dimanche 10 février 2019

Le message de Tom Wolfe aux Juifs ("radical chic")

Jeffrey Salkin @ RNS:
Tom Wolfe
The author Tom Wolfe, who died this week at the age of 88, was decidedly not a Jewish writer. But, he knew about Jews. Or, at least, some Jews. […]
In Tom Wolfe’s honor, I re-read his classic piece of new journalism, Radical Chic and Ma-Mauing the Flak Catchers [Le Gauchisme de Park Avenue], published in 1970. 

Wolfe tells the story of the famous fundraising party that conductor Leonard Bernstein (whose centennial we mark this summer) and his wife, Felicia, threw for the Black Panthers at their New York apartment. 
The guest list included some of the most famous luminaries of American culture: Otto Preminger, Broadway lyricist Sheldon Harnick, and Barbara Walters, among them.The guests sat, enraptured, as the Panthers regaled them with their platform.
We want all black men exempt from military service. We want all black men who are in jail to be set free…We’d like to take kids on tours of the white suburbs, like Scarsdale, and let them see how their oppressors live…We want peace, but there can be no peace as long as society is racist and one part of society engages in systematic oppression of another.
[…] It is the nature of “radical chic” itself. It had become chic to be radical. 
Bernstein’s guests seemed willing to overlook, or discount, or relativize, the anti-semitism that was part of the Black Panther rhetoric. 
Wolfe cited the August 30, 1969 issue of Black Panther, which carried an article entitled “Zionism (Kosher Nationalism) + Imperialism = Fascism,” and spoke of the “fascist Zionist pigs.” 
As Wolfe put it:
Radical Chic invariably favors radicals who seem primitive, exotic, and romantic, such as the grape workers, who are not merely radical and ‘of the soil,’ but also Latin… 
The purveyors of radical chic didn’t even mind, terribly much, when they read a poem published in Black Power magazine, which read: “Jew-land, on a summer afternoon; really, couldn’t kill the Jews too soon…in Jew-land, don’t be a Tom on Israel’s side. Really, cause that’s where Christ was crucified.
Why didn’t the radical chic crowd protest this vile hatred?

Ever the armchair sociologist with a keen sense of class issues, especially regarding the Jews of New York, Tom Wolfe says: 
To be a UJA Zionist about the whole thing was to be old-fashioned, middle-class, middle-aged, suburban, Oceanside, Cedarhurstian…
Translation: to be a Zionist just wasn’t chic. 
To be radical – no matter the enormities and extremism of those whom you were scripted to support – that was chic.
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