In today’s culture it is perfectly normal to hear people making jokes about certain races, ethnicities, and religions. Most people know not to take these jokes seriously because they aren’t meant to be racist, just funny. But others still find them very offensive. For example, in France, anti-racism groups targeted Johann Levy, the creator of the App “Jew or not Jew,” because they felt his App was insulting to the Jewish community.
The app let users consult a database of celebrities and public figures to see if they are Jewish or not.
The anti-racism groups dropped the lawsuit when Levy agreed to remove his app from the market worldwide. But was this really necessary? I am not Jewish, so I can’t personally say if this app is offensive to Jewish people or not, but if there was an app called “Asian on not Asian” or “Buddhist or not Buddhist” I honestly wouldn’t find it offensive at all. Also the creator of the app, Johann Levy, is Jewish himself! He said:
he developed the app to be “recreational … as a Jew myself I know that in our community we often ask whether a such-and-such celebrity is Jewish or not,”
Is it such a big issue because it was specifically the Jewish community that was targeted? Does their history have anything to do with it? Would it have been this big of an issue if it was another religion, ethnicity, race, or group being targeted? There are games like these on talk shows all over America. I remember on the Tyra Banks show they had a game where the audience had to decide whether the person is really a woman or a transexual, so is “Jew or not Jew” that different from “Transexual or not Transexual”? Also, is it that much different from what we did in class when we tried to guess which race a person was based on their picture?
I can kind of see where the anti-racism groups are coming from, but I don’t believe the app was meant to be racist or offensive. The creator was just trying to identify Jewish celebrities, and I don’t see anything racist in that.
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