TOO contributor, Alex Kurtagic, recently brought to my attention to one of those hard Left, Jewish fanatics who wrap themselves in activist virtue as they roam the countryside in search of monsters to destroy.
The crusader’s name is Tim Wise. Tim Wise hates racists; but from what I discovered, only one kind of racist. The White kind.
To investigate, I decided to contact Timothy Jacob Wise and explore his sympathies and uncover his inconsistencies, which turned out to be extensive. First, here’s a bit about “Anti-White Privilege” activist Timothy Jacob Wise fromhis website:
Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S., and has been called, “One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,” by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise has spoken in 48 states, and on over 400 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia, and has spoken to community groups around the nation.
Tim Wise has written at least four books on racism and “white privilege” and has perhaps appeared on as many talk shows as Joan Rivers. And he’s every bit as charming.
Wise claims to be an “anti-Zionist Jew” but he avoids the subject of Jewishness, of Israel and Palestine. And he definitely avoids the ethical shortcomings inherent in Zionism. One of Wise’s books is titled, White Like Me. Yes, Wise detests “white privilege” as well as “haters” like David Duke, and even televangelists like Pat Robertson. Wise’s list of hate objects constitutes a rather familiar pattern. Indeed, from what I could uncover, among Wise’s scores of articles on race, there was virtually nothing on America’s unconditional commitment to the Jewish people of Israel and their infamous assortment of racial extremists. I wanted to explore this.
I decided to contact Mr. Wise and initiate a conversation about his deep concerns over “white privilege”. Below is our unexpurgated correspondence. Mr. Wise finally stopped talking to me. To find out why, read on. The email messages remain as in the original, with minor editing and added links.
[Mark Green to Tim Wise, February 22, 2010]:
I’m bothered by racism in all its expressions. But history creates challenges for those of us who wish to counter injustice as well as advance equal treatment for everyone under the rule of law. Allow me to ask you then: are you Jewish? (Please forgive me for being so bold).
This is an important question however. There is no Caucasian group in the US that operates with such privilege (and enjoys such political double-standard) as American Jews and, especially, the state of Israel. Indeed, if white racism is deplorable, isn’t Jewish racism? For all of us devoted to combating racism, the Zionist movement poses pressing moral dilemmas. This cannot be ignored.
By any objective measure, Jews in America are very successful, influential and free to travel anywhere. This is good. But it can be argued that there is an underlying racial element to ‘global Jewry’. Many organized Jews groups denounce racism but work tirelessly to prevent Jews from marrying individuals without a Jewish mother. This is not only hard to justify, but it suggests an overriding Jewish concern with DNA (race). This raises difficult issues.
Many Jews operate in countless (and exclusive) groups that are designed to enhance Jewish cohesion, solidarity and influence. But there’s clearly a downside to this. Not everyone’s in the club.
American Jews, I’ve noticed, tend to support multi-culturalism (and high levels of immigration) here in the US as they champion Jewish purity in Israel/Palestine. Isn’t this double-standard a challenge to our anti-racist agenda? This level of Jewish privilege demands scrutiny. Public scrutiny. We cannot ignore it.
Many Jews are proudly atheistic. (I’m something of an atheist myself.) But interestingly, these atheistic Jews are as Jewish as any rabbi. Why? It is their ethnic identity that makes them Jews. Religious ideology, it seems, is a sidelight to modern Jewishness. Indeed, racial identity is what motivates Israeli Jews (and their supporters here) to try to ethnically-cleanse Palestine. As an anti-racist, isn’t this hard to support? Should people in Palestine be penalized to the point of exile for not having a Jewish pedigree? This is a difficult issue.
As you doubtless realize, Jews also have extraordinary influence in Hollywood and Washington. If political/cultural underrepresentation is problematic, why not political/cultural overrepresentation? After all, power is a zero-sum game.
Today, many Jews in America have attained privileged status. At the highest levels, many organized Jewish groups seem willing to inflict damage upon numerous Mideast peoples in order to enhance security for their ethno-state in Israel. This campaign is hugely expensive to the US taxpayer and, at times, undermines our reputation abroad. Favoring one ‘religion’ over others is also incompatible with settled American law. What (if anything) should we do about this?
There are exclusive Jewish fraternities, Jewish neighborhoods, Jewish country clubs, Jewish political action committees (by the score) and even a Congressional Jewish caucus in Washington DC. These organizations actively discriminate against non-Jews and, since Jewishness is a birthright among Jews, the question of racism inevitably arises. It cannot be ignored.
Most Jewish Americans seem comfortable with Israel’s harsh treatment of native non-Jews in Palestine. What’s the proper course of action for America now? Today, we Americans of all races are taxed to subsidize the Zionist battle against non-Jews in Palestine. Is this compatible with fighting racism? On a related subject, should America invade Iran to make Israel safer? These are challenging questions. But I think that it’s time that you spoke out against the most virulent forms of Jewish racism, particularly since it’s so intimately connected to the imperial doings of Washington DC.
If possible, please take the time to explore these concerns, Tim. I as well as many of your supporters will surely appreciate it. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Mark Green
[Tim Wise to Mark Green, February 22]
I am an anti-Zionist jew and always have been. I have written about it and spoken out about it for years. If you did your homework you would know that. Although I do not think American Jews have nearly the power you think, I am certainly opposed to our special relationship with Israel. I think we should spend all military aid to Israel (and everywhere else for that matter), and that the proper solution in Palestine is a one-state, bi-national state, where all have equal rights, entirely. tim wise
[Mark Green to Tim Wise on Feburary 24, 2010]:
Hi Tim. Thank you for your comments. I’ve done some reading by you and about you. Your anti-racist positions are indeed selective. I discovered little in your writings that critically explore Israeli racism. Nothing about ‘Jewish supremacism’. As far as I can tell, you’ve even managed to ignore the sorry condition of black Jews in Israel. Are you an Israeli mole?
Perhaps you’ve described yourself as “anti-Zionist Jew” once or twice (though I missed it) but the sweep of your articles ignores Israeli violence and systemic Israeli racism altogether. Wikipedia has nothing to say about your being an “anti-Zionist Jew”. In fact, even your list of recommended books hasn’t one title devoted to the destruction of Palestine or the inordinate influence enjoyed by the Israel Lobby in Washington. Did you forget?
Your obsession with “white privilege” is conveniently narrow. Is it the white privilege we find throughout our country at integrated, white-created institutions that hire and recruit African-Americans over more qualified white applicants because of their race? — or is this the kind of ‘white privilege’ that allows a nation of European Jews to colonize an already-populated area in the Middle East and then exile or subjugate the native people there because they lack a Jewish pedigree? Oddly, your writings obsess over the former and ignore the latter. Your sympathies lack moral balance.
You say you want to suspend “military aid” to Israel. Big deal. The Israelis already have a nuclear arsenal and they’re threatening to use it. Doesn’t the threat of genocide concern you? Then say so. Or should thousands of Iranians die because their President doubts the Holocaust or intends to enrich uranium?
Do you support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement(BDS) against Israel? You did so aggressively in the case of Apartheid South Africa. If you do support these broad sanctions against the Zionist Israel, then why not say so loudly and endorse BDS?
Your mining the same territory that Jewish liberals have been prospecting for the past 60 years: integration for blacks and whites, separate but equal for Israelis. This is a moral charade.
The greatest racial violence and extremist danger today comes from Jewish zealots and their fundamentalist Christian allies. These people are threatening nuclear war against Iran and pushing our government towards continued aggression in Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Yeman, Lebanon, and Iraq. Meanwhile, the slow motion annihilation of Palestine grinds on. As one who claims to be committed to the struggle against racism, doesn’t this bother you? Then say something about it that’s loud and clear. And keep saying it.
Desmond Tutu famously said conditions in Palestine are “far worse” than anything he witnessed in Apartheid South Africa. Do you not believe him? Why then are you so accommodating towards the ‘special relationship’ (besides private claims to the contrary)? Your writings evidence more contempt for pro-lifers in America’s Bible Belt than an Israeli garrison dropping white phosphorous on Palestinian civilians. Why?
You are you frothy over a problem that is rapidly improving (race relations in the US) but indifferent to a crisis that is growing worse (Zionist extremism). This smacks of intellectual dishonesty, Tim.
Since you’re keen on human rights, how is the Arab minority doing in Israel? Any hiring quotas that you know of? What about ‘the problem’ of discrimination in housing? Terrible, right? Are these not expressions of institutionalized racism?
Here’s my theory: you’re obsession with (past) white (Christian) sins is a deliberate cover for ongoing, government-subsidized, worldwide Zionist criminality. The shoe fits, Tim.
To cover up for your work as an Israeli asset, you occasionally make noises about “hard line” or “right wing” Israelis, but never about the whole stinking racist society there.
Also, please explain how Israel can become “one state” but also be “bi-national”. Are you serious? A bi-national state is what many Apartheid-era white South Africans sought so they could avoid racial integration and black rule. Are you blowing smoke again for Jewish segregationists? Indeed, recent polling indicates that the vast majority of Israeli Jews want the Jewish State ethnically cleansed of all gentiles in the event of a ‘peace deal’. That whole country is chock full of racist, supremacist Jews, Tim. But it doesn’t seem to bother you.
You are surely aware that Jews may not marry non-Jews in Israel. Why have you not explored this as an expression of systemic Israeli racism? Is DNA mixing a bad thing for the Jews? Many Israelis think so.
Finally, which past or present Israeli leaders should be held criminally responsible for the multitude of crimes committed by the Zionist state? Please name names.
Those horrid white American racists that you make a living ranting about couldn’t get elected to deputy sheriff in Amarillo, but those privileged whites from Israel get a private meeting with our President. Which problem is more urgent, Tim? Moral and political corruption on a massive scale is subverting justice and damaging our civilization. And you’re looking the other way. -Mark Green
[Tim Wise to Mark Green, February 23, 2010]:
Mark, You don’t get it. I am opposed to Zionism, entirely. I do not believe in a Jewish state, or any ethno-religious states.
I spend my time focusing mostly on U.S. white racism because I am an American. I believe I can have the greatest influence where I live, and believe in cleaning up my backyard first. I receive white privilege in the U.S. as someone who is seen as white (whether you and your type believe Jews are white or not is irrelevant to the issue of whether we receive white advantage). I do not accept that as a Jew I have some special obligation to focus on Israel, per se, because I do not believe in Israel and have said so repeatedly. I would never live there, have no desire to go there, and even quit my own religious instruction as a youth because of my views re: Israel among other things.
i agree with Tutu and have said so.
I support the boycott and divestment from israel.
When I say bi-national state, I merely mean that Jews should be able to live in palestine with Arabs (Christian and Muslim), with equal rights, but no special rights or privileges.
I’m not sure what would satisfy you. Perhaps you think we should simply nuke Israel, or round up Jews and kill them, and only those who are willing to go along with such bigoted bullshit are legit in your view. Whatever. people like you who believe in worldwide Jewish conspiracies tend to be beyond reason, so I doubt there is much reason in discussing it with you further.
I am critical of Jewish racism. You are not critical of traditional white racism. And therein lies the difference. You are the hypocrite my friend. Not me.
Fuck you very much. Tim
[Mark Green to Tim Wise, February 24, 2010]:
Tim- No need for profanity or hatred. Your attack upon my character is a familiar canard. Stop changing the subject.
Your written record is clear. Your public “criticisms” of Jewish racism are a basically non-existent. This is no accident. You have a forum but you’d rather denounce redneck hillbillies instead of billionaire Zionists. As for being an American, this didn’t prevent you from tirelessly pursuing sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, did it? It’s ‘white’ (Christian) racism that you detest. Nothing more. This is a familiar pattern among Jews.
Israel is allowed to kill because US-based Jews such as yourself would prefer to blow smoke about less urgent issues. In case you haven’t noticed, racist Israel relies on American aid, American arms and American cover provide by Jewish activists like yourself to commit their everyday atrocities. Because of the highly effective efforts of Zionists, America and Israel are virtually one political entity. This arrangement damages America and undermines international law. Your deceptive behavior make you complicit, that’s all. -Mark Green
[Tim Wise to Mark Green, February 24, 2010]:
… and I support cutting off that assistance, just like I did with South Africa. But actually, one thing I learned while doing the S. Africa work was that it was inappropriate to focus only on injustice elsewhere when there is substantial racism and injustice here (this is documented in my books, by the way, whether you believe it or not). I did not make the connections to the local context that I needed to when I was a student in the antiapartheid movement, and I resolved not to ever again focus mostly on what was going on elsewhere, over what was going on here.
To the extent the US is complicit, I call that out and am on record as supporting a) an end of all support for Israel (military and economic), b) an end to Israel as a “Jewish state,” and a one-state, democratic solution for all, c) an end to the special relationship with Israel in the U.S. I’m not sure what more I’m supposed to do. fact is, I receive white privilege in the U.S. and feel that it is ethically necessary to take responsibility for that, first, because that is the system of injustice from which I most directly benefit. I do not receive Jewish privilege in this country (I would in Israel, but don’t have any desire to even visit, let alone live there). In this country, I have never been favored in anything because of my Jewishness, while, on the other hand, I was often marginalized as a Jew growing up, told by Christian assholes that I was going to hell etc.
So, because I believe our first responsibility is to address injustice from which we benefit, I think dealing with white racism/privilege in the U.S. has to be my priority. But that has not kept me from writing about Israel, openly proclaiming my anti-Zionist views at hundreds of speeches, and ending up on the shit list of every Zionist and pro-Israel group in the country as a result. You may not be familiar with my public stance, but Zionists are. I have had them attempt to get me fired from jobs, they have forced places to cancel my speeches, I get death threats from them on occasion, etc. So frankly, your own ignorance about my views says little about the reality: I have attacked Zionism. Not just the hard right in Israel, but Zionism. The fact that this upsets your simplistic worldview, which says that all Jews are Zionists and support Israel, is your problem, not mine… tim
[Mark Green to Tim Wise, February 25, 2010]:
Hello Tim. I’ve got to give you credit, you’re a lot better on the Zionist problem than most of your co-ethnics. I am also sorry to hear that you were “marginalized as a Jew growing up…by Christian assholes”. This is unfortunate, and revealing. Unfortunately, you’ve still got a chip on your shoulder the size of Brooklyn.
You are wrong to allege that I believe that “all Jews are Zionists and therefore support Israel” (though polling data proves that the vast majority of the world’s Jews are committed Zionists and do support Israel with little reservation). But I never floated this facile, straw man generalization about “all Jews” so kindly stop claiming so.
I don’t know whether or not you actually believe that you have “never been favored in anything because of [your] Jewishness”, but allow me to inform you that, as an American Jew, you are supremely privileged in our society. Supremely.
Just consider your occupation. You go around scolding white (overwhelmingly non-Jewish) Americans for their ethnocentrism in what’s become the most integrated, tolerant and multi-racial nation in human history. Racism (and expressions of racial preference) have become truly taboo for ordinary, white Americans. If white Americans were half as racist as you believe, they’d be following Israel’s example and enacting laws to manage their ethnic future. Only it’s not happening. US borders remain open as Israel builds a “security fence” bigger than the Berlin Wall. What’s worse, the very discussion of these perplexing double-standards is severely limited.
For instance, do you think that a gentile with my views (highly critical of organized Jewry) would be allowed to promulgate these concerns on any major campus (without violent interruption) or on any major media outlet? It just doesn’t happen. It’s not allowed to.
Do you think this level of censorship or these political double standards has taken root by accident? Authoritarianism and conformity of this kind protects activists like you, Tim. Your opponents are delegitimized and marginalized. These double-standards are in place by design. This is privilege. It is Jewish privilege.
Each and every day, white Christians pay tribute to the nuclear-ready Zionist State via taxation and unwavering diplomatic and military assistance. These subsidies have been going on without interruption for generations. And no level of Israeli cruelty causes their cessation. Yet you make a living out of scolding these witless, hapless gentiles for their racist tendencies! You’re so Jewish you can’t even see straight.
And while American pay tribute to Israel, fully 98% of American taxpayers would be denied citizenship in Israel because of their non-Jewish genealogy. This grotesque problem isn’t about “another country”, Tim. This is happening in Washington, in Palestine, and on your TV right here and now.
Israel’s extraordinary exemption from everyday rules (and law) is an expression of Jewish privilege. This is doing genuine and irreversible damage to our nation and the world.
Being Jewish in America today means never having to say you’re sorry (except to other Jews). It must be nice. And when criticizing Jews, we gentiles must be very, very careful, since the charge of ‘anti-Semitism can be ruinous. Jews suffer no similar opprobrium for any display of ‘anti-gentilism’. (Does such a thing even exist?) These double-standards are a cancer. In today’s multi-cultural America, there’s a galaxy of federations, alliances and organizations devoted strictly to ‘minority’ special interests. The vanishing white majority has been totally disarmed. This extraordinary double-standard represents the triumph of ‘political correctness, Tim, and it’s got Jewish fingerprints all over it.
American Jews are blessed with top tier victim status today, in no small part due to the omnipresent Holocaust narrative. … In this universe, no other genocides matter. Perhaps no other genocide ever even happened. Today, the Holocaust parable symbolizes the eternal white (Christian) propensity for evil-doing (anti-Semitism) against a backdrop of Jewish exceptionalism and Jewish innocence. Those who doubt the veracity of any essential element (or meaning) of this Truth are to be shunned. In many democratic countries, repeated violators may suffer job loss or imprisonment.
On the other hand, expressions of Jewish xenophobia — no matter how racist or extreme — suffer from no comparable sanction. Even Israel’s push for the annihilation of Iran achieves considerable US approval.
Jewish privilege is real and it is doing genuine harm.
Thus ended our correspondence. I conclude with a quote from Wise’s website:
After all, acknowledging unfairness then calls decent people forth to correct those injustices. And since most persons are at their core, decent folks, the need to ignore evidence of injustice is powerful: To do otherwise would force whites to either push for change (which they would perceive as against their interests) or live consciously as hypocrites who speak of freedom and opportunity but perpetuate a system of inequality.
Who’s the hypocrite?
Mark Green is the editor of Persecution, Privilege and Power. He can be reached at: PersecutionPrivilegeAndPower.com