Friday, August 10, 2007

I was going to blog against racism

But I got my vituperitiveness out yesterday yelling at J3t B1ue and I have nothing left.

So I pulled weeds in the garden and scrubbed my shower and tried to get a head of steam up to blog against racism. But I haven't got it.

So I'll tell you a story that my aunt Lillian told me. I think it was Aunt Lillian, it might have been Aunt Esther.

Esther and Lillian were Grandpa Professor Emeritus's younger sisters. They both died several years ago.

Anyway, Aunt Esther (or Lillian) was a dark-skinned Russian Jewish woman. That side of the family comes from the Ukraine. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that this story was told to me by Esther. For a few years in the 20's and 30's, my grandfather's family lived in southern Virginia. Esther, being dark skinned and having a somewhat flattish nose, was unable to "pass" as white. She looked "colored" and she was treated as colored. To the family, this was nothing new. They'd fled from Russia to escape the pogroms, after all. The only difference to them was that this time it wasn't their religion that was being reviled. Not that they practiced Judaism. Grandpa's father was a devout Atheist.

When they all moved back up to New York, they joined the great big community of Russian Jewish emigrants where they were all accepted and blended in, but Esther never forgot (and made sure we never forgot) that to racists and anti-semites, it doesn't matter who you are, what matters is how you are perceived.

5 comments:

Yankee T said...

Amen.

ccw said...

So true.

hamiam said...

yup...that concept applies re: sexism and ageism too..

purple_kangaroo said...

(o)

Andrea said...

Yes.