Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

“I try not to be a Jew about it.”

with 7 comments

Yesterday, I was giving a good friend a ride from lunch and we were discussing what we tipped the waiter.  Through the course of the conversation he made a comment about how he “tries not to be a Jew about it and tips 20% always.”  

I wanted to slam the brakes, but though better of it. 

When I explained to him that that was a poor choice of words he laughed it off.  Then I reminded him that I’m Jewish.  He surprisingly forgot.  He laughed and barely apologized.  

( When I tell people I’m Jewish I’ve noticed people laugh or find it oddly amusing.   They give me the feeling that they just discovered I can be the punch line of endless jokes.  And I often am as the token Jew in a group of Christians.) 

Should I have questioned his laughter?  Or pressed the issue of using “Jew” as meaning cheap as an offensive term?  I almost got the feeling he wouldn’t have really got the point since he barely apologized to begin with.


Written by elfrat

October 25, 2009 at 3:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. If your friend just shrugged it off and acted like it never happened then you need to talk to your friend again but in private. If something like that offends you then your friend needs to be aware that you were offended and upset.


    October 25, 2009 at 3:35 am

  2. I agree with the response above. Your friend will not take you seriously not because your a Jew but because you don’t put your foot down when things really are offensive to you and you just let it pass by you.


    October 25, 2009 at 5:56 pm

  3. I agree, I think if you don’t say what bothers you from the start then they won’t take you seriously or see it as offensive. If you tell them you find it offensive, they might stop doing it not only with you, but with others as well.


    October 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm

  4. True. It is important to let people know what offends you. Also if this really offended you I think you should have said something right away. I personally have many friends that are jewish but they don’t get offended by jokes they just laugh it off so I’m sure your friend didnt feel like he had said anything wrong. You just need to tell them otherwise.


    October 25, 2009 at 8:51 pm

  5. I am Jew and am engaged to a Muslim, so I have heard my fair share of religious jokes and blunders. My reaction depends on who is making the joke. I reserve the right to express my dislike of a joke to anyone, but I feel obligated to share my opinion with those who know little about me or my situation. I think that in your case, full disclosure is the best route. If the joke made you uncomfortable, you have every right to explain this to the person in question. The reality is that Christianity has it’s roots in Judaism, so they are only making fun of themselves.



    October 26, 2009 at 1:19 am

  6. I think even more alarming than anything is the impact of a jew joke as opposed to a black joke. Jews are seen as white, as opposed to an ”oppressed” minority. My first reaction when reading this was ”chill out kid, it’s just a joke”. However, when i thought about a different scenario in which a black joke may have been used instead….it does NOT breed a different reaction.


    October 26, 2009 at 4:32 am

  7. Wow, this is so offensive. Had I been in you situation I would be mad as well. We shouldn’t make stereotypes about certain people just becasue of their religious affiliations (or anything else for that matterr). What makes it even worse is that is wasn’t even funny. Sometimes jokes are really funny you might say thats wrong but its funny. This guy’s joke was WHACK! You should definitely educate him and tell him not to say stuff like again especially when it isn’t even true.


    October 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm

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