Flawed view of intersectionality
David Bernstein made a fatal flaw in his opinion piece “Intersectionality excludes and includes; Jews must learn the differences” (Voices, July 20). When he tried to define two types of intersectionality, inclusive and exclusive, he was trying to justify inclusive intersectionality.
Of course, many underprivileged peoples have much in common, and there are similarities and common causes. And yes, we must support and uphold all those who are suffering. But, by definition, intersectionality divides people into groups of privileged, dominated and oppressed, with various levels of oppression based on identity groups and repression matrices. Intersectionality is essentially a relabeling of Marxism, where the Haves oppress the Have Nots. It just groups a lot more groups into the Have Nots than Karl Marx was aware of.
As Bernstein notes, an African-American woman is by definition more repressed than a white woman who, by definition is more repressed than a white man, no matter his circumstances. Thus, you get categories where people are not black enough, or Jews are omitted because of their oppression of Palestinians, and police cannot march in pride marches. No, there are not two types of intersectionality. Intersectionality, despite its title and intentions, is an exclusive, repressive approach to liberal thought.
Taking pride in military service
On behalf of all the members of Jewish War Veterans Post 692, thank you for the article “Talking Old Soldiers” (July 20) that highlighted primarily the pride that we, the members of Post 692 take, as Jews, in our military service.
The article also cited our concern that the military service of Jews, whether male or female, or in combat or not, is not shared by the Jewish community. We thank you also for highlighting the American-Jewish Memorial, the largest and most significant Jewish veteran’s Memorial in Maryland, that now stands on the grounds of the Bender Jewish Community Center in Rockville and is accessible to everyone, including those in wheelchairs.
It is our hope that what we said in that article will do two things: first, help to convince members of the Jewish community that military service for Jews is a worthy and honorable profession that offers great opportunities, and second, that there is now a unique place for anyone in the Jewish community who wishes to honor those who served or are now serving to do so. Simply contact me directly at 301-572-6168 or at [email protected], or the Bender JCC for details.
Lastly, as the docent/historian of the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington, I will make myself available to speak to any synagogue or other groups interested in learning the vital role Jews have played in the defense of the United States that began long before our Independence.
RETIRED AIR FORCE LT. COL. SHELDON A. GOLDBERG,
The writer is adjutant, JWV Post 692, and docent/historian, National Museum of American Jewish Military History, Washington.
Jewish communities’ growth is complex and textured
The article “5 marks Jewish developers made on Montgomery County” (July 20) greatly distorts the suburbanization of Jewish culture in Montgomery County. Montgomery County Planning Department architectural historian Clare Kelly’s presentations reflect a fundamental lack of understanding of the Jewish experience and Judaism. They also perpetuate a type of history scholarship abandoned long ago: the celebration of rich white men.
Some specific points: Jewish developers were using racial restrictive covenants long before the federal policies she describes were implemented, and Jewish developers in the 1960s were targeted by civil rights groups for continued discrimination.
Kelly’s version of Jewish history reduces the rich diversity of Jewish life in Montgomery County to a flat, bland and homogeneous “Jewish culture.” The emergence of Jewish communities in Montgomery County in the 20th century was very complicated, richly textured and very much tied to individual Jewish denominations.