Veteran Jewish comedian Jackie Mason has plunged the BBC’s Desert Island Discs into the centre of a race row by claiming that ‘Jewish and black people’ are no longer the victims of racial discrimination.

Mason, 75, who is regarded as one of the world’s greatest stand-up comedy stars, said some minority groups wrongly believe they are still being persecuted because of an inability to escape the past.

In an edition of the Radio  4 show to be broadcast today, the New York-born star says: ‘I wouldn’t say the Jews or the blacks today are suffering from racism.

‘I don’t think it’s such a terrible disadvantage to be black or Jewish today.’

He added: ‘But because they once were .  .  . they are still not comfortable enough with the new situation they’re in.

‘They still can’t accept the fact that they are completely accepted everywhere .  .  . it’s all in their minds.’

Mason, who is currently playing to packed houses in London’s West End, said he doubted whether Jewish people were even being persecuted when he started out as a comedian in the early Sixties.

He said their memories of the horrors unleashed by the Second World War had kept their fears alive.

He said: ‘Jews weren’t really  suffering anywhere, but they were self-conscious because they have suffered in the past.

‘It was like they couldn’t believe the fact they were being accepted now and they were still nervous about something that hasn’t happened in the last 20 years.’

Mason, who was ordained as a rabbi before opting for a life as  a comedian, said many other minority groups shared fears that were equally unwarranted.

He said: ‘It’s the same with black people today. They still talk about being persecuted when the white people don’t even feel that.’ Mason’s comments shocked Kirsty Young, the show’s host, who said it was up to the minority groups themselves to identify incidents of racism.

But the star said young people today simply did not care about issues of religion and race any more.

He said: ‘The younger the people are the less it matters to them what their identity is in terms of their religion or their colour.

‘Whites and blacks would never marry in those days. Jews and Gentiles would never marry. Today, that type of marriage is very common.’

He said some people who complained of racism were simply covering up for their inadequacies, and the election of President Barack Obama proved times had moved on.

He said: ‘I see this with all the minorities. You can’t get a job somewhere. He can’t admit to himself that he is inadequate—they’ll claim it’s anti-Semitism.

‘It’s more imagination. Everybody imagined that it’s impossible for a black person to get elected President of the United States. Whether they are Jewish or white or black, they never thought it was possible for a black person to become President.’

Mason said his distinct Jewish sense of humour often alienated members of that community. He said: ‘A lot of Jews are embarrassed by Jewishness because it reminds them of their parents and grandparents who were refugees and poverty stricken. They were always like an alienated minority. People who are raised that way still have a feeling of “I don’t belong if I’m Jewish so I’d rather you don’t mention it”.’

Mason’s choice of records included Susan Boyle’s rendition of I Dreamed A Dream, Perry Como’s Accentuate The Positive and Dinah Washington’s version of Love Is A Many-Splendoured Thing.

Desert Island Discs is broadcast on BBC Radio  4 today at 11.15am.

 

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Frank Donohue

    Mr. Mason is 100% correct! Nonetheless, people being people don’t ever want to give up a position that makes them feel special, different, not-part-of-the-herd, etc. Instead, people want to excuse their shortcomings and failings on someone or something else. It always has been that way, and it always will. All people, repeat all people, want to bask in specialness and make whatever difference that they have work to their benefit. 

  • Oil Can Harry

    Yes, Mason is correct that millions of “minorities” love to fantasize that the white man is out to get them.

    And then there are the professional race hustlers ($PLC, ADL, NAACP, La Raza) who don’t even believe their own propaganda. They can never admit they’re not really “oppressed” because then the gravy train would end and they’d have to get real jobs.

    • Zorro

      Actually, the White man is out to get away from all Minorities, but they insist on following us no matter where we go.  Either that, or you have Uncle Scam shoving them onto us.

    • Brian

      Some are so racially paranoid it’s just unbelievable. Here’s a case in the NZ courts right now, featuring an African ‘refugee’ plane hijacker. Like the rest of them, she was given welfare, food, housing, every opportunity imaginable. But this is what she thought of us in return:
       http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/6561998/Decision-reserved-in-hijacking-case

      “She told of coming to New Zealand, about police threatening to send her
      to America to be executed and about government conspiracies to make her a
      white man’s mistress and have babies she did not want.”

  • loyalwhitebriton

    The ‘blame game’ is a very old phenomenon. In the garden of Eden, Eve blamed the Serpent, and Adam blamed Eve. Even if you’re an atheist, it still means that the ‘blame game’ is atleast 3.5 thousand years old (if we accept that Genesis was written around 1450 b.c.).
    With minority groups, the ‘blame game’ and it’s ensuing ‘victim status’ is especially tempting. Such self-perceived victim status allows members of a minority group to shirk personal responsibility for their own lives and well-being. It’s so much easier to blame ‘The Man’.
    And this impulse to blame ‘The Man’ is much more powerful than affirmative action programmes, and liberal white-guilt grovelling.
    Affirmative action and liberal white guilt may make the minority member richer financially (a strong incentive in itself), but blaming ‘The Man’ makes the minority member feel that he/she is at the centre of their own universe, thus implying a strong egotistical factor.

  • frmore

    The emperor wears no clothes? Apparently, Jackie Mason didn’t get the memo. Or just chose the truth instead.

  • Heinrich24

    He’s not only right – he understated the truth of it!!

  • anonymous_amren

    It’s funny because it’s true.

    • Zorro

      Watch his You Tube video on Gun Control.  I also liked his commentary on Starbucks Coffee Houses.

  • Um, Jewish people are a “race” of people? I guess Hitler was right then. As for minorities being the only ones who can identify incidents of racism. What a crock, that is the problem we have going on in the world today, because every time some minority doesn’t get their way on something they chock it up as “racism”.

  • sbuffalonative

    According to yearly reports by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, anti-semitism is ‘on the rise’. It’s been on a steady rise for years. I’m surprised we haven’t reached the 100% mark by now. 

    Check out the film “Defamation” by an Israeli Jew who  noted, “Being an Israeli Jew, I have never experienced anti-semitism myself”

    Trailer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJo7LhSPJaY

    Movie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOUlJLrQ3sQ

  • JohnEngelman

    There are some people who still express hostility toward Jews and Orientals. Indeed, some of those expressions are posted on this website, until they are removed by the moderators. Fortunately, few whites Gentiles feel this way, and Jews and Orientals perform well in the United States. For blacks “white racism” is an alibi and an excuse. 

  • JohnEngelman

    Kings used to have royal “fools” who amused them, and were also allowed to tell them truths they did not want to hear. In this case a comedian tells the truth. 

  • MissBonnie123

    I’ve believed for a long time that nonwhites are raised from a young age to see White people as oppressors and as racist(even though this is not true). As a result, they view every experience from the lens of race and see racism where there is none.

    This kind of attitude leads to great difficulties when it comes to associating with nonwhites because they are hypersensitive about race issues when they should not be. Everything Whites say can and will be held against them by nonwhites.

    “He(Mr Mason) said: ‘The younger the people are the less it matters to them what their identity is in terms of their religion or their colour.”

    I don’t agree with the above statement. In Great Britain and in America, Blacks definitely have strong racial identities and the Muslims have strong religious identities.

    Overall, Mr. Mason made very good observations.

  • JohnEngelman

    I notice that you have changed your pseudonym. Perhaps the mods are catching up with you. I do not use a pseudonym, because I am proud of my opinions and the way I express them. 

    • The_Bobster

      Here we go again…….

  • The_Bobster

    He never did catch that blasted ant, though:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX-Ygf0kODs

  • The_Bobster

    http://www.vdare.com/posts/peter-brimelow-and-ransom-note-racism-in-the-huffington-post

    A professor named Menachem Rosensaft has an article on the Huffington Post called White Nationalism: A Scourge That Won’t Go Away,in which he complains about VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow’s appearance at CPAC.

    It’s a combination of what we’ve called “Ransom Note Racism”, and the “point-and-splutter” argumentation technique.

    “Ransom Note Racism” is where you stitch together out context quotes to make your target look bad. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League do this a lot, and Rosensaft uses them as a source.

    “Point-and-splutter” is where you quote something and you don’t even try to answer it.

  • davejon

    Listening to the first broadcast of that programme on Sunday last, I was surprised by his candour. The reaction of Kirsty Young – a typical middle class, British, liberal journalist (and female to boot) – was hilarious; she was shocked, almost hysterical, claiming that Mason “had given the rest of us permission to laugh at Jews”.

    He failed to mention that whites are still not “allowed” to make jokes about or criticise blacks.

    Arising out of Mr Mason’s pronunciation; is the term “guy” a mispronunciation of the term “goy”?

  • davejon

    Are Jews a race? Easy:  just as with any living organism, if they restrict their breeding circle to include (mainly) other Jews over many generations, genetics and biology will ensure variation will occur giving rise to certain characteristics and a distinct racial type.

    Jewish organisations I’ve asked in the UK deny being “a race”, choosing the term “a people” instead and citing black Jews, Chinese Jews etc as a getout.

  • saxonsun

    Honey, I AM a gay woman. How do you like that–I hope you have gotten away unscathed!

  • Please let us not parse Jackie Mason too closely.  He is a national treasure.  and he has said about all he could say without getting completely ridden out of town on a rail.  

    Only through Comedy, sometimes, can the truth worm its way out.

    I will pay full ticket price to see Jackie Mason wherever, whenever.  (Is there anyone on this board like me who is simply a big fan of ethnic humor and does not want to see it banished to the dustbins of political correctness?).  I would love to find an ethnic humor group somewhere on the web.

  • When the word “minorities” is used so loosely does it include ethno-racial groups far more successful ( in terms of wealth & academic education) such as East Indians, Jews, Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans or does it only mean blacks? For example Jews and East Indians ( Asians) are far more successful than whites in terms of wealth, income and academic achievement which makes whites envious of Asians and Jews.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_American#Socioeconomic 

    http://www.soc.washington.edu/users/burstein/Burstein_Jewish_Success_SP07.pdf 

    As far as Jackie Mason is concerned, his views as of today does NOT represent that of the mainstream Jewish majority here in America. Mason is a failed actor and an average comedian who had some of his short lived hey-days in the early 90’s. Except for an above average movie like Caddyshack 2 ( supposed to be a typical “anti-white/ anti-christian” movie according to white nationalists alike), the poor oaf Mason was considered a “Zionist anti white Jew of H’wood”, but lo & behold now that he makes comments supporting Jew hating Catholic loser Mel Gibson and white nationalism ( deluded man) he is the new darling? Well, Mason for whatever he is worth is considered as nothing more than a deluded oafish self hating clown in our circles.
    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2008/08/eye-on-hollywood-reel-bad-wasps/ 
    http://mindweaponsinragnarok.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/i-gave-someone-the-they-live-glasses/