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Responding to Anti-Semitism

I wasn't proud of what I did. What would you do?

Published: January 22, 2011

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Visitor Comments: 158

(158) Anonymous, December 7, 2013 11:51 AM

No, you did the right thing be "freezing".

Not only am I Jewish but I speak Yiddish being a second generation holocaust survivor. The idiots at the gallery in Italy, the idiot who threw the penny at you in high school are so stupid that they are incapable of learning anything by confrontation ...all this accomplishes is at best, them looking around before they say something next time. My basic rule of thumb is to immediatly create distance upon discovery, either preferably physically or at least verbally/psychologically.He who lies down w dogs gets covered in fleas and dog dung. Dont be such an "educator"..Avoid idiots wherever and whenever possible. Dont let your need to prove something to yourself be a cause of consternation.

(157) Lauren, June 8, 2013 5:35 PM

"No offense"

I was at a concert with a friend and two acquaintances. My friend left us for a while, and in his absence one of the acquaintances was speaking to her date. I wasn't paying too much attention, but I heard her date say something about not doing an activity or purchasing an item because it was too expensive. The girl said "I can't believe you're such a Jew." Beat. Her date said "Did you just call me a Jew?" I had the same frozen moment you did. My hairline, my toes, everything started burning. Then she turned to me and, remembering I am Jewish, said, "No offense." Although I wish my response had been more eloquent and noteworthy, I did say SOMETHING. My exact words escape me, but it was along the lines of "It's NOT ok. You can't say things like that." Afterward, I thought of all the times I'd heard her make other racial and ethnic slurs against many groups, and though I didn't contribute and was very uncomfortable, I didn't say anything at all. My experience changed my attitude. It isn't easy to speak up. I'm shy, avoid confrontation, and often freeze up in the moment. I won't lie and say it's easy to speak up, but I know it's important, so now I make a concerted effort to say something. Some of the comments here have given me more ideas of how to handle such a situation in the future.

(156) Steve Wenick, May 26, 2013 2:50 PM

Anti-Semitism is a part of life.

We will not eradicate anti-Semitism in our generation to believe otherwise is delusional. However that does not relieve us of the obligation to work toward its obliteration. One way to do that is to grow a backbone and do not let anti-Semitic remarks go unchallenged even when if those remarks unfortunately come from some misguided members of our tribe.

(155) Lili, July 20, 2012 4:06 AM


I feel the biggest challang is still being respectful and leaving a good imppersion of Jews and at a same time being able to answer back.

(154) Ron Kocinski, February 13, 2012 11:40 PM

Don't be a turtle

I thought this would be easy to write because of my convictions about antisemitism and stereotyping in general but there is so much to cover and I don't want to sound like I'm pontificating. First I am not Jewish but since marrying my wife Shashanna I consider myself to be. I readily condem any antisemetic or other ethnic jokes or slurs as they happen with a comment like " I'm uncomfortable with what you've just said." or "Man that's really hurtful and I'll tell you why. If you're interested?" By reacting in this manner I'm not being aggressive, just assertive. Why does this scenario come up in the first place? In most cases it's a learned attitude created by relatives who have learned it from thier relatives etc. or it's plain ignorance. Since 1985 my wife ,a Clinical Psychologist and author, co-directed a successful Organizational Development Consultancy. Steryotyping is bad enough but falling into or accepting that steryotype is self denegrating. Social Loafing, that was originally thought of as Bystander Apathy, refers to a situation where a group of people are faced with a decision but all hesitate action and look to one another for Social Proof.i.e. They are thinking "What should I do and why doesn't somebody do something?" Suddenly and hopefully one of the group takes on the roll of the Change Agent and gives individual roles and instructions to the group. Okay, hope you get my drift and be a change agent.

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