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Also, if you were offended by it, then you're writing from your experience. Christopher might have had a different one in your shoes, but he wasn't.

Posted by Matt Davis | December 29, 2006 9:33 AM

Just to weigh in here, the word "Jew" isn't a slur in any context. Jews refer to ourselves as Jews, and it's fine to call someone a Jew. I find it preferable to "Jewish person." Obviously, if there's hate or derision dripping from your tone of voice, we'll hear it. But please, well-meaning Gentiles- it's ok to call us Jews. No need for embarrassment.

Posted by Misty Brown | December 29, 2006 9:49 AM

this is a great post.

Posted by craig | December 29, 2006 9:55 AM

Great article and follow-ups. Could have been improved with a photo of an actual hot jewish guy though. I think it would have really crystalized the issues for many of us.

Posted by here now | December 29, 2006 10:30 AM

Might it be suggested that these same youthful 'hipsters' are simply lacking in common courtesy and just a little bit of decency?

Whether Mr. Sanders is Jewish ethnically, theologically - or both - it isn't an issue for discussion unless he makes it one.

I was born and raised here, and have worked and lived about the country, so I know it's different; it's not Chicago, L.A., etc. But when I enter a room none of my friends or colleagues introduce me as "The Faggot" or "The Eskimo" or "The Scandinavian" - all of which would be true in a post-gay, post-Aboriginal racist humor kind of way. If I am announced it is by my proper name or, sometimes, by what I do for a living.

As it should be.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | December 29, 2006 10:40 AM

What's the matter with calling someone The Scandinavian? I certainly wouldn't be offended by that, although it would be cumbersome in a city with a substantial number of us.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 29, 2006 11:00 AM

fluffy memoirs.

what people talk about when they have an audience.

Posted by bigger problems are out there | December 29, 2006 11:23 AM

Let me treat this as a question of orthography.

I remember the very first time someone referred to The Jew in my presence (yes, capital "T" and singular noun). It was in a graduate seminar in history at Harvard -- and one graduate student (not Jewish) brought up the issue of The Jew in Reformation Germany. There were two of us who were Jewish in the Seminar and we both rocked forward in our chairs sputtering. In that context it was flat out, unintentionally antisemitic.

The Jew is not a person. She or he is not a particular high school graduate. A specific boyfriend, a date, or a colleague. The Jew is not an individual. The Jew is a category. And categories are all too often stereotypes, caricatures, tangles of preconceived ideas and prejudices (some innocent, some not).

There are jews and Jews and sometimes there is the only Jew (or jew) in the room. But there is never The Jew.

Posted by Jonathan | December 29, 2006 11:31 AM

The only thing I have against the Jews is that they start all the wars in the world.

Posted by Mike in MO | December 29, 2006 11:32 AM

Not much hip in hipster.

Posted by Juliet Balcony | December 29, 2006 12:13 PM

Wait. Eli, was it me?

Posted by SEAN NELSON, EMERITUS | December 29, 2006 1:05 PM

I think the entire process of pointing out the cultural differences of people we hang out with is to convince ourselves we live in the utopian diversity of a college recruitment pamphlet. This hipster was probably just worried that the party would be deemed anti-semetic if they didn't get a Jew up in the place.

Posted by fromohio | December 29, 2006 2:31 PM

Great post. I was actually going ot say "Another beautiful piece from The Jew!" to kind of riff off of your hipster anecdote and Jonathan's post, but none of you know me so I won't.

Anyway, the "jewish guys are hot" thing is completely lost on me.

Jewish women, on the other hand? Yummy.

Posted by Sean | December 29, 2006 10:42 PM

My Jewish question is figuring out whether cloned meat (obviously not pork) is kosher.

Posted by Napoleon XIV | December 30, 2006 12:07 AM

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