Columns - 2005

    Turn down the stereotype

    By Doug Brook
    Deep South Jewish Voice Columnist

    It's too loud! We've had to listen to them for years, wherever we go, whatever we do! We hear them over and over and over again, they're like a broken record!

    We pretend to smile through gritted teeth. We point it out when we're given greater offense than Alabama had in the Music City Bowl.

    I'm talking, of course, about stereotypes. These blanket generalizations about whole groups of people are perpetuated by EVERYONE. Californians think all Southerners are racist. Southerners know that this makes Californians racist, but are too busy making jokes about brussels-sprout-eating, lily-livered hippies.

    So we are here to explore the many, many, many common stereotypes against Jews. We will dispel them where possible and, yes, confirm them when they're true.

    Stereotype: Jews will send hate mail to this columnist for even implying that any stereotype against Jews could even possibly be true.

    True. They will.

    Stereotype: Jews have horns.

    True. If you've ever been in the car with one in midtown Manhattan, you've heard it for yourself.

    Stereotype: Jews beside those who drive in Manhattan have horns.

    True. Not all Jews have horns themselves, but in today's world they have them, at a minimum, at the congregational level. And we see them every Rosh Hashanah. Most are ram's horns, though the more impressive ones are from antelopes (and have a history of being mistaken for a rifle by airport security when wrapped and carried through the terminal).

    Stereotype: Jews are all rich.

    False. If that were true, I'd be writing this column from the beach of my own private island in the Pacific, equipped with widescreen television, DSL, an invisible SPF 30 dome, and twenty perfect little Jewish nymphettes starring in my own personal reality show, "Survivor: Beshert."

    Stereotype: Twenty perfect little Jewish nymphettes are out there waiting somewhere.

    True. At least, according to my mother. No doubt they're waiting for me on my island.

    Stereotype: Jews are cheap.

    True. How do you think we all got so rich?

    Stereotype: Jews are cheap, and stop screwing around.

    False. But I've noticed that when I date Jewish women, I'm generally not paying for it as long in the end.

    Stereotype: Jews screw around.

    False. This is a mistaken stereotype, accidentally perpetuated in the previous stereotype's instruction intended to tell the columnist to stop being a yutz.

    Stereo type: Sony.

    False. There are Jews who buy Panasonic.

    Stereotype: Jews control Hollywood.

    False. If that were true, you'd all be buying tickets this weekend for the opening of "The Beholder's Eye III: The Search For More Readers."

    Stereotype: Jews control the entire entertainment industry.

    Still false. If it were true, you'd know that it was Nathan Birnbaum who said "good night" to Gracie.

    Stereotype: Jews control the news.

    True. Sure... As indicated by the blanket pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian bias of all news coverage worldwide.

    Stereotype: All Jews like Israel.

    False. I know several who think it's too hot there.

    Stereotype: All Israelis are Jews.

    False. Especially if you ask the ultra-Orthodox leadership.

    Stereotype: Jews control the government.

    True. Just look how many Jews have lived in the White House. Are you kidding? Sometimes it seems like the Jews can't control the Israeli government, and they're almost all Jews.

    Stereotype: All religious Jews wear black hats and overcoats.

    False. After a while they start to turn dark blue. (The clothes, if they're washed too many times. The Jews, if it's really cold out.)

    Stereotype: The Jews killed Christ.

    False. I've asked around at the meetings, and nobody I've met was even there.

    Stereotype: The Jews actually have "meetings."

    Sorry, I'm not at liberty to say.

    Stereotype: The Jews used blood to make matzah.

    False. First of all, ewwww. Second, Jews don't make chili at Wendy's, either. The closest we've come is when I cut my thumb last time I tried to make soup from scratch (Bachelormaic for "from a can").

    Stereotype: All Jewish women think they're too good for you.

    False. That's just me they're talking about.

    Stereotype: All Jewish women end up being stereotypical Jewish mothers.

    False. This typically happens only to those Jewish women who have children.

    Stereotype: Jews still make sacrifices at services today.

    True. All the time. In Biblical times (9 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.), sacrifices at services were in the form of goats, crops, and betting IOUs from the early years of the New York Mets. Today, sacrifices at services are in the form of circulation to the brain, tush, and other extremities as we sit through sermons. And betting IOUs from the recent years of the New York Mets.

    Stereotype: Jews have rhythm on the dance floor.

    True. (Okay, okay... But maybe if we start a few positive stereotypes of our own, people will believe them.)

    Stereotype: There's a disturbing number of "anti-Semitic Jews" out there.

    True. Even one "self-hating Jew" is a disturbing number.

    Stereotype: Jews who write columns making light of common Jewish stereotypes are self-hating Jews, even if they won't admit it.

    False. We have plenty of reasons to hate ourselves that have nothing to do with being Jewish.

    Stereotype: Jews all have big noses.

    False. Many Jews don't have big noses, and I don't mean just because some are converts or have surgery. It's not like part of the conversion process is nasal enhancement surgery.

    Stereotype: All Jews keep kosher.

    False. Many can't even explain it beyond "no bacon," as they share a cheeseburger and milkshake with you.

    Stereotype: All Jews understand the Yiddish jokes on "Will & Grace."

    Depends. If they're from New York, yes. Even the non-Jews from New York understand them.

    Stereotype: Jews control the publishing industry.

    False. If that were true, you'd likely be reading this column in "The Beholder's Eye: The Collection, Volume II".

    Stereotype: All the Jews who read this column get all the obviously "insider" jokes that the goyim don't get.

    True. As soon as the three of them ask me to explain them.

    Stereotype: Jews are bad at sports.

    False. You'll find several Jewish names at the top of the list on several major sports franchises' letterhead.

    Stereotype: A lot of Jews will continue to read this column.

    False. All three who used to read it were offended at least five stereotypes ago, and are opening a bottle of Manischevitz in disgust.

    Doug Brook is a stereotypical senior technical writer in Silicon Valley. And, yes, he resembles that remark. For more information, past columns, and other writings, theatre, and current events, visit his website at

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.