I am a Jewish lawyer. I consider myself to be a fairly complex individual having positive and negative qualities. I however, was shocked to learn that I also represent a “stock character”, and a “anti-Semitic” stereotype. I can thank Jimmy Wales and the editors of Wikipedia for educating me on what I really represent in society as a Jewish lawyer. Had I not read the Wikipedia entry “Jewish Lawyer” I would have never known.
‘A Jewish lawyer is a stock character and common antisemitic stereotype of Jews, with Jews and Jewish lawyers depicted as clever, greedy, exploitative, dishonest, and engaging in moral turpitude and excessive legalism.’
Wow. I thought that more often than not, a Jewish lawyer is just a “Jewish lawyer”. There are good Jewish lawyers. There are bad Jewish Lawyers. There are greedy Jewish lawyers and there are benevolent Jewish lawyers. Just like all the other religious and ethnic makeups of the legal profession. I did not know that as a Jewish lawyer I deserved a category all my own.
Let’s give Wikipedia a break here. Maybe all ethnic/religious makeups of attorneys have their own sections on Wikipedia. I looked hard but I could not find sections on “stock character” stereotypes for Christian lawyers, Muslim lawyers, Irish lawyers, Asian Lawyers, Hispanic lawyers or any other classification. What an honor! What love to hear from Jimmy Wales or his editors and be told what I, as a Jewish Lawyer have done in my life to deserve such an entry in Wikipedia.
Let however not let Jewish Lawyers grab all the Wikipedia fame in the use of ethnic and racial stereotyping as supposed “legitimate categories”. We can also read about “Black Athletic Superiority“.
I do not know everything Wikipedia claims to be or what founder Jimmy Wales envisioned but we should certainly not leave out its role as a major propagator of religious, racial and ethnic stereotypes. I hope Jimmy is proud of his child.
Many thanks to the JIDF for alerting me to these issues.