2019 Day-By-Day

Passing

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “passing.” Typically, when I hear that word in a certain context, I think of light-skinned people of Hispanic origin passing as white. Fair or not, I’m sort of jealous of those people.

After the tragedy at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, I realized that I am also guilty of “passing,” specifically that I can pass as not Jewish. No one really thinks of Hispanic Jews in America and my last name doesn’t exactly evoke a Jewish tone. Unless I am wearing some sort of specifically Jewish symbol, like a Magen David or kippah, no one would even think to ask me if I’m Jewish. Unsurprisingly, people can see my Hispanic roots very easily and my Filipino genes are also pretty evident. I’m proud of my ethnic backgrounds, but it does bother me that I can pass as not Jewish. Maybe that’s a blessing in disguise, considering the current political climate, but it also makes me feel guilty. Just a thought I’ve been chewing on for a while now.

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