The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
NYT: How Philip Roth Taught Jews to Laugh at the Concept of "Jewish Privilege"
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

From the New York Times:

What Philip Roth Taught Me About Being an American Jew

By Taffy Brodesser-Akner
May 24, 2018

… Roth’s books answered the question of how all this Jewish education I was getting would translate into the real world, should I survive the ordeal of childhood. What did it mean to be Jewish in America? Were we supposed to convey pride in our religion and our culture? Were we the punch lines to a joke that was constantly being made? Were the jokes at least funny? And such small portions? Was being Jewish a bad thing? Were we proud? Were we embarrassed? Did we still have to watch our backs? How should a modern Jew behave in the world? How should a modern Jew assert his or her Jewishness? Were we white? You’re kidding yourself if you think we’re white! Do the goyim like us, or do they simply tolerate us? You’re kidding yourself if you think they tolerate us! How to act, how to assimilate but not too much, how to remind them about the Holocaust when they got uppity about Jewish privilege. How to not break into laughter when someone used the phrase “Jewish privilege.”

Really? Does anybody besides me use the term “Jewish privilege?” Where in the oeuvre of Philip Roth does the concept of “Jewish privilege” come up?

Offhand, all I can think of is his 1950s short story “Defender of the Faith,” in which Roth wrote about a Jewish Army sergeant on a stateside peacetime base having to deal with several goldbricking Jewish privates trying to get out of military duties by citing religious obligations. But that’s not what the few people who these days mention the almost nonexistent concept of “Jewish privilege” as being interestingly analogous to endlessly denounced “white privilege” are talking about.

This seems to have far more to do with the recent obsessions of Jewish media people than with the works of Philip Roth.

As for Roth purportedly taking a stand against the US Census’s assumption that Jews are white, once again … I don’t know. Presumably, somebody could point out the evidence from his works.

Perhaps this explains Roth’s amusing touchiness over Wikipedia’s assumption that his fine late novel The Human Stain was inspired in part by his booster Anatole Broyard, a dashing New York Times literary critic who didn’t like trying to explain his Louisiana Creole of Color background to New Yorkers, so he just let the rumor mill do the talking about his being part black.

The Human Stain is about a professor, who is assumed to be Jewish or Lebanese, who gets in trouble on the job for accidentally violating the strictures of political correctness about blacks. (Roth never followed Saul Bellow from liberalism into neoconservatism, but he was an ardent old-fashioned liberal defender of freedom of expression at home and abroad. For example, he worked hard to publicize Eastern European dissident writers behind the Iron Curtain.)

But the professor himself is secretly a mixed race black passing as white.

Angry at Wikipedia, Roth wrote a long piece for The New Yorker about how his character was completely modeled upon a Jewish professor friend of his named Melvin Tumin. But as I wrote in 2012:

In a 2008 interview Roth had asserted that The Human Stain wasn’t based on anyone, that he “knew Anatole slightly, and I didn’t know he was black.” But now Roth admits that way back in 1958, after throwing a football around on the beach with Broyard:

Before I left the beach that day, someone told me that Broyard was rumored to be an “octoroon.”…It’s not impossible that I had to look it up in the dictionary later to be sure of its precise meaning.

In other words, Roth first heard that his cool new acquaintance may have been passing 42 years before he published The Human Stain. And when he heard that gossip, Roth may have been intrigued enough to look up “octoroon.”

But Professor Tumin’s son confirmed for me that his Eastern European Jewish father had sometimes been rumored to be part black due to his swarthy skin tone, so Tumin rather than Broyard was in the front of Roth’s mind when he was writing The Human Stain.

But in any case, Roth did a good job of figuring out the daunting human mechanics of passing from black to white (whether Jewish or gentile) in a scene I found helpful in understanding the new DNA data showing how rare passing has been:

 
Hide 100 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. check out heartiste’s latest post about majority rights. here is quoting chris langan the smartest man alive. what do the jews have to say about majority rights?
    from

    https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/the-double-edged-sword-of-identity-politics/

    My view on identity politics is that it can be justified only if everyone of any ethnicity is entitled to participate, in which case it is necessary for all (because failing to assert it, as when White people of European ancestry fail to assert it lest they be branded as “racists”, means leaving oneself and one’s group defenseless against competition for resources and opportunity). Alternatively, lest any group be denied its identity while others assert their own, group identity must be equitably denied to everyone.

    Human identity is stratified, and thus has both individual and group levels. Accordingly, we can (and sometimes must) reason in terms of group identity. But when group self-identification is officially granted to some groups yet denied to others against which they compete, this can only result in imbalance and injustice. For example, when some overpopulating groups which have overtaxed their own resources by reproductive incontinence and homegrown oligarchy are allowed to migrate into the sovereign territories of worldwide ethnic minorities – e.g., people of European descent – and enjoy special “oppressed” status whereby they reap special benefits such as free food, free housing, free education, free healthcare, affirmative action, reproductive subsidies, and special treatment under the law, and are even credited with moral superiority due to their alleged “oppression”, this can result in the destruction of the national, cultural, and ethnic identity of the hosts, leading ultimately to their extinction. Incoming groups which assert their own collective identities while denying their hosts any reciprocal right of political group cohesion thus amount to noxious, invasive, and ultimately lethal socioeconomic parasites. Obviously, any governmental authority which enforces or encourages such asymmetry – e.g., the European Union – is illegitimate.

    Bear in mind that once we cease to treat individuals as individuals per se, thus allowing members of their respective groups to assert their ethnic, cultural, or religious (etc.) identities against their “oppressors”, their group properties and statistics are automatically opened to scrutiny and comparative analysis. For example, if after several generations of special treatment in the educational sphere (compulsory school integration, special programs, modifications of educational procedure, racially defined college admission preferences, etc.), a particular “oppressed” group fails as a whole to outgrow these measures, its members are no longer entitled to exemption from objective characterization in terms of associated group statistics; if one wants to enjoy the social benefits attending ethically loaded group-defined properties like “belonging to an oppressed group”, one must submit to rational policies formed on the basis of not just individual assessment, but empirically confirmed group-defined properties such as “belonging to a group exhibiting a relatively low mean IQ and a tendency to violently disrupt the educational environment”. Continuing to pursue racially parameterized measures of human worth and achievement can only lead to personal injustice, social degradation, and biological degeneration (because such measures inevitably supplant any rational form of social, economic, and reproductive selection).

    In short, identity politics should either be shut down immediately, or the majority populations of Europe and North America should be encouraged to assert their own ethnic and cultural identities and group interests with full force. Any governmental, academic, religious, or media authority which tries to prevent it is clearly unworthy of respect and obedience.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  2. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    Philip Roth ugh barf yuck. I read a couple of his books I couldn’t tell the difference between him and Erica Jung

    I’d rather read a Barbara Cartland novel than yet another Noo Yawk Jew writing about himself and his sex life or lack of.

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    “Roth never followed Saul Bellow from liberalism into neoconservatism, but he was an ardent old-fashioned liberal defender of freedom of expression at home and abroad.”

    Shouldn’t that “but” be a semicolon?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    , @AnotherDad
  4. And here I was thinking he was just a guy who wrote books about wanking.

  5. I didn’t realize/remember Roth wrote “Defender of the Faith.” It was on the reading list of some class or other I was taking while getting my BA in English 20-odd years ago.

    Had it not been assigned, I never would have read it, but I was impressed. Still, it will likely be the only Roth I ever read (unless that dude who did “Hostel” has something interesting to say).

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  6. syonredux says:

    Taffy Brodesser-Akner

    Taffy?

    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief;
    Taffy came to my house and stole a leg of beef;
    I went to Taffy’s house and Taffy was in bed;
    So I picked up the jerry pot and hit him on the head.
    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief;
    Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef;
    I went to Taffy’s house, Taffy wasn’t in;
    I jumped upon his Sunday hat and poked it with a pin.
    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a sham;
    Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of lamb;
    I went to Taffy’s house, Taffy was away,
    I stuffed his socks with sawdust and filled his shoes with clay.
    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a cheat,
    Taffy came to my house, and stole a piece of meat;
    I went to Taffy’s house, Taffy was not there,
    I hung his coat and trousers to roast before a fire.[2]

  7. Noah says:

    As I understand it, Jews in America assert their identity similarity with being black, despite their hardships historically (at least in America) involving not slavery or Jim Crow, but discrimination at a few ritzy golf country clubs. I like Steve’s comparison of Jewish Privilege and White Privilege. I think it invites a comparison of success rates and imprisonment rates between blacks and Jews. Isn’t that what a discussion of White Privilege always invites?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  8. I remember ‘Defender of the Faith.’

    Is the premise of that story that Jews don’t actually like each other very much?

    If so, it amounts to literary realpolitik.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  9. BB753 says:

    I still find it hard to believe that Broyard could pass for White.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @syonredux
    , @IHTG
  10. syonredux says:

    Taffy Brodesser-Akner (born Stephanie Akner) is an American journalist. She has worked freelance and as a contributor for GQ and The New York Times, where she is now a staff writer. Her profiles of celebrities have won her the New York Press Club Award and Mirror Award.

    Born Stephanie Akner, Brodesser-Akner received the nickname “Taffy” at a young age and continued using it professionally.[2] She grew up in Huntington, New York,[1] in an Orthodox Jewish household[3] and married Claude Brodesser in 2006. Brodesser converted to Judaism,[1] and eventually grew more observant than her.[4] After their marriage, both took hyphenated last names.[2]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taffy_Brodesser-Akner

    INTERMARRIED: MY HUSBAND, A CONVERT, IS MORE OBSERVANT THAN I AM

    It is not because Claude was born Catholic that I consider us intermarried. No, it’s the conversion to Judaism that that did it. Though the smoke has cleared for a while—now that Shavuot is over, we are blissfully holiday-free until September—I know that when the High Holidays come, the differences between our commitment to religious practice will make themselves known once again.

    When I first met Claude, in 2004, I wouldn’t date him. Though I was barely affiliated with any particular Jewish movement, I come from an Orthodox family and wasn’t about to give up my relationship with them— yes, it would come to that—for someone I didn’t yet love.

    “I’ll convert,” he said.

    “The only conversion my family would accept is an Orthodox one,” I said. “For that, you’d have to live an Orthodox life.”

    “I’ll do it!” he said. (I am that good a kisser.)

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/34444/intermarried

  11. @BB753

    Philip Roth went home from meeting Anatole Broyard in 1958 and looked up “octoroon” in his dictionary.

    Charlie Parker pointed at Broyard across Washington Square Park and said he was black.

    It wasn’t exactly a big secret.

    My surmise would be that Broyard came from a Latin culture in Louisiana that had a color continuum and he didn’t want to get into arguments with northerners who could only conceive of a color line.

    But that’s just a guess.

  12. TheBoom says:

    “Does anybody besides me use the term “Jewish privilege?” ”

    Apparently they do. Last year a roving band of anti Semites posted flyers on the University of Chicago campus addressing Jewish privilege. Immediate shock and the administration condemned it. Anyone who isn’t a Nazi knows that the only permissible privilege to discuss is white privilege otherwise the gas chambers will start being built or, at the minimum, the KKK will start riding through Jewish cemeteries knocking down gravestones.

  13. J.Ross says: • Website

    OT Rachel Dolezal charged with felony wire fraud. She “made false statements” to get nine thousand dollars in welfare benefits.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/24/rachel-dolezal-hit-with-felony-theft-charge-in-welfare-fraud-case.html

    • Replies: @Jack D
  14. Ivy says:
    @syonredux

    So the top picture is a young Walter Mondale, but who are those dancers in the other picture?

  15. istevefan says:

    Were we white? You’re kidding yourself if you think we’re white!

    Had Jews not been considered white they never would have been naturalized under the authority of the Naturalization Act of 1790, and subsequent naturalization acts up through the Civil War.

    How to not break into laughter when someone used the phrase “Jewish privilege.”

    Maybe Jewish privilege is being able to be white when it’s beneficial and being nonwhite when it’s not.

  16. @syonredux

    “I’ll convert,” he said.

    “You’d have to live an Orthodox life.”

    “I’ll do it!” he said. (I am that good a kisser.)

    “You’ll have to lose that foreskin.”

    ” . . . “, he winced.

    I guess she’s that good a . . .

    • LOL: a reader
  17. Jack D says:
    @J.Ross

    So she really IS black then?

    • LOL: jim jones
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  18. syonredux says:
    @BB753

    I still find it hard to believe that Broyard could pass for White.

    Dunno. I could see people thinking that he was just an “exotic” White guy:

    • Agree: BB753
  19. Dan Hayes says:
    @Roderick Spode

    Roderick Spode:

    My take on Defender of the Faith’s bottom line is Genug, Genug (Yiddish for I’ve had more than enough, in this instance for coreligionists playing the old school tie gambit)!

    Actually this exasperation at Jewish behavior seems at variance with most of Roth’s other works where this same game is carried out.

    • Replies: @SND
  20. syonredux says:
    @syonredux

    Here’s Anatole Broyard’s daughter, the stripperificly named Bliss:

  21. “Jewish privilege” refers to the state of affairs in which a writer as lousy as Taffy Brodesser-Akner is allowed to type something into the New York Times.

  22. TGGP says: • Website

    As someone without the patience to read an entire Roth novel when I’ve already got a couple other books checked out, I thank you for linking Defender of the Faith. The New Yorker tends to just give summaries of older articles to non-subscribers, so it was nice to get the full thing there.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  23. syonredux says:
    @syonredux

    Born Stephanie Akner, Brodesser-Akner received the nickname “Taffy” at a young age and continued using it professionally.[2] She grew up in Huntington, New York,

    Huntington sounds like a pretty nice place:

    As of the census of 2010, the racial makeup of the town was 84.15% White, 4.68% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 4.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.89% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.00% of the population.

    There were 65,917 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 16.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.26.

    In the town, the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.

    According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $102,865, and the median income for a family was $113,119.[6] Males had a median income of $61,748 versus $40,825 for females. The per capita income for the town was $36,390. About 2.9% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.

    Otto Hermann Kahn lived there with his family:

    Otto Hermann Kahn (February 21, 1867 – March 29, 1934) was a German-born American investment banker, collector, philanthropist, and patron of the arts

    Otto was born on February 21, 1867 in Mannheim, Germany, and raised there, by his Jewish parents, Emma (née Eberstadt) and Bernard Kahn.[1] His father had been among the refugees to the United States after the revolution of 1848 and had become an American citizen, but later returned to Germany. Kahn was educated in a gymnasium in Mannheim.[2]

    He built a rather nice home for himself in Huntington:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oheka_Castle

  24. FPD72 says:
    @syonredux

    From the looks of her belly in that wedding photo, it appears they did before they said “I do.”

    Or maybe she just likes to eat.

  25. syonredux says:
    @syonredux

    Were we white? You’re kidding yourself if you think we’re white! Do the goyim like us, or do they simply tolerate us? You’re kidding yourself if you think they tolerate us! How to act, how to assimilate but not too much, how to remind them about the Holocaust when they got uppity about Jewish privilege. How to not break into laughter when someone used the phrase “Jewish privilege.”

    MMM, despite the handicap of having Otto Kahn for her grandfather, Virginia Fortune Ryan Ogilvy seems to have done OK…..

    Virginia Fortune Ryan Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie, DCVO (born 9 February 1933, Newport, New Jersey) is a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II.[1]

    On 23 October 1952, she married David Ogilvy, who in 1968 became Earl of Airlie. She has been a Lady of the Bedchamber since 1973. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (DCVO) in 1995. Born in the United States, she is a grand daughter of German-American financier Otto Kahn and a great-grand daughter of Thomas Fortune Ryan.

    As a Lady of the Bedchamber she is a senior Lady-in-Waiting, and attends the Queen on major occasions and overseas tours. In May 2007, she accompanied Queen Elizabeth II on her trip to the United States to commemorate the 400th anniversary of England’s first American settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. On 7 May 2007, she attended a state dinner at the White House, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush.

    With her husband, Lady Airlie has six children:

    The Lady Doune Mabell Ogilvy (b. 13 August 1953)
    The Lady Jane Fortune Margaret Ogilvy (b. 24 June 1955)
    David John Ogilvy, Lord Ogilvy (b. 9 March 1958)
    The Hon. Bruce Patrick Mark Ogilvy (b. 7 April 1959)
    The Lady Elizabeth Clementine Ogilvy (b. 4 June 1965)
    The Hon. Patrick Alexander Ogilvy (b. 24 March 1971)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Ogilvy,_Countess_of_Airlie

  26. SND says:
    @Dan Hayes

    My take on Defender of the Faith’s bottom line is Genug, Genug (Yiddish for I’ve had more than enough, in this instance for coreligionists playing the old school tie gambit)!

    Actually this exasperation at Jewish behavior seems at variance with most of Roth’s other works where this same game is carried out.

    Well, he kinda learned the hard way. I remember Roth’s account of the aftermath of the publication of Defender of the Faith. He was raked over the coals & denounced by the Rabbi in Temple as “having accomplished what Hitler couldn’t,” by mainstreaming criticism of the Jews. Roth was quite taken aback & claimed he thereby learned what he didn’t know before: that “good” meant “what’s good for the Jews.”

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  27. Lot says:

    Melvin Tumin looks a lot more like Mr. Bean than an octaroon.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  28. utu says:

    …how to remind them about the Holocaust when they got uppity about Jewish privilege. How to not break into laughter when someone used the phrase “Jewish privilege.”

    They remind us of Holocaust way before we getting uppity. However I do not remember Roth writing about it. And I have never heard the “Jewish privilege” phrase.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  29. neutral says:

    Only jews can say they are not white, non jews saying the same thing is anti semitism, it’s the same how only blacks are allowed to use certain words.

    • Agree: Mishra
  30. Anonymous[343] • Disclaimer says:

    He was raked over the coals & denounced by the Rabbi in Temple as “having accomplished what Hitler couldn’t,” by mainstreaming criticism of the Jews. Roth was quite taken aback & claimed he thereby learned what he didn’t know before: that “good” meant “what’s good for the Jews.”

    Well, this is the psychosis of an intense ingroup. Truth goes out the window. Truth is sacrificed for the supposed interest of the ingroup. But it’s actually only the leadership of the ingroup whose interest is being protected. Always the corrupt leadership is enforcing this bullshit. And then you occasionally get a Jesus of Nazareth who rejects the status quo and will peel off a certain amount of camp followers — but it only makes the core ingroup more homogenous and radical.

  31. Anonymous[343] • Disclaimer says:

    The full NYT article is so pathological. More evidence that no other ethnic group in the USA is made more neurotic by its leadership.

    The author describes her experience at yeshiva. Right. This is where the rabbis brainwash Jewish kids into the ancient eternal victim psychology.

    I have known secular Jews who weren’t exposed to the rabbinical brainwashing and the level of neurosis is much lower. Taffy is a sad case study. She could’ve been set free by Jesus Christ but instead the rabbis got to her first and turned her into a cult member.

  32. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @anonymous

    The comma + the “but” is more precise than a semicolon would be there: a semicolon usually replaces an “and” between two clauses.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  33. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @South Texas Guy

    Same here — I read it in a compilation of short stories 20+ years ago and didn’t realize or remember Roth wrote it. That’s the only thing I’ve read by Roth, that I know of.

  34. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Noah

    As I understand it, Jews in America assert their identity similarity with being black

    If anything, the blacks have borrowed from Jewish history, seeing parallels between Exodus and the Underground Railroad, that sort of thing.

  35. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Jack D

    Another take (I reported this tweet, which I’m sure will accomplish nothing):

  36. Not Raul says:
    @utu

    Those uppity gentiles! When will they learn their place?

  37. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @SND

    Well, he kinda learned the hard way. I remember Roth’s account of the aftermath of the publication of Defender of the Faith. He was raked over the coals & denounced by the Rabbi in Temple as “having accomplished what Hitler couldn’t,” by mainstreaming criticism of the Jews. Roth was quite taken aback & claimed he thereby learned what he didn’t know before: that “good” meant “what’s good for the Jews.”

    That sounds like a bit of retconning. Josh Nathan-Kazis shared clippings on Twitter in this thread showing that the Jewish media hated Portnoy’s Complaint when it came out, 10 years after Defender of the Faith.

  38. Dan Hayes says:
    @SND

    SND:

    Thank you for your interesting and informative comments on Roth. Until your post I was unaware of his coreligionists’ heavy criticisms of Defender of the Faith. These criticisms explains a lot about the trajectories of his later works (which I have always considered somewhat deranged in its sense of persecution).

  39. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @celt darnell

    Roth was just a guy who wrote books about wanking. If his name wasn’t Jewish he would never have been published.

    Men loved his books just as women loved Erica Jung’s books.

  40. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    So ugly married ugly.

  41. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    Poor unfortunate refugee. Sob sob sob

    So he was a 48er. I wonder if he was a socialist revolutionary on the run or a bourgeois angry that he’d have to pay taxes to support the old age pensions and welfare benefits the government instituted after the 1848 revolution

    • Replies: @Logan
    , @dearieme
  42. @celt darnell

    he was just a guy who wrote books about wanking

    You have vast potential as a writer of obituaries for a millennial readership!

  43. Logan says:

    I had an interesting experience awhile back.

    I noticed the constant hollering about white privilege, based largely on differential incomes.

    So I looked up the differential incomes of Jews vs. gentiles. Surprisingly difficult to find, but it turns out the difference is much greater than that between whites and blacks.

    I posted on several sites the incongruity of so many Jews leading the war on white privilege when the same statistics they use to demonstrate the fact of white privilege indicate that Jewish privilege is much more a thing.

    Oh. My. God.

    People freaked out, claiming that even asking this question was anti-Semitic. Not one person made an attempt to show why either my statistics or logic was invalid. I was apparently a Bad Person for bringing it up and should be silenced.

    An instructive experience.

  44. Logan says:
    @Anon

    Which government was that? Prussia was the first government in the world to introduce something like Social Security. In 1889.

  45. Pericles says:
    @celt darnell

    And here I was thinking he was just a guy who wrote books about wanking.

    Hey, he also wrote The Plot Against America.

  46. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    The Rubber City Ruminant apparently does not consider it an insult:

    “It’s good to be back in Wales. I’ve performed here many times and I’m returning in October. On behalf of my mother Delores Roberts and her mother Irene Jones, I’m now an original going back to my roots Taffess.”

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/rock-legend-chrissie-hynde-helped-13337017

  47. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    The Rubber City Ruminant apparently does not consider it an insult:

    “It’s good to be back in Wales. I’ve performed here many times and I’m returning in October. On behalf of my mother Delores Roberts and her mother Irene Jones, I’m now an original going back to my roots Taffess.”

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/rock-legend-chrissie-hynde-helped-13337017

  48. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    The Rubber City Ruminant apparently does not consider it an insult:

    “It’s good to be back in Wales. I’ve performed here many times and I’m returning in October. On behalf of my mother Delores Roberts and her mother Irene Jones, I’m now an original going back to my roots Taffess.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  49. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Steve-Please nuke the duplicates.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  50. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Sorry, I wasn’t very clear.

    The implication of the sentence as written is that neoconservatives tend to defend freedom of expression. Or perhaps that Mr. Sailer sees neoconservativism as preferable to “old-fashioned liberal[ism]” for other reasons.

    The sentence probably caught my eye because I tend to disagree. I know next to nothing about Bellow and Roth, though, so maybe I missed the point entirely.

  51. dearieme says:
    @Anon

    “the old age pensions and welfare benefits the government instituted after the 1848 revolution”: really? I had thought that was Bismarck’s doing in the 80s. Additionally, I wonder what “the government” could be just after the ’48; surely there were still umpteen governments?

  52. Anonym says:
    @Lot

    I’m picking up more of an Ed ONeill vibe.

    • Replies: @Lot
  53. Again, I recommend Philip Roth’s 1973 novel The Great American Novel. I’m going to re-read it when I get the chance. Roth could write funny, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. The NY Times review was lukewarm:

    https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/11/specials/roth-great.html

  54. IHTG says:
    @BB753

    Maybe not with an upper-case ‘W’.

  55. Altai says:

    Roth never followed Saul Bellow from liberalism into neoconservatism, but he was an ardent old-fashioned liberal defender of freedom of expression at home and abroad. For example, he worked hard to publicize Eastern European dissident writers behind the Iron Curtain.

    Uhhh, is that incongruous with him trailing down the neo-con path though?

  56. I never watched the film version of The Human Stain, but it seems to me that the casting of the extremely White Anthony Hopkins as a man “passing,” and the extremely elegant Nicole Kidman as an illiterate, lower-class housekeeper would undermine the film’s verity, but they are both excellent actors, so perhaps not?

  57. @Steve Sailer

    My surmise would be that Broyard came from a Latin culture in Louisiana that had a color continuum and he didn’t want to get into arguments with northerners who could only conceive of a color line.

    There appears to have been an aristocratic Creole society in and around New Orleans for some time consisting of light-skinned blacks with white features unlike anything comprehensible by Northerners (Northern blacks were largely coal-black transplants from the Deep South who migrated – greatly, it is said – for factory jobs in Northern Cities).

    Green eyed Suzanne Malveaux is from this class peculiar to Louisiana, although she was born in Michigan due to her medical doctor father’s career:

    • Replies: @hyperbola
  58. @syonredux

    A good illustration of decadence of American Catholicism & ever-growing feminization of American culture. Until 1960s, most of these mixed marriages- not a very common phenomenon- were: as husband goes, wife & children go. You have to know who wears the pants. Period.

    However, I’ve always found unfair a rule for Catholic-Protestant marriage that children should be raised as Catholics. Why? Couldn’t have been half/half, or perhaps tossing the dice….

    As for Christian (any sort, even just culturally) & Jewish combo, I’m inclined to cultural Christianity or atheism for their offspring. After all, Western culture is universalist, multifaceted & has a Pagan/Christian/broadly agnostic “flavor”; why would the other side convert to an ethnic & narrow middle-Eastern cult is beyond my powers of understanding.

    This is not antisemitic, I guess I find it weird when a former culturally Christian/agnostic Western person converts to Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Bahai or Islam.

    Something just doesn’t fit …..

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  59. @Steve Sailer

    The primarily Canadian music band called The Band featured two songs about all things French and Louisiana in The Last Waltz concert album and film.

    Down South In New Orleans by two Anglins and a Wright. Bobby Charles Guidry and Dr. John performed the song with The Band.

    Acadian Driftwood by The Band and written by Robbie Robertson which every drunk person loves to sing along to, well, at least the drunks I am familiar with. Great song from Robertson who I bet wrote his recent book without a ghostwriter. There is no doubt Robertson’s native American blood allowed him the decency and integrity to not fall into the anti-Christian and anti-White muck as much as Philip Roth did.

    Sample lyrics, Acadian Driftwood:

    Try to raise a family
    End up an enemy
    Over what went down on the Plains of Abraham.

    Philip Roth was a nasty, hate-filled Jew who was actively hostile against the European Christian ancestral core of the United States. Roth is burning and roasting in hell now.

  60. Mr. Anon says:
    @Logan

    An instructive experience.

    That’s called “white privilege”.

  61. Anonymous[308] • Disclaimer says:

    Having now lived in Louisiana I realize that Broyard wouldn’t have thought he was “passing” as anything. He was what he was and that wasn’t “black.” In Louisiana one could be something other than white or black; if that was a novelty in New York then too bad.

  62. Mr. Anon says:

    Perhaps this explains Roth’s amusing touchiness over Wikipedia’s assumption that his fine late novel The Human Stain was inspired in part by his booster Anatole Broyard…..

    The Human Stain?

    Yawn. Just another Phillip Roth novel about………………….

    ………………………………………………….oh, it’s not about that?

    Never mind.

  63. Stick says:

    Never got to Defender of The Faith. I had read Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint was thinking of reading American Pastoral when I stumbled into a Roth interview with the NYTs. During the interview Roth introduces Sarah Palin into the conversation and then goes full tilt bonkers about her. Clearly Palin frightened Roth, but he could not say why. It was a clinical display of bigotry that I hadn’t seen in years. After that, I lost any interest in reading Roth.

    My summation of Roth’s works were they were retooled Hawthorne with a smear of Freud. I did find Portnoy to be prescient for Jewish Males (Allen, Weinstein, Weiner…) and probably agree that this behavior is the result of overweening Tiger Moms, but the exception is Asian Males that share the same parental dynamic without the sexual dysfunction. Maybe Freud only explains Jews? Don’t know.

    I can recommend Heller’s Catch 22, and Bergman’s Little Big Man, Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion, and pretty much all of Tom Wolfe’s works. Roth and the aforementioned did make a big splash in the late 50s – 60s and 70s. The sad thing is there seems very little good American literature being written after this surge. Maybe I am wrong and I am just showing my age? Who knows?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    , @Lot
    , @MBlanc46
  64. MarcB. says:

    So much neuroses expressed in a such a short article. It must be quite an ordeal getting through each day with all that floating around your noggin.

  65. @syonredux

    Re “passing” – Charlie LeDuff insists on calling himself “black” due to his Cajun heritage:

    This is simply an expression of power in today’s insane paradigm. It’s an inoculation against criticism just like the Jewish “we’re not white!”

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  66. lavoisier says: • Website
    @Logan

    People freaked out, claiming that even asking this question was anti-Semitic. Not one person made an attempt to show why either my statistics or logic was invalid. I was apparently a Bad Person for bringing it up and should be silenced.

    An instructive experience.

    How instructive? Did you expect anything different?

  67. @anonymous

    I think i’ll take a break from iSteve now and walk to the beach to check out the girls’ semicolons.

    Hmm, sorry, not sure I like the sound of that.

  68. BB753 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Maybe New Yorkers didn’t really care, or didn’t bother to ask. Many Jews and Italians looked almost as ambiguous as Broyard. BTW, I just googled the Jewish professor that Roth mentioned as his imspiration and he looked darker-skinned than Broyard. But if you’re used to seeing Hispanic whitish types, you wouldn’t have been fooled by Broyard because of his partly African features.

  69. @Logan

    If you want a few minutes’ entertainment, check out the Wikipedia article on Al Jolson, which contains a helpful section on why it was A-OK for Jolson to perform in blackface.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Jolson

  70. @Brutusale

    Yeah, Taffy’s been at the brisket and matzo.

    How many times in her life do you think she’s heard in that Schlocky Adirondacks Summer Staccato variations on “Heeeey, don’tcha pull my Taffy!”

  71. hyperbola says:
    @syonredux

    In Spain and southern France one can find lots of “whites” with similar features. This whole “argument” seems to be another of the indications of lack of knowledge about the world that often predominates here.

    • Replies: @BB753
  72. George says:

    Philip Roth was right, the Lindbergh presidency proves Jewish privilege does not exist. Why didn’t we stick with FDR or at least Wilkie?

  73. hyperbola says:
    @Alec Leamas

    Spain and southern France are filled with “whites” that look very much like this. These are NOT light-skinned blacks, but southern Europeans.

    • Replies: @Tlotsi
  74. CJ says:

    But Professor Tumin’s son confirmed for me that his Eastern European Jewish father had sometimes been rumored to be part black due to his swarthy skin tone …

    The jazz pianist Keith Jarrett is likewise part Hungarian, looks like he might be a very light-colored black, but isn’t. When people expressed surprise on learning he wasn’t actually black, he would say, “I’m working on it.”

  75. hyperbola says:
    @SND

    Both Roth and Brodesser-Akner are good example of the perversions and brain washing that the incestuous little sect imposes on children. Do we really have to waste time on this class of boring frauds?

    Israel/Palestine and the Queer International – A Book Review by Gilad Atzmon

    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/08/07/israelpalestine-and-the-queer-international-a-book-review-by-gilad-atzmon/

    …..In the very beginning of the book, Schulman provides us with an amazing confession most Jews would prefer to shove far under the carpet.

    “We were raised with two Yiddish concepts about Christians: kopf and punim. Yiddishe kopf and Goyishe kopf. To say that someone had a Yiddishe kopf (A Jewish mind) was to say admiringly that he was a genius, that he was analytical and conceptual and an original thinker. To say that someone had a goyishe kopf was to say that he was dull-witted, conformist and slow” (p. 2).

    One must admit that only rarely do Jews volunteer such intimate information that confirms the depth of racism and supremacy embedded within Jewish culture.

    A few pages later Schulman is honest enough to admit that she also is immersed in some deep biological determinist thinking.

    “Of course, like many Jews, I do think of myself in biological terms, despite how convenient that is for anti-Semitism. There is after all, a genetic component, since Jewish Identity—from the Jewish point of view is biologically essentialist, dependent on having a Jewish mother” (p. 10).

    It goes without saying that evolutionary psychologist Prof. Kevin MacDonald and Right Wing author David Duke are hounded relentlessly by the ADL and the progressive Jewish network for basically agreeing with Schulman.

    Ideological Collectivism

    Interestingly enough, despite her honesty, Schulman rarely thinks for herself on her path toward universal justice. Instead she always consults with such progressive luminaries as Judith Butler, who is ‘on the top’ of her “list of credible LGBT people.” As an activist and campaigner, Schulman always builds fronts and forms leagues. She always seeks advice, she always consults with someone who knows better. These facts are actually very significant: Schulman is telling us a story about someone who thinks and operates “as a Jew,” “as a lesbian,” “as a Queer International,” “as a progressive,” etc. The truth of the matter is that people who “think” and “act” “as a something” hardly think for themselves. Instead they operate within the parameters set by an imaginary political and ideological collective (the gay, the Jew, the progressive, the Queer International’ the Black, the Muslim) instead of thinking authentically and operating autonomously……

  76. @CJ

    The jazz pianist Keith Jarrett is likewise part Hungarian, looks like he might be a very light-colored black, but isn’t. When people expressed surprise on learning he wasn’t actually black, he would say, “I’m working on it.”

    Wow. Obviously the popular hair and clothing style at the time helped but as a young man he sure could pass for black. Way more convincing than Talcum X, BTW.

  77. Anonym says:
    @epochehusserl

    In short, identity politics should either be shut down immediately, or the majority populations of Europe and North America should be encouraged to assert their own ethnic and cultural identities and group interests with full force. Any governmental, academic, religious, or media authority which tries to prevent it is clearly unworthy of respect and obedience.

    Otherwise a good statement… the left would seize on the possibility of shutting down non-white identity politics and argue that this is what is being done, while it continues. And the fact is that in most Eurosphere countries, non-whites are a significant percentage of the population, usually 10-40%. Preventing their bloc voting and identity politics is impossible.

    Ergo the only solution is for whites to embrace identity politics.

  78. @Stick

    Jewish projections aside, I find everything about Roth depressing. One could say- hey, he lived until 85, wrote at least ten very worthy books, knew a lot of significant & interesting people, moved around & married & taught literature, was a good & sensitive human being..that is, by all criteria, a fulfilled life.

    And yet, his whole outlook, his insistence on physical decrepitude, his vision of life as meaningless suffering (despite flashes of brilliant humor), his entire circus of people who are superficially lustful, grow fat, get ill & decay, are afraid & paranoid, lead sometimes hyperdynamic but bleak lives- he is in a good company of his pal, John Updike, whose Rabbit tetralogy is an epic of life’s emptiness.

    Two man looked out from prison bars
    One saw the mud, the other saw stars

    Roth, Updike, … did not see stars.

  79. Lot says:
    @Anonym

    Is that from Miami Vice? If so he didn’t age well from the early 80s to the circa 1990 first season of MwC.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  80. Carol says:

    Gee, I finally finished something by Philip Roth. Thanks for the link, Steve.

    Too bad about how he loses all that dignity later on. At least in my eyes.

    I’ll keep trying…

  81. BB753 says:
    @hyperbola

    In some pictures he looks less European than in others. Perhaps he managed to pass precisely because the average American holds unsophisticated notions about race.

  82. @Cloudbuster

    Nicole Kidman can’t help but be divine.

  83. Tlotsi says:
    @hyperbola

    Spain and southern France are filled with “whites” that look very much like this. These are NOT light-skinned blacks, but southern Europeans.

    Those areas were conquered and occupied by the Moors during the Middle Ages, Spain much longer than France.

    • Replies: @hyperbola
  84. Anonym says:
    @Lot

    Yes, it is. First season MwC, I think he looks pretty good except for the Norwood 3 receding hairline, and he pulls it off well enough.

    By the last season, yeah, definitely. But that was 10 years later.

    • Replies: @Lot
  85. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Steve is not paying attention or deliberately inflicting embarrassment on users with internet issues resulting in multiple posts.

  86. Hibernian says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    “Until 1960s, most of these mixed marriages- not a very common phenomenon- were: as husband goes, wife & children go.”

    When Mom was Catholic and Dad was Protestant, the rule you mentioned in your next paragraph came into play and the kids were brought up in Mom’s religion. Happened on both sides of my extended family. (My own Mom and Dad were raised as ultra-Catholics.)

  87. @Cloudbuster

    Both were miscast, but Kidman overcomes it. Hopkins does not, and unfortunately it’s one of those cases where a miscast actor brings down the entire movie. But it’s worth watching for the very well-made (and well-cast) flashback scenes without the two stars, and beautiful cinematography and score.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  88. @AnotherGuessModel

    Wentworth Miller is well-cast as the young guy deciding to pass from black to white. Sir Anthony is terrible as the older version of him, who has somehow acquired an English accent.

    Gary Sinise is poorly cast as Roth’s alter ego Nathan Zuckerman.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  89. BB753 says:
    @syonredux

    Beta of the Year Award! As Heartiste would put it.

  90. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Wentworth Miller is well-cast as the young guy deciding to pass from black to white. Sir Anthony is terrible as the older version of him, who has somehow acquired an English accent.

    Hopkins is too lazy for accents. Cf how he played the only Macedonian in Oliver Stone’s Alexander who didn’t speak with an Irish accent….

    Gary Sinise is poorly cast as Roth’s alter ego Nathan Zuckerman.

    Ed Harris was excellent as Kidman’s crazy husband.

  91. syonredux says:
    @Cloudbuster

    I never watched the film version of The Human Stain, but it seems to me that the casting of the extremely White Anthony Hopkins as a man “passing,” and the extremely elegant Nicole Kidman as an illiterate, lower-class housekeeper would undermine the film’s verity, but they are both excellent actors, so perhaps not?

    My favorite example of bad-casting is Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams.Hepburn could do many things, but one thing that she could never do convincingly was play a woman from the wrong side of the tracks.

  92. Lot says:
    @Anonym

    Wow you are right. My mental image of the show they are a lot older. Maybe the first seasons were not shown in syndication very much. Marcy looks barely out of college.

  93. Lot says:
    @Stick

    Those were all books aimed at men, but men seem to have largely stopped reading fiction, perhaps in the 1980s with the advent of cable, VCRs, and affordable “large” color TVs. Science fiction and fantasy are the limited exceptions, and even then I don’t think I know any men IRL who read them.

  94. hyperbola says:
    @Tlotsi

    True, but Moors are NOT blacks.

    Moors

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moors

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This article is about a historical group of Muslims. For other uses, see Moor.

    Castillian ambassadors attempting to convince Moorish Almohad king Abu Hafs Umar al-Murtada to join their alliance (contemporary depiction from the Cantigas de Santa María)
    The term “Moors” refers primarily to the Muslim inhabitants of the Maghreb, the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Malta during the Middle Ages. The Moors initially were the Berber autochthones of the Maghreb.[1] The name was later also applied to Arabs.[2][3]

    Moors are not a distinct or self-defined people,[4] and the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica observed that “The term ‘Moors’ has no real ethnological value.”[5] Medieval and early modern Europeans variously applied the name to Arabs, North African Berbers, and Muslim Europeans.[6]

  95. @syonredux

    Otto Kahn was an estimable Jew, a man of culture, a man who respected the civilisation of the Christian West. Indeed, he once said that he would have become a Catholic but for a sense of solidarity with his people as Hitler began his rise to power.

    My grandfather’s brother-in-law was a partner with Kahn in the very influential banking house of Kuhn Loeb. My family circle thus spent many a happy weekend at Oheka: they were all Christians, and my grandmother once told me that Kahn clearly preferred them and their kind to the Jews he perforce mostly worked with on Wall Street.

    By the way, one should never think of people with houses like Oheka living in Huntington or in Oyster Bay or Great Neck or anywhere other than in their house. Anybody who had said to Kahn, “oh, so you live in Huntington?” would have been met with a very puzzled glance indeed.

    In any case, his truly great achievement as a patron was his Florentine Palazzo at 1 East 91st Street, now the Convent of the Sacred Heart. No more perfect example of exquisite good taste married to unlimited funds is to be found in Manhattan.

  96. MBlanc46 says:
    @Stan d Mute

    French Canadians sometimes refer to themselves as the blancs noires, the white blacks. Perhaps the Cajuns do as well.

  97. MBlanc46 says:
    @Stick

    I’ll second you on Catch 22 and Sometimes a Great Notion. For Heller, I’d add Picture This and God Knows.

  98. MEH 0910 says:

    Noah Millman: Portnoy’s Complaint, and mine

    I still remember the first time I encountered the late Philip Roth. It was between the yellow covers of Portnoy’s Complaint. I don’t remember where I was, or precisely how old — late in high school or early in college. But I remember who I was, either way. I was the young man overwhelmed and frightened by his own desires, verbally facile and intellectually ambitious but utterly unable to communicate when it came to the subject of desire, even to myself.

    And here, suddenly, was a man who just said it. The obsessive onanism. The frantic sexual desire. The crushing maternal expectation. The conviction that the obsession and desire was perversely connected with that crushing maternal concern. Roth didn’t invent these tropes, but he voiced all of it with neither apology nor self-justification. It wasn’t brief or a testimony; it was a complaint, with all the loathsome self-involvement that implies — but the titular narrator simply added that to his bill of particulars. Roth had made a monument of his own monstrosity, and I couldn’t stop reading.
    ……
    When I graduated from college, my ambitions were downright Rothian. I read James Joyce and Franz Kafka, I. B. Singer and Bruno Schulz. I was working on a big novel that grappled with the traumas of Jewish and familial history, with a protagonist that my friend referred to as the YMNUM (“Young Man Not Unlike Myself”). I fantasized about that self I was creating through that book, and introducing it to the world. It was going to be big. I was going to be big.

    I never finished the book. One can say that life intruded, and of course it did, but life only intrudes when you let it. I let it because I wasn’t willing to expose myself to the kind of censure Roth endured. I was enraptured by Portnoy, but not nearly brave enough to admit to the kinship I felt, much less to attempt Roth’s audacity in writing it down.

    I’m trying again now, exhuming the kid I was and asking him to speak for himself, whatever it is he chooses to say.

    Noah made a short film about a master debater:

    PUBLIC SPEAKING, a short film by Noah Millman

    A John-Hughs-style teen drama about two high school debaters in the 1980s.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.