Episode 12 of the I Am Multicultural Podcast is the story of Alex Barnett, a New York based comedian, writer and white, Jewish multiracial dad, who married an African – American woman (who converted to Judaism) and why it’s important for him to teach and raise his 6 year old biracial son in the Jewish faith.
Multicultural Topics Discussed:
- Being a multicultural, Jewish dad and raising your biracial son in the Jewish faith
- Marrying a black, African – American woman and why she converted to Judaism
- What it means for Alex to be Jewish
- Ashkenazic vs Sephardic subcultures of Judaism
- As a Jewish dad, deciding which parts of Jewish traditions to pass on to your biracial son
- Educating oneself about black culture through popular culture, movies, and reading
- Learning about black and African – American people’s history and black experience
Alex Barnett shares:
- 25:19 – The history of black people in America is the history of America. If you consider yourself a student of history, or at least of American history, you have to be versed in black culture and black history. You can’t study American history without studying black experience.
- 27:02 – Judaism has a very strong strain of social justice. One of its biggest imperatives is to fight for social justice and to raise your voice on behalf of those who can’t raise their own voice.
- 27:45 – If you’re a person who cares about social justice and civil rights, you must care about the black experience as well as the native American experience, the Latino community, and the feminist movement. I don’t want to rate people’s misery, cause that’s always a mistake – evil is evil and bad is bad. I’m just saying that I think if you’re going to study American history, you really have to understand the black experience.
- 32:53 – You have to trust your own instincts and be confident that if you’re with the person who you want to be with not worry about what the community around you thinks.
- 33:57 – Whether it’s family or friends or community, as long as you’re not doing something to disrespect or hurt them, if they don’t like it, it’s their problem. They got to live with it, not you.
- 34:46 – Racial or cultural differences are no different than any other differences that couples deal with, whether it’s religious or political or health or geographic. If something’s fundamental to the identities of the people, it is something that you will have to address, but you can’t let other people dictate how you live.
Get to know Alex Barnett: