Jewish is the New [insert nonexistent color here]

of all the aspects of african-american culture that black jews have at their disposal to integrate into judaism, why is it that the only one they seem to assimilate with little to no difficulty is the “uncle tom/aunt jemima/magical negro” paradigm?

you know what im talking about. those 30-40 year old grown black jewish men and women who run around with their teenaged white jewish “best friends”. the black jews who apparently come from some bizarro world where we roam the plains not unlike the wild buffaloes of yore, b/c when they see your black jewish @ss they look straight through you like you’re nothing special. or better yet, they try not to see you at all. even if youre the only two black people in the room. and everyone in their circle of all-white friends [who just adore their token ethnic acquisition] is pointing at you. then there are the ones who make painstakingly deliberate measures to seem as un-black as possible. [this includes but is not limited to shunning any and every form of music that black ppl have even looked at, let alone influenced, affecting a general ignorance of even the most publicly acknowledged of urban slang, playing the general yes-man  most especially and voraciously in cases critical of matters of or pertaining to african/caribbean peoples and/or their culture, the claiming of the most minute non-african portion of your dna as the determinant of your ethnicity, the declaration of “not seeing color/color doesn’t matter” in social or romantic situations which curiously only seems to apply when the person in question is not black, and professing a deep-seated hatred for “spicy” foods, affirmative action, fried chicken and red kool-aid]. then there’s the variant black jew. the one with “only one” syndrome.  this one shuns other black jews so he can tell his tale of woe and oppression alone.  apparently suffering isn’t very unique if there’s another guy with the same story. although i guess it is harder to be a martyr if you’re banding together with like-minded people with a common goal in mind. i mean, if change comes you might have to share the credit, G-d forbid…

a friend of mine once approached a black jew with skin as dark if not darker than my own shade of sexy milk-chocolate, and asked if he would be interested in partaking in a project showcasing jews of color. his response? [well, aside from saying “im not black. im a moor”?]

“ ill do it if you can tell me what a jew of color is.”

if i can–? motherf*cker, can you pass a paper bag test?  no? then congratulations. you’re a jew of color. and a field negro.

why my black jews?? why? why all the self-hate? do you think you’re not getting enough hate already as a black jew that you feel you need to double up? you do realize that being black and jewish is like being black with some more black added on, right? that if we happen to run across the klan they’re likely to lynch us twice?

now i realize that some of you get caught up at the conversion stage. ive heard more than twice about rabbis telling  black converts “you don’t have to worry about being black anymore b/c you’re jewish now”.

um, what?

more importantly, did you fill everyone else in? b/c im pretty sure when “black convert a” is walking down the street ppl aren’t thinking “my word, that jew has dark skin.” im reasonably sure they’re saying “why is that nigga dressed funny?”

 just sayin. if judaism had that magical power, im pretty sure michael jackson, bryant gumble, and larry elder would’ve just jumped in a mikveh and called it a day.

so please, my black jews, maybe you want to consider identifying with where you came from both jewishly and ethnically. yknow, maybe cut it down to only some ppl laughing at you. instead of everyone.

[incidentally, for those who think they are exempt from said public service announcement, feel free to replace “black” with “non-white ethnicity of choice”. if the shoe then fits, please proceed to kick yourself in the @ss and go find some damn self-respect.]


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11 thoughts on “Jewish is the New [insert nonexistent color here]

  1. LMAO!!!! Your wit, insight, and sharp candor is excellent and on-point. Well done, Manishtana. Much respect.

    Your blog’s subtitle is FAWSOME.(Thank you for introducing me to this word. It is now a part of my vocabulary.) Really, I love it. I can’t wait to read more. Please keep me posted brother.


  2. OMG. OMG. This has got to be the most HILARIOUS thing I have read in ages. I am sending a link to this article to EVERYONE I know!

    Well done, Manish. Heh. I said, “Manish.”

    : )


  3. Just wanted to introduce myself, I’ve been sorta lurking here and really enjoy your take no $&*% posts. And hopefully I’ll be able to quantify the things you’ve made me think about (in a good way).

    Here you’ve got an excellent point, truth is it’s an idealistic view that ‘jumping in the mikvah’ changes everything and someone should remind pp that the Jewish community can be racist especially among their own. (Is your hat black enough, your skirt boxy enough…)

    That said, the idealistic view of ‘our inside philosophy should count more then our exterior color’ is need if we’re going to ever attain a world where in actuality, color doesn’t matter–beyond the traditions that can contribute to society. A sort of verbalizing of what you wish to attain.

    And to cut pp slack, it is hard at the best of times to be Jewish, having an added divider of racial profiling that our culture puts up, it’s gotta be rough on pp. And not everyone can have the strength that is so evident in all your posts.

    But yeah, someone needs to say what you said, and I sure as heck can’t do that.



    1. oh i agree, the inside philosophy SHOULD count more than the exterior…but we cant ignore that we live in a world that judges by the exterior…but we should ignore the exterior and focus on what matters…but not forget that others wont do that and just us by the exterior…

      its a vicious cycle.


  4. “…being black and jewish is like being black with some more black added on, right?”

    I just wanted to say, that was hilarious!!! I’m a South American (non-white) Jew and I COMPLETELY understand how frustrating it is when another Jew tries to disassociate their ethnic heritage. I love how you can say it in a way that makes a frustrating truth funny.


  5. That was a a thing of beauty. As a a Jewtina (Jewricua to be exact), I’m sure you aren’t surprised at how often I hear “Oh, you consider yourself and your daughter latina?”.


    Your rant was spectacular. Thank you a million times over.


  6. I got here first by way of Aliza Hausman’s link to the Shvartza lesson. Now I’m reading through everything and loving it. Keep on telling it like it is. Despite (or because of?) being the palest of the Ashkenazim, I’m loving the chiding, the rants, the forthrightness, and the thinking behind your posts.


  7. DI-TTO! That was SO funny I couldn’t stop laughing!!!!!!!! But you still get the point RIGHT across, at least to me and everyone who commented!! I seriously LOVE your posts!!!


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