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Dixie Jews

By Matthew Yglesias on September 20, 2006 at 3:52 pm

"Dixie Jews"

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Revelations about George “Macaca” Allen’s heritage have some folks wondering to me how a nice Jewish boy could have turned out to be such a Stars & Bars loving racist. As I’ve been pointing out, it’s contrary to stereotype, but Jews have a long history with the Confederacy. Over to your right, you’ll see Judah P. Benjamin who I’d thought was the first Jewish Senator. He turns out to have actually been the second one, representing Louisiana in the Senate in the 1850s before resigning when the southern states seceeded. He then became the Confederate Attorney-General (the USA had never had a Jewish cabinet secretary at this point) and later held some other CSA cabinet posts.

Benjamin’s status as first Jewish Senator turns out to be somewhat complicated because of the case of David Levy Yulee who converted to Christianity before being elected to the Senate, but who had been a practicing Jew earlier in life. Yulee, too, was a southerner who also resigned his seat during the Civil War. So there you have it — the Confederacy was Good for the Jews.

Meanwhile, a note on nomenclature. Josh Marshall uses the term “crypto-Jew” with reference to Allen. That’s always been my preferred term for folks in the Allen/Albright/Clark category of having Jewish ancestry but not knowing about it. Another crucial category is the “stealth Jew” — persons like myself who are acknowledged Jews with very non-Jewish names. My successor at the paper I edited in college was a Jewish fellow by the name of Andrew Ujifusa so the Independent was, at the time, ground zero for the vast stealth Jew media conspiracy. Conversely, you have pseudo-Jews like Sam Rosenfeld — goys with super-Jewish names.

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