One of my coworkers made a post on social media blaming Jews for the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The post included a known Jewish celebrity as the image calling us “Middle Eastern peasants.” I reached out to this coworker (who identifies as non-Jewish) in the hopes of having an open-minded conversation capable of course correction. I asked this coworker, “What did you mean by this post?” The coworker said that the post was advocating for women’s rights and was calling out the Supreme Court. When I brought up that two of the three Supreme Court justices who voted not to overturn Roe v. Wade were Jewish this fact was ignored. I was hoping that this coworker would see how dangerous it is to promote the age-old antisemitic trope of blaming Jews for historical events (similar to how some people blame Jews for the Holocaust), this person was unreceptive and doubled down saying, “No, I’m confident I’m advocating for women’s rights.”
This is not the first time a non-Jewish person I worked with told me what was or was not antisemitic. This person no longer acknowledges me in the workplace, ignores me when I greet them, and refuses to make eye contact with me, all because I made visible how they were perpetuating harmful antisemitic tropes. I now receive this kind of treatment from three other coworkers whom I unfortunately had to call out on how they were perpetuating antisemitism. It seems more so this year than ever that when I advocate for myself or draw boundaries as a Jewish person with my non-Jewish coworkers that means I will receive dehumanizing treatment at work.
I have spent 86 business days at work since this event. Of these 86 days, I have only experienced three days free of receiving antisemitic harm. The other 83 days, I have received microaggressions rooted in antisemitism. I’m the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. This kind of treatment hurts on many levels.
*Name has been changed.