December 1, 2020
Editor’s Note: Steven G. Kellman is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The opinions expressed in this column are his own and are not necessarily the opinion of Jewish Federation of San Antonio.
By Steven G. Kellman
Bruxism – the involuntary grinding of teeth – is a common dental disorder. But loxism, a new word I discovered in the viperous crannies of the internet, is more dangerous. It turns out that loxism is not an excessive fondness for smoked salmon.
Instead, according to a tweet by someone identified as Partenopea, “Loxism is the hatred of White people by Jews. It’s the most pervasive form of racial hatred on the planet, and yet it is never mentioned by msm/society. It is the driving force behind global events, and yet we’re threatened with imprisonment/social ostracization for mentioning it.”
The best reason not to mention this imaginary animosity is that it is bogus, a paranoid anti-Semitic fantasy. Most Jews do not hate White people, and the claim that they do assumes that Jews are not White. That is an assumption widely shared a century ago when Jews – like other immigrant groups such as Greeks, Italians, and Slavs – were denied opportunities in employment, education, and housing. The most pallid Ashkenazi arriving at Ellis Island was too dark for many Americans. Today, however, when some policies favor people of color, Jews are excluded precisely because they are considered “White.” If Jews despise White people, is it envy – or is it self-hatred?
In fact, Jews are not a race, and they come in every complexion. A visit to Israel, whose population includes more than 4 million Mizrahi Jews and 140,000 Ethiopian Jews might disabuse anyone who thinks otherwise; they do not look much like Michael Bloomberg, Alan Dershowitz, or Barbra Streisand. A recent demographic study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of San Francisco concluded that 12-15 percent of American Jews are “Jews of color.” A covenant, not melanin, defines who is a Jew.
The word loxism was concocted to legitimize “replacement theory” – the insidious belief that Jews are conspiring with African Americans, Latinos, Asians, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and others to seize control of the world. However, according to classical anti-Semitism, the so-called Elders of Zion have already done that. Nevertheless, as Partenopea explained, “Jews are the primary driving force behind mass replacement immigration into White countries.” When armed neo-Nazis marched through the streets of Charlottesville, pausing in front of Congregation Beth Israel, they chanted: “Jews will not replace us.” These frightened thugs feel threatened by ghosts they themselves conjured out of nothing.
Partenopea seems fond of the phrase “driving force.” But the driving force behind use of the noxious neologism loxism is a fundamental misconception of who Jews are, an exaggerated view of Jewish influence, and a toxic loathing of Jewish people. The spurious claim that Jews despise Whites is a projection back onto Jews themselves of an ancient enmity against them that, over the centuries, has led to massive persecutions and exterminations. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy bagels, cream cheese, and lox, but only the ignorant and the intolerant are likely to swallow loxism.
Steven G. Kellman is a professor of comparative literature at UTSA and author of Rambling Prose (Trinity University Press).