This is in response to Tim Wise’s post, Responding to a Young Reactionary: White Privilege, Judaism, and the Making of Sloppy Analogies, which is in response to my original post in this thread, What About Jewish Privilege?
Dear Timothy Jacob Wise,
First, allow me to thank you for taking the time to respond. Second, thank you for addressing my arguments directly and responding, more or less, to all of the points I made. Last and certainly not least, thank you to pointing out to the readership base of your website that I am not a White Nationalist, yet a Shiite Muslim before anything else, followed by a belief in American nationalism which is transracial and transreligious.
But much of your response is sophistry, especially your claiming that I accused you of being a Zionist. From the tone of your article, it is clear that you assume me to believe each and every Jew, including yourself, is a participant in a vast conspiracy to subjugate gentiles. I am fully aware that this notion of a vast conspiracy involving millions of people is infantile and not worthy of serious consideration. I made this very clear in my letter at several points, pointing out that I fully respect various Jewish groups who are anti-Zionist, rather they be extremely liberal, as in the case of Chomsky, Finkelstein, Atzmon, and the like, and the extremely conservative like the Nutrea Karta and Satmar. They believe that any attempt to establish “Zion” on earth short of supernatural intervention is heresy.
Furthermore, many remnant Ultra-Orthodox communities believe it is heresy to rebel against any nation and to bring harm to gentiles. Especially, as a Shiite Muslim and a Traditionalist, I respect the spirituality of Jewish Orthodoxy, for as a Muslim, I recognize that Jews are followers of the same Prophets (Peace be upon them all) as we are. Jews, together with Christians, are who the Quran and the Prophetic Sunna refers to as “the people of the book,” those who believe in the scriptures which God has revealed a portion of his Light.
On top of this, you ignore the fact that I applauded your anti-Zionist stance, instead, you tout your own credentials as an advocate for Palestine and opposition to Israel and Zionism, as if I charged you with being a supporter of the mass-murder of Palestinians. What you have done here, in your letter, is build up a straw man for you to knock down. Presumably, you didn’t want to address the fact that I specifically denied anti-Semitism, and gave you the respect you deserve for opposing the supremacist state of Israel.
I think I know why you made this clever omission. It sets you up to refute a much easier thesis, which is that the “Jews” maliciously control the world from behind closed doors, rather then what I was actually arguing. What I argue is that using the very same analytical methods that academics use to argue for white privilege, patriarchy, and the like, one cannot ignore that there is in fact a Jewish privilege. How convenient you omit my respect for the noble aspects of the Jewish community from your letter as to let your audience think that I am a proponent of vulgar anti-Semitism.
Just as you do not believe that every white person meets at a convention to decide on how to best continue the subjugation of minorities, and every male doesn’t gather to decide on how to best perpetuate the patriarchy. I believe it is equally as preposterous to believe, even for a second, that there is a secret underground network of Jews running the world. Rather, for reasons explained and that will be explained further, Jews in the United States of America, have, by your own methodology, a distinct form of privilege that puts them higher in America’s social class system than other groups.
Perhaps you will counter by arguing that you did address my arguments point-by-point, and never openly state that I believed in a closed-door conspiracy. Namely, you spent about half of your paper demonstrating on how my arguments for a “quantitative” privilege fails to take into the account the methods in which said privileges are attained. If one cannot describe how these methods of control operate, then perhaps it is just a coincidence that said group enjoys superior status.
You complain that in pointing out the disparity in Jewish income, Jewish representation in Government, and Jewish representation in media, I have jumped from superior status to unfair privilege. Granted, the Jews who came to the United States were largely skilled laborers, who, through industriousness managed to acquire greater material wealth. Furthermore, secular American Jews, especially in comparison to poor whites, have fewer children, enabling them to receive, in your own words, a “head start” in terms of life in America. You also freely admit that Jewish influence is concentrated in Hollywood, and admit that the stereotypes employed against non-Jews, such as Blacks, Muslims, and Roma, are more harmful than the “Woody Allen” stereotypes. However, you qualify all of this by saying that there is nothing which uniquely puts Jews in a more “privileged” position then other groups who have higher then average median incomes, such as Anglicans and Hindus.
Perhaps the greatest sophistry of your paper is your treatment of my argument that the peculiar adoption of “dual-covenant” theology represents a form of Christian self-hate. You do not, in the slightest, respond to any of my arguments, you just simply accuse me assuming that a “Jewish neo-con” speaks for all Jews, and that his paper calling for the reductions in immigration to benefit the Jewish community as a whole was just an expression of his “personal prejudice.” At the end of the section, you simply ask “where the hell is the evidence that Christians have internalized self-hatred?”
What reveals the deceptiveness of your article Mr. Wise, is that you do not call Stephen Steinlight by name, nor do you link to his paper which I quote and link to entitled “The Jewish Stake in America’s changing Demography.” Are you afraid that if you let your audience know his name? If they googled him, they would find out that he was the head very much at the forefront on the American Jewish elites.
According to his biography at the Center for Immigration Studies website, he served for eight years as head of the American Jewish Committee, and for three years, served as the vice president of The National Conference of Christians and Jews. He also had spoken to literally “hundreds” of state legislatures, think tanks, and shared podiums with representatives in congress as well as presidential candidates. Certainly, his article cannot be divorced from Jewish privilege anymore than Robin Thicke’s song “blurred lines” can be divorced from systemic rape culture, or the death of Trayvon Martin can be divorced from “systematic racism.”
I am willing to give you benefit of the doubt that you didn’t bother to read Steinlight’s paper. Steinlight spells it out, in no uncertain terms, that Jews have a distinct advantage and privilege in America for a number of reasons. Number one, he admits that, as I explained before, Christians have been indoctrinated with a sense of shame that leads them to have an inferiority complex to Jews. You don’t believe me? Lets see what he says specifically in the section of his paper “Jews and Identity Politics.”
“I am also familiar with the classic, well-honed answer to this tension anytime this phenomenon is cited: Israel and America are both democracies; they share values; they have common strategic interests; loyalty to one cannot conceivably involve disloyalty to the other, etc., etc. All of which begs huge questions, including an American strategic agenda that extends far beyond Israel, and while it may be true in practice most of the time, is by no means an absolute construct, devoid of all sort of potential exceptions. I say all this merely to remind us that we cannot pretend we are only part of the solution when we are also part of the problem; we have no less difficult a balancing act between group loyalty and a wider sense of belonging to America. That America has largely tolerated this dual loyalty — we get a free pass, I suspect, largely over Christian guilt about the Holocaust — makes it no less a reality.”
Tim Wise, did you catch that little bit about “Christian guilt over the Holocaust?” How is this any different then the “black shame” felt by a great number of African Americans? Specifically, referring back to the parts of the paper quoted in my previous article, Steinlight comes right out and says that the reason why Latino Catholics and Muslims are untrustworthy groups of immigrants are due to the fact they do not hold an inferiority complex to Jews. So here, we already have established a mechanism by which Jews have established themselves in a privileged position, using the methods of “interfaith dialogue” and “ecumenicalism” to instill a sense of self-hate in the minds of Christians.
Furthermore, he states, specifically, that the gratuitous wealth of the Jewish community makes them key players in the American political arena. You don’t believe me? He specifically says that until campaign finance reform is complete, Jews will be in a position to manipulate the political process as they choose. Here, I will quote exactly what he says, so you know I am not paraphrasing it.
“Not that it is the case that our disproportionate political power (pound for pound the greatest of any ethnic/cultural group in America) will erode all at once, or even quickly. We will be able to hang on to it for perhaps a decade or two longer. Unless and until the triumph of campaign finance reform is complete, an extremely unlikely scenario, the great material wealth of the Jewish community will continue to give it significant advantages. We will continue to court and be courted by key figures in Congress. That power is exerted within the political system from the local to national levels through soft money, and especially the provision of out-of-state funds to candidates sympathetic to Israel, a high wall of church/state separation, and social liberalism combined with selective conservatism on criminal justice and welfare issues.”
So here, Stephen Steinlight has just spelled out in no uncertain terms, how Jews maintain their hegemonic power and their privilege over gentiles. The Jewish wealth, which you claim is not any more significant then the Anglican, Hindu, or Episcopalian communities, give them an edge any other cultural group in America. Again, these are his words, not mine. So here we have your mechanisms of translating advantage into privilege.
In the paragraph right after this one, he also mentions another method by which Jews maintain their power over government and gentile affairs, legendary Jewish voter participation, again I quote,
“Jewish voter participation also remains legendary; it is among the highest in the nation. Incredible as it sounds, in the recent presidential election more Jews voted in Los Angeles than Latinos. But should the naturalization of resident aliens begin to move more quickly in the next few years, a virtual certainty — and it should — then it is only a matter of time before the electoral power of Latinos, as well as that of others, overwhelms us.”
But wait, there’s more! We also have to deal with the issue of Jewish control over popular culture and media. He also mentions that Jewish privilege is also concentrated in Hollywood, the news industry, and television. Specifically, while having some reservations, he claims that MTV is a generous boon for the Jewish community. He credits MTV as an effectual weapon to use against Muslim immigrants whom he decrees to be especially problematic, saying, and I quote to the letter.
“Finally, I confess that I suspect that MTV, for better of for worse, will prove more powerful with young Muslim immigrants than the mullahs, and that the remarkable material and cultural attractiveness of American life will cause the new immigrants to follow (mostly) in the footsteps of their predecessors. Free of Old World constraints, most new arrivals will in time choose individual freedom over subservience to outworn forms and will opt for the rights of individual conscience over traditional sources of religious and political authority.”
On top of all these admissions to privilege, and his argument for using Jewish resources in government and media to maintain that privilege, he also admits to having an internalized superiority complex. He freely admits that he, like may other Jewish children of his generation, was raised as a “quasi-separatist” this was specifically in the context for him to have developed a notion of supremacy; being taught that gentiles were lowly and untrustworthy.
“I’ll confess it, at least: like thousands of other typical Jewish kids of my generation, I was reared as a Jewish nationalist, even a quasi-separatist. Every summer for two months for 10 formative years during my childhood and adolescence I attended Jewish summer camp …We were taught to view non-Jews as untrustworthy outsiders, people from whom sudden gusts of hatred might be anticipated, people less sensitive, intelligent, and moral than ourselves. We were also taught that the lesson of our dark history is that we could rely on no one.”
So here, Steinlight admits to undergoing a process in which he was taught the superiority of his people, and now, he is looking for ways to look out for the best interests of his people, to maintain the power and privilege of the Jewish community. So, contrary to your thesis Mr. Wise, that there is no mechanism of privilege, Steinlight has provided in detail an analysis into the methods by which Jews not only have privilege, but how they must utilize that power to hold onto it for as long as possible.
So Tim Wise, my simple question to you is this. What do you make of Stephen Steinlight’s paper? Did you deliberately ignore it because you knew that linking to it would disprove your thesis that there is no “mechanism” for which Jews accumulate power and privilege? If you didn’t bother to read the article and are just simply assuming this was a blogpost by some right-wing Jewish extremist hack, then what do you say now to Stephen Steinlight? What is your response to his thesis, supported by mountains of evidence, that Jews, in his own words, constitute “The most privileged and powerful of white Americans.” Furthermore, what do you make of that he advocates using this privilege that you deny exist to maintain this aforementioned power?