into white supremacy and its agendas, you're given the hope that when they’re rounding people up, they’ll come for someone else first, and maybe never get around to you and yours.
And in the meantime you get to enjoy the privileges of being white-adjacent. Money, power, status. Until you become expendable, as Cohen did.
When I started this essay, it was about Ilhan Omar. That's how fast news is breaking these days
I was going to write about how lightskinned Jews can't afford to break with allies of color over antisemitic microaggressions, because our only hope of survival as a people is ride-or-die coalition with other minority groups.
But after Cohen's testimony -- in which he referred several times to his guilt over working for Trump as the son of a Holocaust survivor -- it turned into an essay about how deeply mistaken Jews are when they ally themselves with white supremacy instead.
This is not a mistake that ONLY Jews make. Even Black people sometimes agree to this terrible bargain -- there's a term for this, in fact, that I won't print here. Think of Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, etc.
But light-skinned Jews pass for white, and provisional whiteness is often extended to us, so it's easier for us to fall into this trap than for others.
Michael Cohen didn't wind up working for a white supremacist DESPITE his experience as a second-generation Holocaust survivor. He did it BECAUSE of that. Because he was more aware than most how precarious the safety of Jews can be in an antisemitic world.
So he became a kapo. And he knew he was doing it.
(I should mention that Netanyahu is also enacting a version of this strategy by getting in bed with hard right ethnonationalists.)
But history has shown us that this strategy -- the collaborator's strategy, the kapo's strategy -- DOES. NOT. WORK. OUT.
Ever. It ends in tragedy every. Single. Time.
And you don't have to be working for or with an actual nazi fascist to make this bargain. All of us do it, in milder ways, all the time.
We work in the all-white office and we never point out that it’s all white. We move our children to a whiter school — not because we're racist, of course, but because education is so important. We laugh at the racist joke.
And every time we do this, every time we capitulate to white supremacy this way because it's easy, because it gains us status, because it's comfortable, because not to do so would make us a target, we're contributing to our own destruction.
I honestly believe Jewish longterm survival depends on our divestment from white supremacy and coalition with other minorities. It's what white supremacy fears most.
Otherwise we're all going to end up like Michael Cohen, who doesn't even have his integrity to cling to.
If you're a lightskinned Jew and you're not fighting as hard as you can to protect Black people, to protect Indigenous people, to protect other people of color, disabled people, LGBT+ people --
You're a sucker.
Don't be like this guy. bostonglobe.com/ideas/2019/03/…
hey @tshakti I finally managed to quote you
HUGE thanks to my editor @RachelSlade1 for pushing me to really go in on this one. <3 <3 <3
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