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What really gets me about...

What really bugs me about the whole "let's hate on Jews" BS that Hitler was all about, aside from the fact I couldn't tell a Jew from a German to save my life, is that people were all mad at the Jews for being in control of the banks and stuff, but were ignorant of why this was. They forgot that in the middle ages, Christians were not allowed by the Church to be in professions that handled large amounts of money. So with the Christians being barred from banking and merchant professions by their religion, the Jews and others who weren't subject to this lunacy filled in the gaps. So all the non-Jews who hated Jews for being in control of the banks were misplacing their anger; they should have been angry at the midevil Church for its laws that made things be that way to begin with.

This is why ignorance needs to be stamped out.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
Let's not forget, in many cases, Jews were not allowed to hold property, giving them few other options with which to garner wealth.
Mar. 15th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, really? Makes sense. Christianity has been hating on the Jews since after Jesus left, which is NOT what Jesus would have wanted.
Mar. 15th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Well, that and it was a convenient way for Christian kings to get out of paying their debts - stir up hatred towards the Jews, kill them or drive them out of the country, and bingo! You get out of paying your debts!

The traditional respect for learning in teh Jewish community played a role too, in increasing the number and visibility of Jews in high places.

In the middle ages, Jewish customs that lead to cleaner houses, and therefore fewer rats, tended to protect Jews from epidemics. And, again, rather than people thinking "Hmm ... maybe these Jews are doing something right, let's see what they're doing, so we can save lives!" they said "The Jews must be causing these plagues! Let's kill 'em!"

People are stupid :(
Mar. 15th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
Mar. 15th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
I couldn't tell a Jew from a German to save my life

The difference is that... no, hang about. The German Jews were German. The Polish Jews were Polish. There was no difference. Hitler was so full of shit that when he walked, faeces bubbled and spilled up out of his mouth with every step.

There *were* Christian banking institutes--big ones (the Templars, for instance). The problem wasn't handling large amounts of money. The problem was that due to scriptural prohibition, the practice of usury (lending money for profit, ie "interest") was banned to Christians.

It's still banned by Christian scripture, btw. But I doubt you'll see the Christian Right pushing for that particular sin to be reinstated, the frakking hypocrites.

(The modern sense of the word "usury" is one of "excessive" interest--this is vile sophistry of the lowest kind. When it was used, it meant any interest whatsoever. It's a binary. Changing the meaning was deliberate and disingenuous, and this is the slimy way that the Religious Right justify practising it--and just another reason why their Christianity has nothing to do with Yeshua.)

But yes. Jewish folk tended to be moneylenders because they weren't religiously prohibited from doing so (to non-jews--they *were* prohibited from charging interest to fellow jews), and because practically every other trade was banned to them.

Of course, when the social stigma of defaulting from ones debts could be erased by setting fire to one's usury-practising creditor... bloody christians...
Mar. 16th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Okay, what I meant is I can't tell a Jew from a Gentile. If a person has pale skin, they're white. End of story. Unless they're albino of some other "race." (I never really understood this whole "race" thing anyway. There's less genetic difference between any two people of two given human races than there is between a poodle and a toy poodle.)

Hitler was so full of shit that when he walked, faeces bubbled and spilled up out of his mouth with every step.


Is the practice of usury *really* banned by the Bible, or is that just implied by the whole "money lenders in the temple" thing? Because I'm pretty sure it wasn't the money lending Yeshuah was objecting to, it was the fact that they'd set up shop in a temple.
Mar. 16th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Caucasian isn't white-skinned, btw. I have white skin. My Dad had spanish-moorish dark olive skin. We're both "caucasian".

The point I was making is that both jewish and gentile Germans were Germans. "German" isn't a race, it's a nationality. "Jewish" isn't a race, but is a faith or a culture.

"Race" is an amorphous, almost meaningless concept--except it gets people discriminated against, abused, and in some cases killed.

There was no "German Race"--at least, insofar as such a thing might exclude someone who was also Jewish.

The prohibition against usury had nothing to do with the "money lenders in the temple" gig. There's some background on wikipedia.
Mar. 16th, 2009 02:04 am (UTC)
"Race" is an amorphous, almost meaningless concept--except it gets people discriminated against, abused, and in some cases killed.

Excellent definition!
Mar. 16th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
To play Devil's Advocate for a moment, it's still dark skinned people statistically with more poverty than rather light skinned people. Or so social activists tell me, as I've never looked up the stats. This is the only useful reason, from their point of view, to play the race card. Which would be valid from their point of view.

Dark or not, poor is poor, for any race. Like, the argument should be that Black people are all connected like the Borg and so that justifies special economic treatment, because it increases the pain of every individual Black person by the millions. But, of course, I wouldn't buy that argument either. Skin colour doesn't change my political views and if they did, I might be a hypocrite.
Mar. 16th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
I often post links to resources on the subjects you're touching on, in my linkfrenzy journal.

Given how much they're being linked to at present, you've probably seen the following (and apologies if you have), but you might not have, and if not, you might find them interesting.
"comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable" is not just a bumper sticker for me
What I Have Learned Through These Conversations About Race

what is privilege?
because i can see we're about to need this.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
"I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group"
Mar. 16th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC)
Thank you, but I've read plenty of racial arguments. From white people and black people. If I were to support social welfare, I'd do it for people and not for race. I don't see the argument as valid, is all.
Mar. 16th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't see the relevance of your comments.

I'm providing access to information which relates to the position you were advocating.

What you do with it -- or even if you chose to access it or not -- is your own concern. And I'm certainly not interested in getting into an argument about it.

My apologies if you thought this was not the case, or if you thought that my assumption that you might find them interesting was presumptuous.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Bible language makes my head hurt after more than a few lines.
Mar. 16th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure I agree that "there was no difference", (I'm Jewish, btw). Back in the day, people pretty much stayed within their own village, and were often prejudiced against outsiders, who didn't look like them. There were a lot more physical traits which typically identified your heritage, simply due to heredity, and far less intermingling. I'm by no means saying that these traits were 100% identifiable, and there were in fact Jews who were able to escape detection simply by their looks.
Mar. 16th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)
I take your meaning. The point I was making (however inelegantly) is that German antisemitism has always seemed to me to have been based upon a noxious lie: that Jewish Germans weren't "really" Germans.

There certainly are real differences (less demand for the services of mohel, for instance ;}P> ), but I was looking at the issue from a different angle. My apologies if I implied otherwise.
Mar. 16th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Nationalism is a powerful thing. Race alone might have had less impact. Hitler and his friends were good with the propaganda. And of course, a fucking liar.

I think the real problem with the Holocaust, not that it should have extended to the laws which punished the Nazi party (they were dangerous simply for their power), was people's willingness to follow along based especially on those idiotic foundations. They'd rather dealt with the Nazis and possibly doing their dirty work out of fear, than fight the Nazis with the same amount of danger.
Mar. 16th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
When Nations go mad.

How many people agree with and support the use of Security Theatre in the US?

I never blame scared people. I blame the people who scared them into giving up their power to... the people who scared them.

Fear really is a little mind-killer. But it can kill big minds.
Mar. 16th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
Fear is one thing, but every individual should check on what the Big Wigs are saying. Plenty of them can today, but won't. Still some can and do and decide that the threat justifies the means. From there, they will decide if the reality is worth fearing to such an extent. I blame the people in power, for greed or for sincerity, and those who miscalculate their response to whatever.
Mar. 16th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)
No worries; it's all good.

I've noticed that in today's slightly-more-enlightened awareness, people sometimes don't even understand how and why these prejudices happened in the first place. (Very, very roughly: "Us, good; them, bad.") My mother's father was very prejudiced, and, while I'm not justifying the behavior, it's easier to see what happened hundreds of years ago.

It's also important to understand history as conditions often return and sentiments repeat themselves.
Mar. 15th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Actually, Christians could handle money no problem. But they weren't allowed to loan money *with interest*. That is, I could loan you 100 thalers, but you only had to pay back 100 thalers.

Which meant that unless you were a friend, I didn't really have much reason to *want* to loan you the money.

But Jews, not being Christians, got to collect interest on loans. Whereas if a Christian did it, it'd be usury.

Add in the fact that Jews weren't allowed to own property, and were excluded from most of the craft guilds and there weren't a lot of things a Jew could do to earn money. Especially since it wasn't uncommon for a city or kingdom to suddenly decide that they didn't want Jews there. So your livelihood needed to be something you could pick up and take with you.

Loaning money fit the bill.
Mar. 16th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
Loaning money fit the bill.

Pun intended or not? :-)
Mar. 16th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
This. Explains it better than I.
Mar. 16th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
Hey, if they're statistically in control to some large degree, then good for them. Hitler was just jealous because his art career was a flop. And like many artists...
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Isn't that how it's spelled?
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 17th, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
Me too! :-)
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )


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