I deleted another post I just posted because what I just encountered in a conversation with a co-worker and friend of mine has shocked me to my very core. I’m honestly shocked by what was said. I would rather keep this post than drown the subreddit with another post.
First, while part of the conversation includes Israel, this is NOT about the conflict currently taking place. This is about a blatant and shocking antisemitism that I just encountered.
To give a background, my friend and co-worker is Chinese and is here on work visa. I got to know them through work and now we’re friends. Anyway, we talk on the phone at least once a week. This evening we just chatted and somehow ended up with me talking about me becoming Jewish. We had that conversation before and their reaction wasn’t that positive but I didn’t care. However, today they took it too far. When the subject came up, they said and I quote “But they’re sneaky”. I paused and asked what do you mean? They went on telling me some story about Shanghai accepting Jewish refugees 100 years ago, and now “they want to take over parts of China”. When they said that, I knew it must have been something they read recently, because it sounded too much of a coincidence. I asked them again “what do you mean exactly? who said they are going to take parts of China? where did you read that?” and they say, in the news, yesterday! I don’t know what sources they read and whether they rely only on Chinese news outlets, but that is not my concern. I try to stay calm and remind myself that this is the first time they show this much bigotry towards Jews. I tell them “you know I’m becoming Jewish, and I actually consider myself Jewish” they in turn say “No, not really, Jews are a race”. I explain that it is also a religion and you can become Jewish through conversion, to which they reply with “If you were to marry a Jewish person, do you think they will be okay with it? I said “Some will, some won’t, just like some Chinese would never be okay with their daughter marrying a foreigner”. They change point by saying “but this is what they do. They come to a country and then start stealing lands like what they do in the Middle East”. At that moment I knew that my Chinese friend and co-worker, who only months ago had no idea who Jews are, has just became antisemitic and because of propaganda from somewhere related to what has been happening. I felt sick to my stomach, and for a minute I honestly felt the urge to cry, because I felt humiliated. Suddenly our one hour long phone conversation turned from a lovely one, something to distract me from the ugly crap I read online for the last week, to now becoming that exact thing but even worse. I felt so inferior hearing that, I felt so little and what added insult to injury is that I know they don’t think it bothered me so much because “I’m not really Jewish”. I couldn’t keep it up and asked directly to just stop talking about it and change the subject. At the end of the call, they somewhat apologized, but I think it is too late for that.
I wrote this just less than 15 minutes after the call is finished because of how shocked I am.
I think this is the first time I ever encountered antisemitism and blatant one like this and from someone I know.
I don’t know what to think really, just felt the urge to write this down.