This isn’t racism

There is a story that Sylvain Sylvain liked to tell about his arrival in New York City. He was Sylvain Mizrahi then, a seven-year-old Syrian Jew whose family had fled Egypt for the US during the Suez crisis. “I was probably one of the last immigrants to sail into New York harbour to be greeted by the Statue of Liberty,” he recalled. “I would be standing there in my fucking brown shoes and people would say, ‘You speak English?’ I’d say no. They’d say, ‘Fuck you.’ The first words I learned when I got off the boat were ‘fuck you.’”

On one level, it’s a grim story about racism.

Well, the Egyptian bit is of course, but not the New York bit. That’s just New York being New York.

How unlike The Guardian to entirely misunderstand the world, eh?

22 thoughts on “This isn’t racism”

  1. And it’s clear from his subsequent life that this racism prevented him from achieving anything.

    Just as the rampant all-pervasive racism by whites against other races in the USA prevents any African American from ever becoming a wealthy sports or music star or ever having a chance to achieve high office such as becoming President of the country.

  2. “The first words I learned when I got off the boat were ‘fuck you.’”

    Trouble with New Yorkers. They’re far too accommodating. In London he would have got “Fuck off”

  3. Wiki:-

    “As of November 2019 there are no known Jews remaining in the country (Syria)”

    To use the G’s own words – it’s a grim story about racism. Real racism.

  4. @ John Lewis

    “In Latvia, not a single Jew is left”

    “That is the very best thing I have heard about Latvia”

    From “Conspiracy” a film about the 1942 Wannsee Conference where the “final solution to the problem of the Jews” was decided by the Nazis.

    As you imply, there’s ‘micro-aggression’ racism and ‘gas them’ racism and we seem to have lost sight of the difference.

  5. The old joke is that there’s a solitary Jew in Aberdeen, but he’s unable to make enough money to leave because he’s surrounded by Scotsmen

  6. The line right at the end of Conspiracy always makes me laugh. Eichmann is listening to a Schubert record that Heydrich has brought and says
    “I have never understood the passion for Schubert’s sentimental Viennese shit.”

  7. I’ve been living in New York for half of my life now.

    “Fuck you” is simply how they say hello here. Also means goodbye. It’s their version of “aloha,” basically.

  8. Andrew C,

    “As you imply, there’s ‘micro-aggression’ racism and ‘gas them’ racism and we seem to have lost sight of the difference.”

    I think identity politics fits into Ronald Reagan’s thing about subsidies, where a government intervenes and props something up soon after it is becoming a minority sport and on its way out.

    Like the big shift towards more wokism feels like it got bigger after the foundation of the EHRC in 2006. But out in the real world, racism was about dead. You’d even struggle to find a racist nan, which was pretty common in the 1980s.

    Like, wokism barely affects me at all. I go to work in places which are a mix of white guys and Indians, and people get on. No-one sends me on a diversity workshop or cares about microaggressions because people in business try and get on.

  9. By coincidence just reading James Holland up to where he writes about a polish airman fresh off the boat (a polish collier) in 1940/

    “…..constantly at cross purposes. Jan knew yes and no but that was the limit of his English. A friend of his was asked whether he had VD. The Pole had no idea what was being asked, but the Doctor looked very solemn. ‘So he took a chance’ noted Jan,’answered yes and was promptly hauled off for a vigorous massage of the prostrate which left him white with rage.”

  10. Ottokring,

    Ever seen the “Smith and Jones” skit about German generals?

    “I am General Gruber. As you can see, I am the Nazi general who is always being fitted for a new uniform. I enjoy the company of beautiful women, while listening to classical music with my eyes shut. I am also the Nazi general who says “You see, Captain, we are not all barbarians.””

    “I am Schtum, the Nazi general with a mean streak to my character. You will find that I am always removing my gloves, like so. I disapprove of other generals being measured for new uniforms. And I am always the one who is winding up the telephone and shouting “Get me the Führer!“”

    “Gentlemen, allow me to introduce myself. General von Dunkel. I am the slightly pervy general. And I may also be a little bit gay. Heil Hitler! [salutes] As you can see I have a twitch. And I am always dabbing my mouth with a handkerchief, because I have no lips.”

    “I am Kessler. I am the easy-going general who does not need to salute properly. [All]: Heil Hitler! [Kessler, barely salutes] Ja, ja… You will notice my ludicrous scar, and my obvious limp. I also have spent many happy years in London before the War. The reason for my uniform being a slightly different colour to yours is never explained.”

  11. Re: Steve Yes, New York City is famously racist against Jews

    Actually there has been a significant spike in hate crime against Jews in NY in the last couple of years.

    However, as Its almost exclusively black youths indulging in it, its never mentioned.

  12. Flubber, very true.

    Although, it’s pretty much every facet of the far-left engaging in and justifying anti-Semitic attacks in New York. So this includes white private school socialists as well as conspiracy theorists in various ethnic circles. I’ve even seen some of this behavior among certain (not all) people in labor unions.

    Some people will do anything to avoid just getting along like adults, I guess.

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