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Being ‘White’ Was Fun While It Lasted


Well, we had a great run there. It was probably too good to last forever – downright ahistorical, when you come right down to it. But someday in the future, as we huddle together for safety, we’ll tell our children tales of that brief shining moment when we Jews were white.

I like to think that we handled it with class while it lasted, that we weren’t snotty about it. We said all the right things about how blacks and Hispanics and all the rest ought to be treated as equals, how no one is free until everyone is free, and so forth.

And I’m not gonna lie – it was nice. Really nice. Like flying first class after a lifetime in coach – all that room; that service; that exclusivity; that hot wet face towel because why the hell not. It’s not that being white means people are throwing money at you or anything gauche like that. It’s just so unharried. So smooth. So easy and natural.

But the good times don’t last forever. And we’ve got a lot of adjustments to make. All these other groups we’re gonna be fighting for the leftover scraps – they’re battle-tested, they’ve still got their street smarts. Us, we’ve gone soft, getting into all the best neighborhoods, the best schools, best jobs.

And look, progressive parenting styles and fair-trade organic foods aren’t really gonna cut it when our kids have to face down anti-Semitic street gangs. Tough love is going to be making a big comeback. And possibly the funny pointed hats, we don’t know.

Still, before we say good-bye to white privilege, let’s all take a moment to remember how delightful it’s been – how lightly it sat on our shoulders, like a birthright. How the world’s problems parted before us like the Red Sea.

I’m not bitter. And I’m not mad at white America – the real ones. They brought us in, showed us around, let us feel like we really belonged. Of course we didn’t really. But for a glorious instant, it felt like we did.


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