It’s being called a hoax, Jew Registration in East Ukraine. 2-things aren’t funny: Black Face and Jew Registration. Sometimes a hoax needs to be taken seriously.
This is a healthy dance: loud, visible, deeply shameful.
Birthers didn’t dance. Right here at home, Birthers weren’t made to dance. Never in my life have I heard of a “Long Form Birth Certificate.” It was nothing short of racism.
We all felt it. We all knew it. But no one danced.
Stand Your Ground is the result. Stand Your Ground is the Separate But Equal of 2014, little more than an invitation for insecure white men to hunt down and kill black teenagers: Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis.
Trayvon Martin has been etched into our consciousness. I had to Google “Black Teenagers Killed By Stand Your Ground” to find the second name. We didn’t dance for Jordan Davis.
Last night I went to a story jam in Chicago called Grown Folks. I threw my name in the jar and waited to see if I’d be called. Sure enough, I was called. I mentioned Max’s Deli. It got applause. Clearly, there were fans of pastrami. I talked about the joy of running a Jewish Deli. I said you wouldn’t think when my name was called, Greg Morelli, I’d be the owner of a Jewish Deli. Dad was from the Bronx, raised by Italian Immigrants. Mom was from Lincolnwood, raised by Bernie Katz.
Understanding rippled through the room.
Grown Folks video tapes their stories and uploads them to the net. So I looked into the camera and said, “I’m formally registering as a Jew. I’m an out of the closet Jew. Please upload this in East Ukraine. Come and get me, Vladimir. I know you think you’re strong. I know you think being shirtless on a horsie sends a signal. Allow me to clarify: the signal is NOT I’m a strong leader, the signal is I want to suck a dick. Da, Vladimir, on dick sucking. Nyet, Vladimir, on Jew Registration.”
Is the story a hoax? No. I’m taking it seriously, therefore it’s not a hoax. Was the Birther Movement a hoax? No. Even though it reduced the participants to a punch line. If we don’t pay attention, if we don’t participate, if we refuse to dance, we’re sitting ducks. To quote Chico Marx, “Why a duck?”