The Jews-are-weighed-down-by-gold incident

20 Oct

So to continue on from the theme of my last post, the racism I stumbled upon was a bit closer to home this time: a nice, juicy bit of antisemitism, nicely wrapped up in a jokey banter, at our local Irish pub last night.

We were celebrating my nephew-by-marriage’s birthday, so we were a group of six, some looking obviously Jewish (kippah etc). As we were sitting at an outside table drinking and making merry, we got into conversation with a few of the other punters, including the doorman.

We all happened to notice a driver nearby doing an appalling job at reverse parking, going in and out of a reasonably sized space endless times. Of course someone said, oh must be a woman driver, but happily for us women, it was a man.

My (Jewish) sister-in-law said as a joke, bet that guy’s Jewish, because Jews are terrible drivers. And we all laughed merrily.

So far so innocuous.

But this comment apparently turned on the doorman, who must have had just a wee chip on his shoulder about Jews, who proceeded to launch into an extraordinary, yet surprisingly good-natured, rant-banter about us Jews, taking in along his way an impressive array of the most hackneyed of antisemitic themes.

The weird thing about it was that he wasn’t trying to be horrible, I mean, he definitely knew we were all Jewish. I think he even thought he was being funny.

The weird thing for us sitting there transfixed as he warmed to his theme was that none of us were laughing any more.

For your erudition and delight, here’s an entirely non-verbatim rendering of his rant:

Yeah, and all those Jewish drivers they’re the worst they can’t drive they have no idea how to park they’re awful  they block up the roads Yeah, those old Jewish women drivers, they’re everywhere they’re the worst drivers by far they drive in the middle of the road and you know why they’re such bad drivers it’s probably because of all that GOLD weighing them down (ha ha ha) Yeah, those old Jewish women they’re so rich they wear all this GOLD and it probably weighs them down (ha ha ha) Yeah, and haven’t you noticed how all those rich Jewish women, they always drive Mercedes, what’s that about, aren’t they put off driving Mercedes because of the Germans and what they did to the Jews Apparently not because they all drive Mercedes.

Right, must be off now, have to leave extra early to get to my appointment on time, all that gold weighing me down does slow me down rather.

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3 Responses to “The Jews-are-weighed-down-by-gold incident”

  1. Aliza October 21, 2010 at 10:57 #

    Sometimes all I need to say is “I’m Jewish” or “I’m Hispanic” and that’s enough to send someone into an anti-Semitic or racist rant. It’s like their mouth starts going before their head even connects to what the mouth is saying and they can’t help themselves. Even if they start apologizing when they’re done, my mouth just gapes open in surprise the whole time.

  2. Elle October 22, 2010 at 05:02 #

    Yes, that is the on-going anti-Semitic mind of Europe exported to the US? And some Irish -was he?- are a bit rough on the edges.

    He needs to know that Western Europe is Judeo-Christian, and it is time to stop the catholic (Republic of Ireland? Was he?)religious war at its roots, which strangely enough I did not notice towards other religion.

    Or the poor bloke only repeats what he heard, without being able to analyse this recurrent, injustified, unfair and racist comment about economics (by the way, my friends working in the kibbutz are poor amongts many others all over the world).
    I am back Reb.

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