Earlier today, a Twitter Moment expanded upon the idea that Gal Gadot, the Israeli star of the new Wonder Woman movie, is a person of color. In an unsurprisingly controversial article, ComicBook.com stated just that: Gal Gadot, because she was born in Israel, is not white but in fact a person of color. To quote, "Simply put: LOOKING white, doesn't mean you ARE white."
Thankfully, journalist and artist S.I. Rosenbaum jumped into the conversation as fast as Wonder Woman herself. In a 25-tweet-long thread, the self-proclaimed Ashkenazi Jew explained clearly and thoroughly the differences between religion, nationality and ethnicity, and what it means to be white and to be a person of color.
Rosenbaum starts off strong with a callout.
This article is complete, unadulterated bullshit https://t.co/ncr0te5MgS— S.I. Rosenbaum (@sirosenbaum) June 1, 2017
Then, she perfectly explains what ComicBook.com couldn’t.
First of all. Israeli is a nationality, not an ethnicity. There are Israelis of all different backgrounds just as there are Americans. >— S.I. Rosenbaum (@sirosenbaum) June 1, 2017
Second: Judaism is both a religion & an ethnic heritage. Jewish ethnicity comes in several distinct flavors that parted ways ~2k-1k yrs ago>— S.I. Rosenbaum (@sirosenbaum) June 1, 2017
Ashkenazim are one type of Jewish ethnicity. That's what I am, what Gal Gadot is, and what Natalie Portman is. >— S.I. Rosenbaum (@sirosenbaum) June 1, 2017
We have many of the privileges of "regular" whites. Probably the best way to think of Ashkenazim in America is "white passing." >— S.I. Rosenbaum (@sirosenbaum) June 1, 2017
Claiming that Gal Gadot is a "person of color" is totally specious and an insult to people of color who need representation in media. >— S.I. Rosenbaum (@sirosenbaum) June 1, 2017
The full thread can be read in the Twitter Moment, but to summarize, in Rosenbaum’s eloquent words, “NOT BEING WHITE DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE OF COLOR. It’s not a dichotomy. It’s not all about melanin, though that’s part of it; it’s also about personal history and heritage.”
Both ComicBook.com and the author of the article have yet to respond to the thread or take down the article itself.
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