Macklemore Performs in a Jewish Costume

Macklemore is a rapper who performed his hit song "Thrift Shop" over the weekend in a costume that could easily be deemed to be a derogatory stereotype of a Jewish man.  Judge for yourself:

Macklemore won a Grammy award last year and he and his partner, Ryan Lewis, have become quite the darling of the progressive crowd, primarily for their timely defense and support of the LGBT movement with their song, "Same Love."

Not familiar with "Same Love", written by the popular duo?  Here are some lyrics:

If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
"Man, that's gay" gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we're saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don't have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it

Lots of really nice sentiment there I would say, but it seems, from my perspective (a 2d generation survivor of the Holocaust) that Macklemore, like so many celebrities before him, may actually be a hypocrite.  What a shock.

Let me try to explain a few things to young Mr. Macklemore that he may not have learned "when he was at church."

  • We Jews don't appreciate people going around making fun of us, any more than a gay person would
  • It is a common derogatory stereotype to call a Jewish man "hook-nosed"
  • Religious Jewish men often wear long black beards
  • Religious Jewish men often wear black suit coats
  • Your Twitter response to your unfunny Jewish costume: "A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody" is  laughable. But, at least you didn't issue an apology that you're "sorry if you offended anyone"
  • Jews are not cheap

Would it have been funny or "not my idea of a stereotype" if Macklemore dressed in drag and sported a pink boa while he sang/rapped "Thrift Shop?" No, because the song itself conjures up anti-Semitic concepts that Jews are cheap and the song has nothing to do with the fight for the rights of gay people.  But, if you want some inexpensive clothes as "Thrift Shop" implies then maybe the Jews can be humiliated in front of a crowd.  Makes sense to me.

You want to talk about a "culture founded from oppression ," then try talking about thousands of years of  murders, bigotry and derision.  That's oppression Macklemore.  And, in his own creative way, donning his hook-nose, black jacket and beard, Macklemore is condoning and supporting that same oppression. In fact, Macklemore, is preaching the very hate that he and Ryan Lewis so pseudo-eloquently deride in "Same Love."

"It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference," according to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.  I couldn't agree more.  And, as a result, I have the right to be free from some ignorant rapper promoting stereotypes that my culture has fought wars trying to eliminate.

"Call each other faggots from the keys of a message board." Macklemore didn't hide his anti-Semitism at least, he went right out onto a stage and acted it out.  Congratulations to him.  May his career fizzle out the way all of the anti-gay marriage laws are fizzling out around the country.

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