Author Topic: so is 'jew' derogatory?  (Read 308 times)

chi_z

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so is 'jew' derogatory?
« on: March 07, 2010, 11:12:28 pm »
I hear lots of people say it in every day life (though not necessarily every day), with, to me at least, seemingly no racial connotations or tones of spite. The other day at school this kid was asking what month it was, he's a real dunce as you can tell(yes he was being serious, he did not know the month). He though that march was the first month of the year. I said to him: "Are you a Jew or something, how could you not know the first month of the year?" To which he replied, 'wow that's a really racist thing to say, and no I'm not Jewish." I then had to explain that Jews, or Jewish people, use a completely different calendar than gregorian, and their new year is in the equivalent of gregorian september.

So was it a 'racist' thing for me to say? I didn't mean it in a derogatory manner at all, just a pointing out of facts. I'm no anti-semite by any means. So really, is "jew' derogatory or just another way of saying jew-ish?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 11:14:06 pm by chi_z »

KebreI

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Re: so is 'jew' derogatory?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 12:06:31 am »
 :picardno

tushantin

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Re: so is 'jew' derogatory?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 03:50:15 am »
Throughout history there has been much hatred for the Jews and for various prejudiced reasons, be it from Christians, Adolf Hitler, Satanists or even Atheists; of course, most of the time it wasn't the fault of the Jews and they certainly didn't deserve such treatment.

But the concern remains that saying what you did actually multiplies those past wounds even further. Let's just say you didn't mean something and you certainly didn't say it, but HOW you did it, if you know what I'm talking about.

If you don't, then here's the short: you made it sound like you were implying at "Jews" being something negative, even if you didn't mean it. After all, the person at the other end didn't think about the calenders thus he didn't see the possibility of your meaning. If you were to phrase the sentence properly he'd see your point.

V_Translanka

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Re: so is 'jew' derogatory?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 09:12:34 am »
I think it's only derogatory if you think it's racist...or something...>_>

Lord J Esq

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Re: so is 'jew' derogatory?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 10:28:50 pm »
I hear lots of people say it in every day life (though not necessarily every day), with, to me at least, seemingly no racial connotations or tones of spite. The other day at school this kid was asking what month it was, he's a real dunce as you can tell(yes he was being serious, he did not know the month). He though that march was the first month of the year. I said to him: "Are you a Jew or something, how could you not know the first month of the year?" To which he replied, 'wow that's a really racist thing to say, and no I'm not Jewish." I then had to explain that Jews, or Jewish people, use a completely different calendar than gregorian, and their new year is in the equivalent of gregorian september.

So was it a 'racist' thing for me to say? I didn't mean it in a derogatory manner at all, just a pointing out of facts. I'm no anti-semite by any means. So really, is "jew' derogatory or just another way of saying jew-ish?

The invocation of an outsider culture to disparage an individual through comparison is always at risk of taking on bigoted connotations. That's especially true with minorities and historically persecuted groups. The word "Jew" is not inherently derogatory, but your usage of it certainly was--and I say "certainly" because of the fact that your rationale doesn't hold up to the light. Your profile says you live in Illinois. There is not a Jew in America who does not know that January is the first month of the year on the Gregorian calendar. There might not be any Jews in the whole world who don't know that, if you exclude the mentally handicapped and those who are too young to understand. Your implication to the contrary is ill-considered and thus your usage is at extreme risk of bigotry.