Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I checked out a book from the library: "Black, White, Other - Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity" I was actually perusing the Jewish books when I came across it.
It made me think a lot.
What does it mean to have a racial identity? These people had some very interesting things to say. Some of them looked totally white, yet self-identified as black. How does that work?
If you asked me to use only one adjective to describe myself, I would say "Jew." It is the very essence of my being. I never thought of myself in terms of color. Would I identify more with my color if I was a racial minority?
I know this girl who has a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. She thinks she's Jewish. According to Jewish law, she is not. What if someone said to her; "Hey, I know you think you're Jewish, but..." How would that make her feel? She has built a large part of her identity around her "Jewishness." That means her whole self-concept is false!
If someone told me I wasn't really a Jew, I'd want to die - or else I'd be in therapy for the rest of my life. Dying would probably be cheaper.