"jews hate Bush"

[This goy would wear it as a badge of honor, if he could imagine it involved any merit on his part.]

Tonight I was surprised to find myself the target in a classic and somewhat extended anti-semitic confrontation.

While Barry and I were waiting to enter the Greenwich House Theater this evening, a blond, sixty-ish, middle-class woman (she looked like she lived in the Village, perhaps as a retired schoolteacher) walked up to me and peered closely at my slash war button. She mumbled something about having initially thought it was a slash Bush button, adding, "jews hate Bush," and walked on.

I asked Barry what she had said about jews, and he confirmed what I thought I had heard. I chased after and confronted her, to ask whether she had really said that. (At this point I actually thought there was a chance we had misunderstood or had missed some New York irony.) But no, she repeated that jews hate Bush and asked if I hated Bush. I told her I thought Bush was a dangerous idiot and she asked if I was jewish. I asked her why she was asking such a question. She could only reply that jews hate Bush and then insisted repeatedly that I was Jewish. A small crowd was gathering at this point and the play was to begin soon, so I left her wading in her hateful paranoia with the gentle suggestion that she should seek help.

The entire experience was incredibly disturbing for both of us, not least because of the nature of the beast, and the turf.

It's tough enough being queer, lefty, atheist, and philo-semitic in Manhattan. How do people survive in the hinterland?

p.s. The play was quite wonderful.

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Published on October 5, 2002 11:25 PM.

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