One of comedian Dave Chappelle’s most memorable skits from his groundbreaking Chappelle’s Show is the sketch about a blind black man named Clayton Bigsby, who was a white supremacist. Bigsby hated black people, not knowing he could count himself among them.
The paradox came to life again recently in Hungary, where three years ago the anti-Semitic far-right politician Csanad Szegedi found out he was Jewish. An excellent article by Nick Thorpe at bbc.com explores Szegedi’s subsequent road to enlightenment. “Anti-Semitism doesn’t need Jews, because it’s based on false premises,” Szegedi says. “It is the projection of one’s own fears, and lack of self esteem.” But anyone who has watched Dave Chappelle’s razor-like skewering of Clayton Bigsby already knew exactly that.