But on the other hand, I know many...

 Posted on 1/5/1995 by STRACZYNSKI [Joe] to GENIE

But on the other hand, I know many jews who are very upset when a member
of their family becomes an atheist; they say you can't be a jew and an
atheist, and that no matter what their belief system, they remain jews. I
think there is a mix here; on the one hand, anyone can convert to Judaism,
from any ethnic background. But certainly in the various judao-christian
scriptures there are the tribes of Israel, and rules that were set aside for
the jewish people to follow, that even Moses made the distinction between his
people and the Egyptians. Perhaps the problem is in the use of the word
itself; is one a jew, or is one an Israelite? One can be an Arab, or a
Palistinian, defined by location; on one level, the notion of being jewish is
without borders; so maybe Isrealite is the more technically correct term to
use in distinguishing between ethnic background and religious belief.

Ethnic language gets misused a lot. One of the things that makes me nuts
is when I see newsmagazines like TIME talking about "anglo" as a term for
caucasians, meaning white. I'm sorry, but I'm not an anglo; that refers to a
very specific part of the world, as in anglo-saxon; my people come from
eastern europe. To call all caucasians "anglo" is, to me, as offensive as
calling all hispanic people puerto ricans. Anglo first popped up as a
derogatory term, and became legitimized. I think one can say caucasian
(though that tends to have more european resonance, because of the mountainous
region to which it refers), white, Eastern European, or come up with some new
term. But anglo just doesn't cut it.