Israel, Mishegas, Sex & Gender

Reverse Discrimination?

Here’s an interesting story I picked up from the Pride Parade Rally last week.
A couple friends of mine tried to make it to Givat Ram on Friday, but the cops wouldn’t let them. It seems their kippot aroused too much suspicion. Despite being detained, questioned, and strip-searched, these two Orthodox Jews could not be trusted. While I had no problems getting to the event, and even saw a smattering of other lidded-yids there, it hurts to hear this story. Were there others that got turned away? Even if this was an isolated incident, as is the case in racial profiling, this story tells of something very damaging.
By trying to keep one group safe from hate, it is very easy to stigmatize a different group, and transfer that hate on to them. While we might be overpowered by our garbage-burning brothers, there are a number of religious Jews who are queer friendly, and that number is growing. The only way to make sure that everyone can find a meaningful place within our religion is through intense dialogue and discussion. And, the only way that will happen, is if we all learn to see past stereotypes and generalizations.

8 thoughts on “Reverse Discrimination?

  1. This year, like in years past, I went in my skirt, with be-kipped friends. This year, like in years past, my friends in kippot were stopped and questioned and then allowed to proceed. This year, like in years past, a religious man interrupted the event to spew hatred at those present. Sometimes profiling is a good thing.
    Those friends of yours (and mine) who were eventually only allowed in after trying again with their kippot in their pockets had the unfortunate timing of trying to get in immediately following the incident of the man screaming messages of hate that required multiple police officers to control. There’s a fine line between “seeing past stereotypes and generalizations” and keeping everyone safe and secure. I was also saddened to see significantly fewer outwardly religious-appearing people at this year’s rally whether because guards wouldn’t let them in or people were afraid to attend/dress religious at the rally. However, as un-PC as it is to say it, sometimes judging people based on appearance is one of the better ways of keeping everyone safe.

  2. I was also saddened to see significantly fewer outwardly religious-appearing people at this year’s rally whether because guards wouldn’t let them in or people were afraid to attend/dress religious at the rally.
    What time was the rally? Shabbat starts earlier in November than in the summer (when past pride parades have been held), so maybe that had some effect.

  3. BZ –
    I think you might be on to something there. The rally was from 11am-3pm, though many people were leaving by 2pm (after HaDag Nachash). Jerusalem candlelighting was at 4:07pm, with Shabbat actually starting 40 minutes later. Although most of my friends and I had been up late the previous night doing all our Shabbat preparations – kinda of like you Americans – for people who didn’t plan their entire weekend around the rally it would have been much more difficult. Thanks for pointing that out.

  4. I am pretty observant. My dear Uncle has been quietly gay for 50 plus years. I have no problem with gay folks. My problem is with people who flaunt their sexuality, be it straight ( ie.Paris Hilton) or gay. There is no “staright pride” parade.
    Why can’t you be gay and just be a regular person. My uncle is…and I love him so much.

  5. The Jerusalem pride parades (unlike pride parades in some cities) are not overtly sexual. Yes, the participants are publicly proclaiming their orientations, but so are straight people any time they appear in public with their partners or even refer to their partners. This behavior among straight people is generally not considered “flaunting their sexuality”, but it is when it involves gay people. This double standard is precisely what the pride parade is aiming to erase. The participants would like nothing more than to “be gay and just be a regular person”. There is no need for a straight pride parade, because mainstream culture already is a straight pride parade 365 days a year.

  6. Lets be clear there is no such thing as “reverse discrimination”. What you are addressing is how discrimination and socialization impact how we perceive and respond to people based on appearance, identity, etc. and the role that the militarization of our societies via for example police plays into the ways in which we police and patrol our communities and our lives. Thus, since the argument was that the “threat” looked a particular way, those folks were profiled. That is discrimination, but there’s nothing “reverse” about it. The notion of reverse discrimination is a false precedent that attempts to take power and privilege out of understanding how oppression functions in our societies and systemically.

  7. “Lets be clear there is no such thing as “reverse discrimination”. ”
    There is absolutely such a thing as reverse discrimination. Any time someone’s race, religion, or gender is used against them because they are perceived to be part of an “elite,” (and those from the lower classes experience this much more than those in the higher classes who benefit from “legacy” and family contacts) they are experiencing reverse discrimination.
    Discrimination is discrimination is discrimination!
    And it should be illegal in any private or public institution or business which receives government funding.

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