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Jewish Journal

Racism, Jesus & Christmas

by Ilana Angel

December 21, 2011 | 2:53 pm

It’s been an interesting week.  I’ve had very long days at work getting my clients ready for the holidays, plus finals for my son, finding time to go car shopping with him, and do all my Hanukkah shopping.  I love this time of year, but find I am so tired that my patience is being tested.

I cannot handle bad drivers or rude people on a good day, so my tired self is even less patient and tolerant of morons.  It’s hard to deal with idiots on the best of days, and today I am simply unable to control my frustration and disgust with people.  Not all of course, just a select few.

I have been called a lot of things in my life.  Mostly I get funny, kind, honest, brave and sarcastic.  This week however, I was called a racist. If that was not bad enough, I was also told I hated Jesus because I did not wish a woman Merry Christmas.  ‘Tis the season for crazy.

In writing about the Real Housewives of Atlanta, I wrote the following: “What exactly is the word “AXSTD”?  I am sick of hearing these women mispronounce the word “ASKED”.  Can someone please clarify if that is a Southern thing, or simply a moron thing?” An honest question.

In the course of 5 minutes, a group of women said axstd instead of asked, a dozen times.  It sounded really stupid to me.  As an avid watcher of reality television I have heard it said before of course, but when I heard it so many times within one conversation, it sounded ridiculous to me.

Because the women speaking were African American, I was called a racist and it was said by some that I was insensitive to an entire race of people, and perpetuating stereotypes.  When I wrote back to one woman to apologize, she said she was not African and why did I hate her?

She then went on to explain to me that not all Black Americans were of African descent and I needed to stop being such a racist.  She asked how I would feel if she said I had a big nose and only cared about money.  Really? I’m the racist?  Some people just make me sad.

When I wished the older lady at Whole Foods Happy Holidays,  she got mad at me for not saying Merry Christmas.  People wrote to ask why I hated Jesus so much.  Seriously?  My choosing to say Happy Holidays over Merry Christmas means I hate Jesus?

I am not a politically correct person, and if you read my blogs with any regularity you know this about me.  I am also not a mean spirited person or racist.  I have no tolerance for racism of any kind, am respectful of all religions, embrace faith, and I’ve got nothing but love for Jesus.

I do not say Happy Holidays because I am Jewish.  I say it because it’s the holiday season.  Just because I was raised in predominately white communities, and am not that familiar with inner city English, does not mean I hate black people.  It just means I think the word akstd is stupid.

To clarify, I am quoting from an email I got and not assuming that all African Americans live in the inner city, or are African.  I am also not going to measure everything I say because I may piss someone off.  I’m going to piss people off no mater what I say, or how I say it, so why worry?

If you don’t like what I say, it’s okay.  That said, do not put your crap on me. I am not a racist and I am not an exclusionary Jew.  I am just a girl who thinks the holidays matter, and that asked should be pronounced correctly. Since I’m ranting, can we talk about penis enlargement?

Some genius, who I am assuming is a rabid reality television fan, did not agree with my blog and thought it would be funny to use my email address to inquire about penis enlargement and online porn.  I am now getting bombarded with spam asking if I need a sex date or a bigger penis.

It’s funny I suppose, and I’m sure they are laughing about their brilliant prank.  It’s a little upsetting of course when my child logs onto my computer to print something for school and sees a bunch of emails about penis enlargement. Rather than get mad, I wonder what Jesus would do.

I like to think people are going to be kind during the holidays.  It’s naïve I guess, but how can you watch It’s a Wonderful Life and not want to be nice to people?  Sadly, at the end of the day the joy of the holidays only puts a spotlight on how selfish and unkind people can be to each other.

It’s the second night of Hanukkah and I am going to make latkes, surprise my child with something great, and enjoy the holiday.  I will watch some TV, learn a hundred ways to enlarge a penis, study Ebonics, and praise Jesus.  Happy Holidays everyone.  Keep the faith.

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