Perhaps the patronage isn't appreciated ...

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Perhaps the patronage isn't appreciated ...

Post by FrankGSterleJr »

Perhaps Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and others who (though likely well intentioned) thoughtlessly patronize persons of Semitic ethnicity, might consider the concept that Jewish people might actually desire to be left alone without others’ patronage—and particularly that from the political sort as is Harper.
During college, I noticed reserved behavior by a peer who somewhat cringed while replying in the affirmative to a classmate’s respectful, mild-toned query, “Are you Jewish?” Not to be misunderstood, I’m not suggesting that she was ashamed of being Jewish, but rather she felt conspicuous because of the then-headline-news, especially intense situation involving the non-peace between Israel and the Palestinian people.
I also noticed similar reaction from my sibling’s Tibetan friend of many years ago, whose own ethnicity—regardless of being one of fine, unblemished heritage—being brought up actually caused her discomfort.
Like my Jewish college-peer, the ethnically Tibetan girl wasn’t ashamed of her ethnicity itself; rather, such ethnic-based discomfort had to do with the small pacifistic nation remaining in international news—albeit as a victim of an adjacent-nation superpower bully that insists upon Tibet, along with Taiwan (and who knows what other territory is next), being assimilated into Chinese nationality.
Then again, from the opposite side of that coin, perhaps very many Chinese nationals who have immigrated to Canada feel the same way as she.
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Re: Perhaps the patronage isn't appreciated ...

Post by Skip »

Very many people don't like to be asked, especially in public, especially by strangers, about their ethnicity, language, race, religion, political views or income. There are not quite so many reasons as people who feel this way. The main reasons are:

We don't know the motivation of the asker. He may be looking for an argument or a soapbox or an opportunity to grind some kind of axe. He may be hostile or condescending or unpleasant in some other way.

Even if he sides with us, we don't want to be in that conversation. We don't want to be centered out and held up to scrutiny.

We may simply not consider it appropriate subject matter - i.e. It's none of his fricken business.

As for the Harpoon, I doubt he's sincere, uncalculating or well-intentioned about anything. But then, there is strongly political component to the Canadian Jewish community: there are faction involved in all things pro-Israel, anti-Palestine and Holocaust-in-your-face-all-the-time, which doesn't in the least mind being patronized by the PM. There are non-political Jewish people who are very quick to volunteer their ethnicity, even when not asked. At the same time, there are many Jewish people - just as there many Italians, Psychiatrists, left-handed people, Muslims, Ethiopians, cancer patients, Episcopalians, Accountants and recovering hopheads who don't want to be centered out on the basis of that one particular trait.
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