Charmingly pretentious misfit based in the Middle West. Skilled taxidermist, crime fighter, and former Olsen Twin. Dislikes olives. Fluent in English, Pig Latin, and Esperanto. M.O.T. No trespassing.

  • October 18, 2014 2:44 pm
    Anonymous:  oh hey bee tee dubs–ashkenazi jews are not an ethnic minority, and you are not a person of color. you're white. you're straight-up white. and claiming to not identify as such is super racist. you're adorbs, though.

    Nope, sorry. 

    First of all, before I “you know nothing, Jon Snow” your ass on the Jewish front, let it just be established that my Dad is biracial, so even if I wasn’t 3/4 Ashkenazi, I wouldn’t be “straight-up white.” I’m part Desi, and you can’t erase that. 

    Secondly, Jews—be we Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi, Cochin, Beta Israel, etc.—are all part of a distinct ethnoreligious group that makes up less than 0.2% of the world’s population. This is not just my own personal perception; this has been well-established in the scientific community through genetic testing. 

    Basically, all Jews (with the exception of people who have converted) are Semitic peoples descended from the Hebrew peoples of the Levant region (again, this is all scientifically confirmed). In this rendering of Jesus, done by anthropologists at the University of Manchester, you can see how the average Jew would have looked in roughly 30 CE: 


    Surprise! It’s a brown dude! Because neither Jesus nor any Hebrew Israelites were white. 

    So what happened? Well, in 70 CE The Romans expelled the Jews from ancient Israel, and we were forced into what is known as the Jewish Diaspora. We subsequently scattered all over the world, and through centuries of forced assimilation and rape (have you ever wondered why Jewishness is only passed on through the mother? It’s because of how often Jewish women were raped), we came to break into sub-ethnicities based on where we currently located. Ashkenazim were in Germany and Eastern Europe, Sephardim were in Spain and Portugal, Mizrahim were in the Middle East and Northern Africa, the Cochin were in India, the Beta Israel were in Ethiopia, etc. We no longer all looked alike, however, we still remained bonded by both Judaism itself and our inherited DNA (many of us still possess common traits, even among the post-Diasporic divides). 

    A recently study of Ashkenazi genes specifically determined that “despite [Ashkenazim’s] close ties with Europe, no more than half [46%] of their DNA comes from ancient Europeans, the researchers found…the rest of the Ashkenazi genome comes from the Middle East.”

    Ergo, although most Ashkenazim appear to be white Europeans, our DNA tells a very different story (not even to mention that fact that we are still constantly racialised by gentiles—people love to tell me whether they think I do or do not “look Jewish” all the time). 

    Moreover, regardless of how Jews look and what part of the world we’ve lived in, we have been and continue to be “othered” by gentiles— particularly white ones—who have gone to great lengths to exclude white-passing Jews from the ranks of whiteness (there are certainly Jews of colour, including Ashkenazi Jews of colour, but you were obviously referring to white-passing Jews), through means of harassment, expulsion, and genocide. Of course, the Holocaust is the most obvious example of Jews being regarded as and killed for being non-white (I believe Hitler’s phrasing involved calling us unclean vermin who were a threat to the aryan race), but the Nazis were far from being the only group to persecute Ashkenazi Jews for being non-whites. In fact, the word “antisemitism” was coined in 1879 by writer and theorist Willhelm Marr, because he thought it sounded more “scientific” than “Judenhass” (Jew hate) and he really wanted to drive home the fact in his writings that we were non-white Middle Easterners.

    Ironically (given the current political climate), the European concept of Ashkenazi Jews being non-white Middle Easterners was so common that there are countless examples of Jews all over Europe being told by the majority to “Go back to Palestine” where they came from. Here is graffiti on the window of a Jewish-owned shop in Norway:


    It reads: “Palestine is calling. Jews are not tolerated in Norway.”

    In 1902, there was a march through the Jewish quarters of London, where protesters shouted “Go back to Jerusalem.” Most likely, these Jews had all come to the UK from Russia or Ukraine, but they were still seen as non-white Middle Easterners in the eyes of the white Britons. 

    I did some personal genealogy research over the Summer and found the immigration records for some of my family members. Here is the transcription of the record for my great-Aunt Rose (at the time, known as Ruchel): 


    Did you catch it?

    Race: Hebrew

    That’s right, even in America, Jews were long considered a separate race from whites. This isn’t some distant relative I’ve never met before. This is my grandmother’s sister, whose kitchen table I used to sit at while she baked mandel bread. This is the sister of my great-Aunt Sophie, who is currently 98 and still remembers when signs in front of hotels said “No Negroes, No Jews.” 

    Now, I realise that I look white to most people, and there is absolutely no denying that I am a beneficiary of the white privilege that exists in American society. That fact is absolutely NOT in dispute. However, I can and do identify as a white-passing beneficiary of white privilege rather than as a white person—not just because of my genetics, not just because of my history—but because a whole lot of white people have made it pretty damn clear to me over the years that I’m not one of them. I grew up in a somewhat conservative, predominantly white environment, and the number of kids and adults alike who acted like I lied to them upon learning I was Jewish was, in retrospect, kind of disturbing. 

    And while yes, I have privileges many people of colour do not have, I also don’t have the full range of white privilege, in that I don’t automatically make everybody’s “white person” list and therefore can’t walk through through certain places without wondering if I’m going to have my ass kicked if anybody “finds me out.” 

    White-looking Ashkenazi Jews are not exactly people of colour, and I never said we were. We live in a strange limbo in which we’re neither white enough for white, or non-white enough for non-white. However, we are an ethnic minority and we do have the right to identify as white-passing given our DNA, our history, and the way white people still regard us and treat us. 

    I appreciate your concern and I’m sure you meant this from a place of constructive social justice criticism, but you’re 100% wrong about Jewishness as an ethnicity, and hence, you’re identity policing an ethnic minority. That is super racist, so please stop.

    And yes, I am adorbs. Thanks for noticing. 

  • October 17, 2014 12:12 am

    anon, you make some good points (especially the last one) and I think in a few days when I’m ready, I will take some of your advice.

    I don’t agree with everything you said, and it wasn’t entirely clear to me what you were referring to in a few instances, but hey, fair enough. 

    However, one thing…

    If you think my posts are pretentious and “beat [you] over the head,” then might I say as unpretentiously as I possibly can: Dude, just unfollow me. Like, seriously, it’s your dash—keep it filled with things you like, and forget the rest. I’m not Verizon Wireless, you can cancel at any time 

  • October 14, 2014 5:38 pm

    You guys

    I appreciate the sweet messages. I really, really do. And it means a lot to me that so many of you would get in touch to offer a hug or a word of encouragement. 


    A person who I thought was my friend has come to horrible conclusions about me by way of both cultural erasure and the denial their own privilege. Despite the factors that make up my peoples’ history and present, I am not allowed to feel oppressed by something this person holds special, and ergo, any comparison I make between this special thing and another unfavourable event or act from history can only be exploitative and mean-spirited, thus making me responsible for “hate speech.” 

    A person I thought was my friend. 

    And this person is very likely your friend, too. And while you may support me one-on-one, I am not foolish enough to think anybody is going to actually tell this person they are the one who has committed an act of hate, and that I am owed an apology. And I am not foolish enough to think this person is going to be any less respected or admired or loved in this community.

    And I don’t know if I can deal with that.

    I don’t know if I can be part of a community where her perspective is deemed acceptable by my peers. I don’t know if I can handle what she said being ignorable or “ok”. 

    And that’s what I have to think about it.

  • 3:18 pm

    anindependentguinevere replied to your post: I quit.

    You okay?

    Not really. 

    I’m tired of being reminded that my acceptance as an ethnic minority in this community is conditional upon not reminding my oppressors of their privilege because doing so “hurts their feelings.” 

    I’m tired of having the people in a position of supremacy repeatedly deny me the right to define my own narratives and cultural experiences. 

    It’s funny…I finally reached 1,000 Tumblr followers the other day. I know a lot of you have more, but to me, it felt like a nice little milestone. Yet all it took was one strategic unfollow to make me question my place in this community. 

    I obviously have some choices to make. 

  • 12:28 pm
  • October 13, 2014 1:58 pm
    Or, to put it in chart form… View high resolution

    Or, to put it in chart form…

  • 12:26 pm

    Christopher Columbus is Coming to Town

    I realise I’m looking at this from an outsider perspective, but the more I think about the national fetishisation and sanitization of Christopher Columbus, the more I see colonial parallels with another cultural figure: Santa Claus.

    Let the children learn that in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. 
    Let them make little Santa Marias, Niñas, and Pintas out of popsicle sticks.
    Let them have a day off from school. 
    It’s a nice tradition. Come on, look how happy they are. 
    Don’t spoil it. Don’t upset them. 
    We can tell the truth about him when they’re older.

    I know, I know: Santa Claus is nice and cuddly and good! How could I compare the two? Well, it has a lot to do with the fact that, beyond the peppermint fetishization, in some European cultures, St. Nicholas arrives by boat from Spain with slaves in tow…

    Yes, that’s right; Santa (or Sinterklaas, most accurately) is a brazen colonialist. That sound you just heard was Santa Clause is Coming to Town being ruined for you forever.

  • 10:42 am
    Shove it in your sip hole. View high resolution

    Shove it in your sip hole.

  • October 10, 2014 6:08 pm


  • October 9, 2014 5:59 pm

    Me vs. “Craig”

    "Craig" is a guy in my grad program. I may have mentioned him before. He’s a perfectly nice, intelligent guy, but I cannot stand him. Here’s why: 

    This semester, Craig has… 

    1. Handed in *every single* assignment days earlier than everyone else.
    2. Done high quality work on all of the aforementioned assignments.
    3. Held down a full-time job in addition to being in school.
    4. Regularly trained for a marathon. 
    5. Canned fruits and vegetables every week…FOR FUN.
    6. Written comic book reviews for an online publication.
    7. Presented a poster at a conference. 
    8. Travelled with his partner. 

    Meanwhile, this semester, I have…

    1. Gotten really close to watching the Netflix movie that’s been on my coffee table since July. 



  • October 7, 2014 9:08 pm

    You know that moment

    just before you’re about to fall—after you’ve already failed to catch your balance—when the only thing you can do is think to yourself “Welp…I hope this one isn’t fatal”? 

    Anyway, ow.

  • 3:37 pm

    Am I supposed to be checking Ello?

    Because I have not been checking Ello.

  • 1:55 pm

    I Am Vengeance. I Am The Night. I Am...Jewish?

    So apparently DC just accidentally made Batman Jewish…


  • October 5, 2014 9:10 pm

    Sunday Soliloquy

    1. Pierrot had his first radiation session in Guelph on Friday. The treatments require anaesthesia, and the veterinarian staff were surprised because he started eating almost immediately after waking up. Meanwhile, I’m surprised he didn’t find a way to start eating while he was still asleep; I know that sounds like hyperbole, but I have literally seen Pierrot sleep-eat several times before.
    2. I totally gorged myself after breaking fast for Yom Kippur and did not throw up. I consider this a major victory. 
    3. I have a no-pumpkin until October rule. It’s October. Pumpkin tea it is, then! 
    4. I’m starting to wonder if I inadvertently close myself off to other people; that maybe I try so hard to seem independent that when I need help or support, people don’t really think I need it. In some ways, I hope that’s true, because if it’s not, it means that I’m just not very important to most of the people with whom I’m supposedly friends—and that idea makes me feel pretty goddamn shitty. 
    5. Once again, I have no idea what to be for Halloween. Once again, I also wish I didn’t care about dressing up for Halloween, because GODDAMMIT RACHEL YOU’RE A FUCKING ADULT. 

  • October 4, 2014 2:30 pm

    Twitter, Jezebel, Sustainable Farming, and Dr. Who:

    All things that were mentioned at Yom Kippur Services this morning.