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Mar 17, 2009

Jackie Mason defends his use fo "shvartze" (video)

Good 'ol Jackie Mason...

7 comments:

  1. I am married to a black gioret. My children are rather dark skinned, some slightly more, some less.

    So, I'm cognizant of certain things most people are not. The term shvartze-- to some degree it depends on the situation- HOW someone uses it, the inflection, the tone, the context, and so on, yet the word itself has accrued a derogatory ring to it.

    It's interesting, the difference in attitudes among different charedi communities. Actually, it occurred to me a few days ago that English speaking charedim may be worse in this regard, because in the States they tended to side with the conservative right and thereby tended to absorb some of the more prevalent racism in that camp. As far as native born Israeli charedim-- my wife and I have gotten a variety of responses. Once I was toiveling some kelim with my wife and a man actually had the chutzpah to ask me in from of her if she's OK, if she's Jewish, and then asked again whether the conversion was proper. On the other hand we've met many beautiful, fine people for whom the color issue really was a non-issue.

    The truth is, racism in klal Yisrael translates to sinat Yisrael and in practice leads to numerous very serious transgressions (loving the convert, not hurting a convert, not hurting a fellow Jew and so on) and is a prime factor delaying the geulah.

    Yes, there is an issue of free speech, but the fact is that the word shwartze does have a derogatory ring, and as such does not belong in the mouth of a Jew. The issue of free speech aside, Jackie Mason is encouraging use of the word, which will most likely lead to grave transgressions, rachamana litzlan.

    The lady in the video-- I understand her point, yet she is not familiar with the principles of taharat halashon, the dynamics of kol Yisrael arevim ze b'ze, the mitzvot of how to treat fellow Jews as well as converts...

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  2. In addition, I must add that I sense the lady in the video has never really felt the derogatory nature of the word. My wife just told me that it feels like being spit at.

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  3. I understand. Persoanlly I think shvartze has a slightly disparaging tone to it. But Masons point ans the womans point is that as a comedian they are calling everybody names, and it is humor, not out of racism.

    Does that make it right? I dont know.

    We also need to remember it is just a yiddish word for black. the old jews, like Mason, speak with yiddish in their english, and that is just the word they will often pick out naturally, often without any intent to be used as an insult.

    Personally,. I had a chavrusah for 2.5 years who was a black ger. he was the most serious chavrusah I ever had, and he was the most serious kollel guy I ever saw. He did not waste a minute of time - every moment was serious and intense learning.

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  4. The word is deragatory but the point is that if Chris Rock or other comedians can use derogatory words with impunity why can't Jackie mason. The answer because he is white, that is real racism.

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  5. When my grandmother uses "Schvartzer", she isn't using it to be racist. When my cousin uses it, he is sometimes using it to be racist. I speak English and Hebrew and a little German and a tiny bit of Italian. When I speak English, I use "black" or if there is a situation that requires political correctness, I use "African American" (which is silly because many of the blacks around here are Haitian-American or Jamaican-American, and my black brother-in-law is Yemenite-Israeli, so African-American really doesn't fit very well for many people).

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  6. And if ever I have to occasion to be required to use the word black in Germany or Austria (I can't imagine that need will ever come up, but who knows), I might use "schvartzer", but wouldn't be comfortable with it, and might instead use something stupid like "ein mann mit schvartz haut" or something like that. I bet they would laugh at me.

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  7. i consistently hate bill o'reilly. he really is a racist biggot. i can't stand the guy. cracker....

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