schoolpsychnerd: (freud)
[personal profile] schoolpsychnerd
I don't have a clear timeline on how my Grandfather's parents ended up in America. I know some of it but it's a hard history to trace. My grandfather's side is made up of Russian/Ukranian Jews. The entire Megibow family (that we know of) relocated to America to avoid pogroms and the Tsar's army. A cool thing about this is that if you see someone with the last name Megibow, I am by blood or marriage related to them! Through a combination of genetics, I don't "look" Jewish, like my Dad and Uncle and Grandpa Megibow. This grants me a fair amount of conditional acceptance (otherwise known as passing privilege). Back when my Grandmother was still alive, she shared this story and it really stuck with me about my Grandpa.

Grandpa was a doctor, from how my Grandma framed it he loved the research end but couldn't support a family on it so he went the surgical route. Early in his career, he was studying under this renowned pathologist who would hold special, invite only, lunch lectures. He did not invite Jews or med students of color...except my grandfather. Megibow, while a weird name, doesn't always read at first blush as Jewish. My great-grandfather changed it from Megibowski to Megibow for just that reason. Add to that the lack of stereotypical features (surprise, we don't all look alike!), the bigoted pathology lecturer didn't know that my grandfather was Jewish. The other Jewish med students didn't say anything and my grandfather felt really uncomfortable but he also didn't want to come forward because those lectures and the connections of the pathologist could help his career. According to my grandmother he was really torn on what to do.

One day, the pathologist comes up to him while he is working and says to my grandfather "Megibow. That's an interesting name. What nationality is that?" My Grandfather did not miss a beat and said "I'm a Russian Jew". Like that, he was never invited to the lectures again. I admired that, he could have said "Russian" and just left it at that. My Grandfather chose not to accept that his conditional acceptance was more important than his identity.

Kitty Pryde in X-Men talks about the importance of identifying as Jewish even if we don't look like the stereotype, because bigotry against one of us, is bigotry against all of us. Complacency and conditional acceptance will not protect us. Ivanka Trump is a great example. She's listed as a Jew by the Nazis who support her father. Your blonde hair and blue eyes mean fuck all to them.

Profile

schoolpsychnerd: (Default)
schoolpsychnerd

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021 222324
252627282930 

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 20th, 2017 05:02 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios