Apparently there’s been a lot of anti-semitism in Seattle lately, prompting their alt-weekly to devote an issue to Jewish issues. But check out the graphic they chose to illustrate one of their regular columns. Textbook hipster racism.
That’s the graphic over to the right. Racialicious is one of my very favorite blogs, but I’ve gotta say, this case doesn’t look so textbook to me. I asked about it in Racialicious’ comments, and Lyonside wrote:
The drawing is reminiscent of the hooked-nose portraits of Jewish men so common to the medieval and modern era. A more subtle dig may be the thinning hair on top, but in general, the nose that was longer than the cartoon’s HEAD (in profile) is the obnoxious part.
I’m sure it was meant to be ironic, but I see it as a lack of taste. And awareness.
It’s just not true that the nose is longer than the profile’s head. It’s a big nose, but it’s not that big. And although the nose is exaggerated, it’s not distended and freakish, like the noses in “classic” antisemitic cartoons often were. Look at the noses (especially the husband’s) in this German cartoon from 1934, for example:
Look: I have a big nose. And it hooks. Many of my relatives also have relatively big, hookish noses. It’s a common trait among Jews whose folks came to the US from Eastern Europe. Are cartoonists supposed to pretend that me and thousands of Jews like me don’t have this nose? And how will wiping out representations of Jews with a classic Jewish nose — those Jews, in other words, who are least likely to be mistaken for gentiles — be a blow against antisemitism?