Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Convert Quote: Handicaps

Sammy Davis, Jr., is one of the most famous American Jewish converts. In true borsht belt/vaudeville style, Mr. Davis has a very famous quote involving Jack Benny, a contemporary American entertainer.
On a golf course, Jack Benny once asked Sammy Davis, Jr., what his handicap was. "Handicap?" he asked. "Talk about handicap! I'm a one-eyed Negro Jew."

What do you think? Do you think that being a Jew is a "handicap"? Does it combine with other traits you have to make it more handicap-like?

As a Southerner, I feel that my stereotypes have improved by affiliating Jewishly. Southerners are assumed to be inbred, stupid, lazy, and incompetent. Now people assume I can do my job well enough that I'm capable of running the world! They're also less confused by the fact that a Southerner is nerdy and bookish. So I guess I feel differently than Mr. Davis.

Along those lines, I once saw a hilarious quote on Facebook by a stranger, "So-and-so was disappointed to learn that, after his Jewish conversion, he still does not control the banks."


  1. I don't know if you are aware of this but the ad attached to this post is for trying out Scientology, LOL.

  2. I think it was more of a handicap 50+ years ago, when numerous places wouldn't hire Jews, and Jews weren't allowed to stay in some hotels or join certain clubs.

    My ex-husband applied for a job about 15 years ago at one of those previously exclusive hotels, which was still owned by a private family, and was explicitly told the patriarch wouldn't let them hire him because he was Jewish, so the issue still exists in some circles.

    I'd say it's less of a handicap now, although of course we're still open to anitsemitism.

  3. The Curmudgeonly Israli Giyoret says:

    "So-and-so was disappointed to learn that, after his Jewish conversion, he still does not control the banks."

    Now THAT is funny!

    I don't think I was ever discriminated against as a Southerner, but then, my accent is spotty and I was always a damnyankee type even down South.

    I think there has been a resurgence of antisemitism in the years since my conversion (Is it me? Should I change my mouthwash?) in 1983.

  4. I don't think it was necessarily the being Jewish aspect as much as it was being Jewish & Black. I'm half black/half white and in my neighborhood I would definitely not be/feel secure or safe if I were public about my choice to convert. Also, you have to take into account the time at which this was said.