Emma Green
Emma Green
Emma Green is a staff writer at ​The Atlantic, where she covers politics, policy, and religion.

How Two Mississippi College Students Fell in Love and Decided to Join a Terrorist Group

In three short months, Jaelyn Young and Muhammad Dakhlalla found themselves at the center of America’s debate over radicalization.

  • Josh Shank / Rocket Republic

    Will the Pro-Life Movement Split With Trump on Issues Other Than Abortion?

    The president has quickly moved to restrict abortion. He has also curtailed access for refugees and jeopardized health care for millions of Americans.

  • Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

    The White House Clings to False Claims of Massive Voter Fraud

    Trump announced a new investigation, and his team has cited “studies” suggesting millions of non-citizens cast ballots in November. Little evidence supports this claim.

  • Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    These Pro-Lifers Are Headed to the Women’s March on Washington

    Is there room in the movement for people who morally object to abortion?

  • Chelsea Beck

    Seeking an Escape From Trump’s America

    Why some people are withdrawing from mainstream society into “intentional communities”—and what the rest of the country can learn from them

  • Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

    Obama Built an ‘Infrastructure’ for Civil-Liberties Violations That Trump Will Inherit

    In his farewell address, the president highlighted his legacy on national-security issues, but his actions may have opened the way for future abuses.

  • Mike Segar / Reuters

    Coming Soon to the U.S. Army: Turbans, Beards, Hijabs, and Dreadlocks

    In the final days of the Obama administration, the military has issued new guidelines for religious accommodations and dress.

  • Charlie Neibergall / AP

    The Ideological Reasons Why Democrats Have Neglected Local Politics

    After losing many races in 2016, the party is looking to regain power outside the federal government. But in many ways, it’s not set up to make that change of emphasis.

  • Charles Dharapak / AP

    Why Christians Are Disproportionately Powerful in Congress

    The U.S. is becoming more diverse in terms of faith, but its legislature isn’t. A major reason? Non-religious Americans' voting rates.

  • Carlo Allegri / Reuters

    'He Was the Nationalist Candidate'

    The editor of First Things on Donald Trump and the limits of multi-cultural democracy

  • Yuri Gripas / Reuters

    Democrats Have a Religion Problem

    A conversation with Michael Wear, a former Obama White House staffer, about the party’s illiteracy on and hostility toward white evangelicals

  • Patrick Semansky / AP

    The Religious-Liberty Showdowns Coming in 2017

    From mosque surveillance to new religious-exemption laws, a look at some of the issues likely to come up under Trump

  • Osservatore Romano / Reuters

    Martin Scorsese’s Radical Act of Turning Theology Into Art

    Rarely do mainstream films treat religious questions with seriousness and specificity. Silence, a movie about 17th-century Jesuit missionaries, shows what that can look like.

  • Carlos Barria / Reuters

    Ohio’s New Abortion Bill Is a Sign of Battles to Come

    Governor John Kasich vetoed a controversial provision that would have banned the procedure after a fetal heartbeat could be detected. This is just the beginning.

  • Joshua Roberts / Reuters

    The Supreme Court Case That Could Bankrupt Religious Schools and Hospitals

    Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton pits financially strained organizations against their own workers, who fear their promised pensions may not be there when they retire.

  • Carlos Barria / Reuters

    Trump Is Bringing Progressive Protestants Back to Church

    Some mainline congregations have seen a bump in attendance since the election. But the most powerful changes to come may be theological.

  • Jews and the Social Construction of Race

    Immigrants at Ellis Island, 1907. Library of Congress

    In response to my article, “Are Jews White?,” some people, primarily on Twitter, have voiced concerns about the headline. Here’s an example:

    This reader, along with a number of others, seems to have interpreted the headline, and found it lacking, in a few different ways (I reached out to Siskind on Twitter for more details on her reaction but haven’t heard back):

    • Some seem to read it as a dog-whistle to white nationalists who seek to show that Jews are part of what they regard as a non-white, inferior racial group, thus reinforcing tropes of anti-Semitism.
    • Others seem to see it as an earnest questioning of whether Jews belong in the “white” racial category, thus promoting the use of racial categories.
    • And still others claim the headline reinforces old stereotypes within the Jewish community—specifically, a blindness to the experiences of Jews of non-Ashkenazi or non-European descent, many of whom might not self-identify or be seen as white by other people in the American context.

    We’re keeping the headline, and I want to explain why.

    “Race” is a historically contingent and subjective category that is used to justify violence against minority groups. I specifically wrote about American Jews because their experiences—which are incredibly diverse and varied—show the hypocrisies and limits of these racial categories. Looking at the historical experiences of this one particular group, and the present-day tensions its faces, is a means of critiquing the way “whiteness” is used to delineate who is and isn’t considered powerful and valuable in society.

    When I was first looking into writing this article, I worried that the question might be stale. A number of scholars, including Emory’s Eric Goldstein, whom I interviewed; UCLA’s Karen Brodkin; and, most recently, Princeton’s Mitchell Duneier have written about the way Jews relate to whiteness, from a variety of different angles. I wondered whether this debate would seem too esoteric and niche—a conversation of interest only to a small group of Jews and scholars, but effectively irrelevant outside of those circles.

    The reaction I’ve gotten has been surprising, and shows that this is clearly not the case. Certain parts of the Jewish community are having conversations along these lines; others seem stunned that this is a question at all. A lot of people seem to feel strongly that talking about Jews in terms of race—even to challenge the notion that Jews could ever fit neatly into a single racial category, which is what my article is about—is thought-provoking or, at worst, dangerous. One reader, Melissa Bender of New York, put it this way in a phone conversation:

    It really was a reaction to the headline and the graphic together. ... I thought it was provocative in an unfortunate way. It focused attention on the wrong question—I think the real question is: Have white supremacists been able to influence the content of mainstream media far more than they ever could before the election? Obviously, that’s the case. ...

    Judaism is not a race, it’s a religion. And second of all, the only reason people are thinking about whether Jews are white right now is because there are white supremacists influencing the conversation and pointing it in that direction. ...

    I felt like it was essentially allowing the white-supremacist conversation to dominate the headline. I felt that it could have the dangerous effect of making that the question—Are Jews white? Should they have fewer rights than white people?—and push the conversation in a more prejudicial direction.

  • Carlo Allegri / Reuters / Evan Vucci / ...

    Are Jews White?

    Trump's election has reopened questions that have long seemed settled in America—including the acceptability of open discrimination against minority groups.

  • Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

    How Muslims Defined American 'Cool'

    A conversation with the Purdue University professor Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, whose new book documents the connection between Islam and hip-hop culture in the United States

  • Carlo Allegri / Reuters

    Why White Evangelicals Are Feeling Hopeful About Trump

    They’re worried about poverty, hunger, drug addiction, and the “softness” of the country. And they’ve got high expectations for their president.

  • USA Today Sports / Reuters

    Tom Brady, Sociologist of Religion

    A new documentary series, co-produced by the quarterback, Michael Strahan, and Gotham Chopra, is a surprisingly meditative look at the way sports give people a sense of meaning in life.