As someone who looks up to African Americans, I feel the concept of POC has hurt the black community.


An African American  friend on Facebook challenged his readers to say they would choose a black skin despite the racist heritage that afflicts anyone who looks like an African American.

I answered “YES!”

I would easily choose to have a black skin because I look up to the African American community for its achievements and courage.  In fact, as a Jew, one reason I often wear a kippa is that I want others to know my identity.  If I were black I would have no choice except that folks would assume I was “black but not a Jew.”

This obsession with skin color disgusts me.   I have gotten angry when the University has posted meetings for faculty “of color” as if something unites the brahmin professor of Physics, Korean bioengineer, and Bahamian economist with faculty from any of America’s traditional minorities. Frankly, many of these faculty of color show exactly the sense of privilege they criticize “white” faculty for.

“Colored” peoples who come to the US as immigrants from upper classes are doing very well. Americans from India, Bangladesh, the Caribbean, Korea, Bahamas, Cuba are at the top of achievement in our society.  My African American friends are very aware that Barack Obama’s dad was a Kenyan who was ij the US to  working on his PhD in economics at Harvard.   Kamala Harris’ mom was Hindu and her dad is an economist whose parents came from the Bahamas.   Jews, Italians, and Irish were treated to racist bigotry for most of American history. Racism is not necessarily about skin color.

  As a Jew I still feel that accepting the word “white”  means passing for something I am not.

Years ago I was appointed to a UW council for faculty minorities.  If I go by skin color, our panel was chaired by a white man … a Cherokee from Oklahoma.  The panel included another white man with a hispanic last name as well as a Japanese man, a Korean man, and. I think, a brownish muslim.  Then, beside myself, there was another guy .. an African American.  We tried hard to get the UW to take on issues affecting African Americans, especially the way athletes are treated and the lack of recruitment by the UW of highly achieving black students.  We even used our academic skills to get this panel to pass motions asking the UW administration to take some specific actions .. pairing with an elite African American university the way the UW does with schools in China or Saudi Arabia or  forcing the Athletic Department to assure that academic achievement was given as a much weight as ability to get a ball through a hoop.  The result was that the UW closed the committee and somehow expunged the motions we had passed.

I am certain that this racist behavior by the UW was not about skin color.  It was about race … the “social construct” that somehow defines a Jew, a Gypsy, a Cherokee or a Cuban as part of a lesser class. American racism was not and is not really about color.  Nor is racism unique to the US.  Our racism is the same racism that discriminates against the lower castes in India, against Gypsies in Europe, Koreans in Japan, Muslims in Myanamar.

Racism is always evil, regardless of skin color.  Worse, by defining the problem in terms of skin color, it becomes all to easy to ignore the achievements of African Americans.  So, yes I would be proud to have a black skin as long as it was OK to wear my kippa!

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  1. Mr. Poopy Pants #

    You ignoramus, Obama senior is from Kenya, not Ghana. He also did not have a PhD.

  2. theaveeditor #

    Good catch Poopy Pants. I corrected the post.

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