Barring the threat of racism, persecution and execution, I fail to understand why anyone would wish (or pretend) to be a different race than they are. I also fail to understand how people of my age group (or younger) who were born in America to American parents can claim to have been personally affected by the Holocaust (especially when said people aren't even of the racial background to have had family members who would have been taken to the camps).
Likely, you're curious what the hell I am blabbering about, so I'll provide some insight. Below is an excerpt from a friend's journal that I read this morning. There are comments, as well, from myself and others. Her entry is about her philosophy on debate and which topics she feels are not appropriate to discuss. While I agree with what she is saying, her argument about why she won't discuss one of those topics really got under my skin...
First off, while she is in fact (part) Native American, she is not
Jewish, by religion or ethnicity. I assume that throwing in the word 'Jew' is supposed to give more weight to her argument as to why she won't debate in favor of genocide, though I think most of the population (from various backgrounds) feels the same way, so I don't see how it was necessary. It's as if the Native American genocide isn't enough, so let's throw in some Holocaust 'keywords', no matter their inaccuracy. Nevermind those who actually are
Jewish and actually did
lose family in (or themselves survived) the Holocaust. I'm sure they won't mind her putting on her little 'Jew' costume and ranting about everything she's had to endure by *not* being Jewish. I'm sure they won't see that as disrespectful at all.. and while we're on that subject, I'd love to know, what 'dead relatives' on the Native American side she was close to that this affected her so profoundly, considering the Trail of Tears happened in 1838? That's nearly 170 years ago. While I understand that people (even those who have no ethnic or historical connection) are saddened and disturbed by these events, it seems more than a bit over the top to be claiming a personal connection to relatives you (or your parents) never knew. Being Romani, I'm sure I have relatives who died in concentration camps, but I don't go on about that as if it has had some sort of profound affect on my life. I mean, let's get real here.. in this day and age, when you're born in America, to parents who are American citizens, you've led a sheltered and privileged life compared to your ancestors of 150+ years ago. Hell, even today Romanies still face racism, persecution, hatred and forced sterilization. The average caucasian American citizen has very little knowledge or connection with this kind of brutality. You can read a book about the Holocaust or the Native American genocide and be disgusted by what happened, but the reality is that most of us are going to go about our day, sending text messages, bitching about traffic, never really taking in how fortunate we are. It's like a bad dream.. the problem is, it isn't one. It actually happened, to millions of people, and in the case of WW2, there are still people alive today who do understand what it was like in those camps because they were in one themselves.
They survived the starvation, the daily beatings, the medical experiments, the gassing of their families, the freezing cold temperatures, the rampant disease, the ditches filled with bodies, the smell of burning flesh.. and, yet, people still have the nerve to say they 'wish [they] were Jewish' or 'wish [they] were Romani'. I say to those wishful thinkers, you wouldn't have felt that way if they were hauling you and your family off to be exterminated. You wouldn't feel that way if every time you closed your eyes you were back in the camps, waking up in a cold sweat every morning, having been 'liberated' in the flesh but in your mind never able to escape the terror of those memories. The truth is, you pompass, arrogant, ignorant jack ass, you wish you had an ounce of the courage these people had, and have, to face something worse than death. You wish you were anything but the insignificant little prick that you are... and when you say stupid shit like that, I wish you were, too.