We recently explored the Blank-slatist's charge that U.S. minorities are currently under-achieving due to 'white privilege.' What we found was that America's Asian minority is not only immune to this woe, but that they out-perform Euro-Americans on a number of measures. As we said then,
How to explain this paradox? Are Asians creeping in at night and siphoning off the privilege from Whites' privilege-tanks? Are they endowed with a force-field that resists the Euros' privilege-rays, ricocheting them back in a blinding flash that then cripples white performance relative to their own?
As it turns out, Asians are not the only group strangely inoculated against this danger.
One of the most persecuted, oppressed, and vilified groups in human history has settled in significant numbers in the U.S. and, despite years of mistreatment, has managed to resist the damaging effects of WASPs' privilege rays: Ashkenazi Jews.
How do we know?
Forty-six percent (55% of Reform Jews) report family incomes of over $100,000 compared to 19% of all Americans, with the next highest group being Hindus at 43%.
They are also well-represented at the very upper echelons of American wealth:
Jewish Americans obtain college and graduate degrees at higher rates than their gentile brethren:
While 27% of Americans have had college or postgraduate education, fifty-nine percent (66% of Reform Jews) of American Jews have, the second highest of any religious group after American Hindus.
At 2% of the population, they also make up a large portion of the student body of our most prestigious schools:
When it comes to intellectual achievement, Ashkenazi Jews have not let White Privilege hold them back. They have excelled, swooping up science, math, and economics prizes:
Despite years of exclusion and oppression, American Jews have succeeded in introducing themselves into the political landscape. At present, two of America's three largest cities have Jewish mayors. This group has also found its way into some of the most important federal bodies:
One of the most influential bodies of the American Republic, the Federal Reserve, has in its hundred-year history known chairmen of German, English, Scottish, and Jewish ethnicity. Here is a breakdown of each group's time in power:
The media and entertainment
Of the countries' three most influential historic newspapers of reference, two have interesting Jewish history:
The New York Times, founded in 1851 by two gentiles, was bought in 1896 by Adolph Ochs, son of German Jewish immigrants. It remains in the family today, his great-grandson Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. currently at the helm.
The Washington Post was founded in 1877 by gentile Stilson Hutchins, then bought and saved from bankruptcy during the Depression by Eugene Meyer, a Los Angeles Jew. Meyer went on to marry a Lutheran woman with whom he had a daughter, Katherine Meyer Graham, whose husband Philip took over the paper from Eugene. After Philip's suicide, Katherine took over for twenty years, followed by her son Donald, and today by Donald's niece Katherine Weymouth.
Though excluded from many professions, Jewish Americans have excelled in the influential world of the press, historically and at present. Today, the editorial boards of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post are each around 35-40% Jewish. In addition, Arthur Hu has estimated at 26% the percentage of reporters, editors, and executives in the print and broadcast media world.
Television is another arena where, despite the trauma of white privilege, Ashkenazi Jews were able to beat the odds.
The three major TV broadcasting networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) were all founded and run by Jewish men until they came under the control of other media companies (also mostly run by Jewish men).
NBC: 1926-1986 Dave Sarnoff, Jewish; 1986-2007 General Electric, Bob Wright, gentile; 2007-2011 GE, Jeff Zucker, Jewish; 2011-12 Comcast, Steve Burke, gentile.
ABC: 1951-1986 Leonard Goldenson, Jewish; 1986-1996 Capital Cities, Lowell Thomas, gentile; 1996-2012 Disney (Michael Eisner, Jewish 1984-2005, then Bob Iger, Jewish 2005-2012).
CBS: 1927-1986 William Paley, Jewish; 1986-1995 Laurence Tisch, Jewish; 1995-2000 Westinghouse, gentile-run; 2000-2005 Viacom, Sumner Redstone, Jewish; 2006-2012 CBS Corp (also Redstone).
As for Hollywood film studios, a surprising number of these influential entities were founded by Jewish Americans and remain in their hands today. White Privilege foiled again:
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It is impressive to consider that this ethnic minority group was once systematically excluded from U.S. law firms, financial firms, and a variety of professions, as well as rejected from top colleges by severe quota systems.
Were one to branch out historically from the U.S. to Europe, one would see that this group has suffered many brutal persecutions throughout history, including segregation, economic exclusion, extrajudicial violence, forced deportation, and mass murder. Despite these hardships and the indelible impression they must have left, Ashkenazi Jews have shown themselves able to overcome any and all Euro-gentile privilege thrown their way.
They, along with Asian Americans, must serve as an inspiration for minorities such as Afros and Hispanics. For these latter two groups' past persecutions, we are told, have left them vulnerable to White Privilege in ways that force them to under-perform even today. Perhaps our Asian and Ashkenazi co-citizens will be kind enough to reach out and share their magic elixir. For if one group can successfully battle White Privilege, can't they all?