Phoebe Maltz has a superb post up about the continuing reality of anti-Semitism, and the strange reluctance of people to speak about it or even acknowledge its existence. "Superb", of course, is somewhat redundant when talking about a WWPD post, but this one particularly caught my eye.
I tend to run in leftist circles, and one thing I've really tried to impress upon people is the pervasive nature of anti-Semitism and why it needs to be addressed. I devour article upon article about structural racism, the patriarchy, heterosexism, you know an oppressed class, I've done at least some reading on it. And what's more, I buy the argument. I do believe that America, for example, is institutionally biased against Blacks, and that Whiteness is held as the norm to which everything else must measure up. It isn't fair, it isn't just, and it serves as a serious barrier to the creation and maintenance of a just society.
The same could be said about Judaism in the world. Judaism is perpetually marginalized in the world--it is always aberrant, always other. But the literature on Jewish marginalization is much scantier. People are simply far less willing to believe that Jews are oppressed. Partially, this is due to the particular manner in which anti-Semitic tropes have developed over the years. One of the stereotypes about Judaism is that we are the power behind the curtain; we pull all the strings. Think the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Or the neo-conservative/Jewish cabal that is purportedly running White House foreign policy. Just a Mexicans are assumed to be lazy, or Blacks are assumed to be beastly, Jews are assumed to be possessors of unjust power (both unjustly acquired, and likely to be used for selfish and unjust ends). Since that is the prevailing mindset, people are less likely to entertain notions that Jews do face discrimination and double-standards in the world, except in the most extreme cases. And since such discourse is suppressed, the dominant view of Jews as being in perfectly good health, and thus presumptively part of the ruling caste, continues. It's a vicious cycle.
This analysis isn't particularly novel--indeed, it draws heavily from similar explorations of hurdles and obstacles faced by members of subordinated races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnicities. What's bothersome is less the continuation of anti-Semitism than the fact that so few big-name theorists seem interested in critically grappling with it. That's supremely frustrating. And, I'd add, an indicator of anti-Semitism in its own right.