My heart lays shattered and bare today. My soul is crushed, and I’ve been at a loss for words. I feel so much like that day, a few months ago, when a congregation in the midst of services was attacked.
For a long time, I felt like words truly don’t accomplish anything. While I still stand by that, you can’t leave certain words unspoken – even if they don’t make the difference you hope them to make.
An attack on a mosque is an attack on all communities of faith. An attack on a congregation in prayer is an attack on anyone that believes in freedom and personal liberties. An attack on Muslims is an attack on innocent people in the most cruel and backward way imaginable.
Now is the time to stand up and make the world know that anti-Muslim hate is not welcome in proper society. I feel the need to emphasize this again: anti-Muslim hate is not welcome!
Shootings like this one, motivated by hate, don’t just happen. Hate is taught. Hate slowly brews. Hate is what simmers beneath the surface in racist jokes and extra pat downs at the airport. Hate is sometimes mistaken or excused for fear. Most fear is taught, too.
I gotta tell you – hate can also be untaught. You can learn to recognize it and change your “natural” reactions.
I’m proof of that. Being raised in an ultra Orthodox Jewish home, racism was deeply ingrained in my being, my education, and day-to-day activities. I’ve spent years actively unlearning that there was no true basis for my fears and deep seated beliefs. Realizing that an individual’s actions both don’t speak for and don’t represent a whole people’s reality.
This Jew is angry. I’m furious that we have let this hate pass for so long and become so deeply ingrained in society. I’m furious that people who know better choose to not speak up and change the conversation. I’m furious that our education isn’t better and somehow, as a society, we have normalized this kind of extreme bigotry.
While none of us agree with what happened today in New Zealand we need to understand that our actions and our microaggressions have contributed to it.
We are all responsible.
I beg of you! Please know that your words and your actions bring destruction, and your fear breeds hatred. Do something today. Speak up today! Destroy that bubble we are living in, and let’s show the world that we are capable of change and reasonable thought.
Throwing around Holocaust analogies is not something I ever do, but in this instance I’m convinced that it’s the appropriate time:
In Germany, the holocaust did not begin overnight. It took years, even decades of breeding fear and eventually hate against Jews – all before people were able to put aside their humanity and commit atrocities that went against human nature.
Do you think that it’s impossible for this to happen again?
We, all of us as a society, are responsible for New Zealand. And all of us have the ability to make sure that it doesn’t happen ever again.
As a Jew, I believe in the power of salvation and the ability to truly change as a person. I don’t think that society or individuals are condemned forever. I believe in the ability for society to redeem itself.
Actions speak louder than words, but in this situation, both are required.
I will be donating to support the victims of this travesty. In addition, on top of that I will be donated to an organisation (to be determined) that fights against Islamophobia here in the USA.
I challenge you to join me – make a donation and put your money where your mouth is.