I was really looking forward to sharing a new post today. A post dedicated to another one of my Bookish Travels. However, given the current political climate, I felt that it was inappropriate for me to do so. Instead I’m going to stop, take a breath, and talk (write) about some hard things.
When I started this blog, only a few short months ago, I struggled with the idea of how much of myself to share with you – my amazing readers. When I began this venture, I didn’t even suspect that anyone outside of my family would read this blog. But, I live in the world enough to know that people who express themselves too freely can open themselves up to criticism, harassment, and – let’s face it – threats. I live with this every. single. day. I wanted this blog to be a celebration. A place you can come to hear about the books I love. To be inspired. And I thought I could do that without giving you too big an insight into who I really am.
I am Jewish. I live with the knowledge that every single time I say (or write) that, there are people in the world who will find that offensive. I know that just by acknowledging that publicly, I could incur the hatred of people who don’t think I should exist. My grandparents were the only members of their families to survive the Holocaust. To say that this doesn’t affect me greatly would be an understatement. Seeing the events of Charlottesville, the Tree of Life (Etz Chayim) synagogue shooting, and other recent antisemitic events make me scared to put my feelings into words. I believe in a world of kindness. Of hope.
But, I just read an amazing book (blog post forthcoming) based on a true story about an assignment that students were given to defend the Final Solution – to advocate Nazi positions – to make history come alive. This assignment allows the antisemites in the school to freely express their hatred and it encourages the normalization of hate. I thought, this can’t possibly be happening in the 21st century. But it is – this assignment, it happened in the last five years. And it’s not the only example. The world continues to be a scary place for Jews. I am afraid.
However, my level of fear can be NOTHING to those who wear their “otherness” on their skin. I cannot fathom what it must be like for people of color in our world. How scared they must be, how their fear must penetrate every part of their daily lives. The events of these last few days, the needless killings of unarmed black people in this country are deplorable. The fact that black people must be scared to walk down the street is absolutely unacceptable, but the knowledge that they are not even safe in their own homes – that is down right reprehensible. That is what happened in Nazi Germany. I don’t want my country to be that.
I don’t want to be silent anymore. I want to stand up and say Black Lives Matter. No one should be afraid. We need to stand up against hatred and bigotry in all its forms. I stand with those who don’t have a voice. I stand for justice and kindness. 80 years ago, no one stood up and said Jewish lives matter. I will NOT be silent. BLACK LIVES MATTER.
What can you do:
Check out this article about things you can do. I am using this as my touchstone. To learn more, to help more. To stand up and say NO MORE.