Am I or I am Antisemitic and in Denial?

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Cocksure

Well-known Member
Serious question, something happened last evening that has left me quite worried.

I went over to see someone to strike a deal over work they had done for me vs what I had paid them. Neither side had kept very good records of the work/money done/given, so we came to an agreement. During the haggling, the other person kept on saying I'm a Jew (there not) and so I have to get a good deal etc, I didn't like this but didn't say anything. Anyway deal struck, the agreement put in writing and most importantly for me, a handshake is done.

Five minutes later the guy comes back up to me wanting more money because he had forgotten something which really hacked me off, as a result, I started (but didn't say) to think, F'in Jew etc. This reaction has left me quite shaken this morning.

What makes it worse for me is I can't help but think that Judaism is the one true religion and I should convert, but I never will because I'm too scared to for exactly the same reasons that I think it is the "right" religion.

I know that my thoughts were wrong, but am I antisemitic at heart?
 

DemonAV

Distinguished Member
Being Jewish isn't a sign that the person fits the stereotypical idea of what being a jew is. Same as being black, Chinese etc. Jews have a stereotype of being crafty, especially with money but being married to a jewish woman and knowing her family I can assure you that this stereotype is not true. Her family like most families have a couple of financially canny members and some members who haven't a clue how to manage money, just like my Christian family. If you want to convert to Judaism then do. Like all religions it's fundamental ideas are sound but doesn't account for human nature so like most religions it isn't perfect. If you're a decent man, as it sounds like you are, then convert and use your decency to adjust preconceptions and make a change.
 
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rousetafarian

Moderator
I think the real question ask yourself silently is ‘Should I be conducting any business with these poor suppliers who happen to cross paths with me’

A handshake counts for sh*t.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
We use to use the term "you jew / jewbag" at school etc, when your mate was being tight with money.
Not sure where it can from, and if I'm honest, they were just terms used. We never actually linked the comments to actual people or races.
I suspect this is much of the problem. A phrase it used, as it's just part of language you grow into.
And no malice is felt when using the term.
tight, tight ares, jew, mean etc.

Then you have someone from the Jewish faith who see's this, and sort of pulls the term into reality and decides to take offence at it, when there was never any offence involved by most of the users.

It feels perhaps a bit like the video game argument and violence.
You have have lovely people who would never hurt a fly or swear at anyone, playing a game, where they are being up/killing characters on-screen.
Mentally there is a 100% disconnect between the game and real life.

Until someone decides to take offence at the game or the media get their teeth into it, and they make that connection.

My mother than father never had a racist bone in their body, they both had friends, worked with, and loved all people as individuals, but they would still use, by todays standards racist terms.
But they were just terms, and not linked to real people.

We seem to have lost the ability to understand there is not always a connection between these things.
 

Flashy

Well-known Member
We use to use the term "you jew / jewbag" at school etc, when your mate was being tight with money.
Not sure where it can from, and if I'm honest, they were just terms used. We never actually linked the comments to actual people or races.
I suspect this is much of the problem. A phrase it used, as it's just part of language you grow into.
And no malice is felt when using the term.
tight, tight ares, jew, mean etc.

Then you have someone from the Jewish faith who see's this, and sort of pulls the term into reality and decides to take offence at it, when there was never any offence involved by most of the users.

It feels perhaps a bit like the video game argument and violence.
You have have lovely people who would never hurt a fly or swear at anyone, playing a game, where they are being up/killing characters on-screen.
Mentally there is a 100% disconnect between the game and real life.

Until someone decides to take offence at the game or the media get their teeth into it, and they make that connection.

My mother than father never had a racist bone in their body, they both had friends, worked with, and loved all people as individuals, but they would still use, by todays standards racist terms.
But they were just terms, and not linked to real people.

We seem to have lost the ability to understand there is not always a connection between these things.
But that’s the exact problem. Just because something was commonplace in the 50s, or the playground more recently, doesn’t mean it was okay then or that it’s okay now.

It may not be meant offensively in any way but of course there’s a connection. It’s normalising racism, casual or otherwise. And it’s not acceptable.

I saw a PSA/ad on the tele the other night, voiceover by a black woman, which made me think. It included a line that was something like: “If you’re sick of hearing about racism, think how sick we are of experiencing it.”
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Understand what you are saying.
I'm just wishing to point out there is a world of difference between real life racism against actual people, causing them verbal/physical distress/harm.
And terms used by people as part of the language, which grows and transforms over time.
One does not have to mean the other. I'm sure they are separate things.
Yet they are drawn these days to be the exact same thing.

My old BEANO annual, which I loved, used to have lots of racist joke pages.
The old Chinese "tooth hurty" joke.
It was funny as a child as it was an accent thing, but I can honestly say it never made me have any negative views whatsoever to anyone who was Chinese.
In my mind there was/is no connection between the two.

Now, I 100% agree not everyone is the same, and there are some really nasty racists/sexists etc out there and we need to deal with those fast and hard.
It's just we seem to be tarring the whole, mostly white/English population with the same 'you are all evil racists brush' which is very unfair IMHO.

My rule, if you wish to call it that is to treat everyone as an individual, and I'll make my opinion of you based upon how you are as an individual. What colour your skin is or where you come from does not enter into this. I personally don't really feel I have many pre-conceived ideas in a real world setting.

That said I'm fine reading the most racist, non-PC, bad taste jokes there are.
Very hard to offend me with any joke, as I just take it as being a joke and not reality.
 

Doug the D

Member
@Cocksure, this sound like 'unconscious bias' to me. You'll have to google it if you haven't heard the term, but in a nutshell, we as humans create biases towards others that are not like us. These can be quite interesting.

I had to do some tests on this subject for a course at work. There were a number to select from, so I chose 'U.K. vs. U.S.A', 'White vs. Black skin colour' and 'Fat vs. Slim figure' (they weren't the actual titles).
During the tests, questions are asked and you must answer quickly, not thinking too long about your answer.

I did the country one and no surprises, being born and bred in the U.K. I had a heavy bias towards the U.K.
On the skin colour one, I had a slight bias towards white skin, which, as a white man was normal.
The final one surprised me. I have a moderate bias towards larger people apparently. I don't know why, I simply cannot explain it. My wife is tiny, my mother wasn't overweight growing up and I've always felt that I have a negative (not nasty) view of overweight people in general (a conscious bias, i.e, I know I have it). To find out that I prefer the body shape of a larger person over a slim one is a bit odd...

To me it sounds like you have some sort of unconscious bias towards Jews, but this definitely doesn't make you antisemitic. It does sound like you have linked (from your childhood?) the idea that Jewish people are perhaps a bit tight or sneaky with money with the interaction with this person who you feel has wronged you. Hell, you've even said that the person isn't even Jewish! It's not like you're harbouring this feeling towards all Jews, you're just pissed off that you feel ripped off.
 

Doug the D

Member
[snip]

I personally don't really feel I have many pre-conceived ideas in a real world setting
You do have 'pre-conceived' ideas I'm afraid, even if you don't know it. They are imprinted on our little brains for the most part by around 10 years old.

This is probably why people that are good parents and treat their children with love and nurture them as best they can get cross or upset with people that shout at their children, lower their self-worth and teach them inappropriate and terrible things.
This goes hand-in-hand with a post of yours I read recently about video games/ violence. I agreed with your view on that subject, but it's worth pointing our that these type of games have PEGI ratings for good reason. Letting a sub-10 year old play GTA5 (an 18 certified game) for example will have a more negative effect on his/ her young brain than it would on yours or mine.
 

Cocksure

Well-known Member
@Doug the D :smashin: I think you have hit the nail on the head.
There is clearly some issue here which I need to address as if I see an orthodox Jew I am fascinated by them in the same way I once was about a black man's hair.

What has triggered this all of for me is the fact that I have just finished watching Hunters and it has brought a lot of things to mind, I had a very strict very right-wing Catholic education, where I became obsessed about the Nazi party, Jews, Gays, etc and lets just say that such views were not discouraged.

I thought I had left that all behind but clearly not, so thanks once again @Doug the D as I now know what to look into. No point denying something because we don't like it, only by admitting etc
 

Belzok

Active Member
I think maybe a bit of overthinking, as the other person kept saying 'I'm a Jew' it would have put it to the forefront of your mind and you would have, fairly understandably, made a mental connection with the stereotypes.

It's actions that count really.
 

scarty16

Well-known Member
I find when people have a very quick un-thinking reaction to a person, they latch onto and use the most obvious characteristic of that person and use it as the core of the insult they use.

Fat, short, Glasses, Hair colour, skin colour, Football team, religion etc.

It is not in my opinion based on any existing prejudice, it is just your brain grasping for an insult as quickly as possible.

I wouldn't worry about it in terms of prejudice unless it starts to become an issue, and then it will only be something to do something about of you want to. After all we do not have thought police quite yet.
 

BigA1

Active Member
Unconscious bias as others have said isnt something you can controll easily.

Once you've identified your bias (as you're doing on here), its essential that you challenge that bias and consequently your underpinning programme to discover where that bias comes from. Could be comments or actions from being a tiny tott, or experiences.

Growing up in a very narrow minded unit as a child and deciding from a very young age I want to experience everything the world has, I have had to challenge my considerable bias's as I have grown up.

I still have a way to go with some and some I'm embarrassed about as my reflex is often to that pre programmed state and I have to withdraw quickly and challege myself on the fly.

You're always growing and it's OK to make mistakes as long as you acknowledge them and challenge yourself to be better.

For example.... my first reaction to this post was to type something about worshiping sky fairies and choosing another author to follow...!!!

That's my bias against religion, which I just can't get a hold of no matter how many texts I read and who I speak to.

Where I am at is that if you find something good in your faith in a God then great for you.... I will continue to try and believe in humans and have faith that they have enough good in them to do the right thing without a need for divine intervention.

Anyways drifting off topic, challege your bias, discover its roots and build new opinions.
 

davidjohnson

Distinguished Member
It is not in my opinion based on any existing prejudice, it is just your brain grasping for an insult as quickly as possible.
I have done this. When I really lose my temper, I look for the insult that I believe will cause the most offence. I am not proud of this.
 

Cocksure

Well-known Member
Thanks for the kind words folks, but I am antisemitic, not intentionally but it’s still there. Unconscious bias doesn’t change that, having seen a shrink and having multiple self denials pointed out to me, I can recognise the signs of doing it again now that it has been pointed out to me :(

Really don’t like such things about me as I hate hypocrites and yet I am being one. I’ve decided that later on today I am going to contact an rabbi via email, not with the intention to convert but more out of I need to face this head on. I don’t know if they will reply back, but its a start either way:)
 

Bubblin

Well-known Member
Have you considered (and going by other posts) aspergers/autism as being the issue, not easy to comprehend but some postings, and detail with numbers, people and how they affect you seem to maybe being a concern.

I'm the exact same and overthink everything and spend my time trying to fix the world?
 

philbot

Member
As a child we would often accuse each other of 'jewing' someone when swapping or selling something when the deal was not in your favour etc. I know for a fact at the age of 7 I had no idea what a Jew was or whether I had even ever met one. It was just a phrase that was bandied about at the time. No way do I feel guilty about it now, because as children you don't know any better, but as you grow up you hopefully realise that some phrases are racist.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
To be honest I think you've overreacted and need not concern yourself - certainly not to the degree of contacting a Rabbi.

It was clearly a pressure moment during which a thought was planted; that you've then subsequently turned around because of your anger with this guy.
 

Cocksure

Well-known Member
Have you considered (and going by other posts) aspergers/autism as being the issue, not easy to comprehend but some postings, and detail with numbers, people and how they affect you seem to maybe being a concern.

I'm the exact same and overthink everything and spend my time trying to fix the world?
It’s not Asperger or autism with me, instead its a mix of Narcissism and Psychopath, I’m not 100% there thankfully, but it’s still there, its why I have such a fixation on law and go to the ends i go to. Basically the shrinks advice was channel it or go to prison.

Being aware of that side of me means that I need to face hard facts or there is a real risk of it going somewhere I would rather it didn’t. Not out of guilt but out of not wanting to be that type of person
 

scarty16

Well-known Member
why not go full Mel Gibson for a while, and see how you like it, if you do, it is an easy step to shave your head and get some tattoos. Otherwise accept that this is not the life for you and have a crack at something else.
 

Cocksure

Well-known Member
why not go full Mel Gibson for a while, and see how you like it, if you do, it is an easy step to shave your head and get some tattoos. Otherwise accept that this is not the life for you and have a crack at something else.
How do you mean? I mean no offence but other than the mel gibson bit I don’t follow you?
 

scarty16

Well-known Member
Mel Gibson - well know anti-semite (allegidly) according to Natalie Portman etc, so you can go around making comments like "over dodger" and alike.

Next step if you like your new found anti-semitic freedom, is to go full Nazi Skinhead, get some nice SS based tattoos and enjoy your new set of friends and lifestyle.

If on the other hand you find the Mel Gibson lifestyle causes you too many issues or you don't like it, give up the anti-semitism and find a new hobby.
 
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