Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Just Plain Prejudice

I've been trying to write this entry for two days now, ever since I went surfing around on BlogExplosion and found myself staring at a blog that featured a swastika and a rant about how the Jews are destroying "our" society. I've tried to write a calm, reasoned look at the ways we view prejudice, and how differently different people see it, and how hard that is to reconcile.

But I can't do it. I'm too angry, and sickened, and tired. I'm tired of trying to be calm and intellectual and to engage in well-thought-out debate about things I know to be true from simply living in this world: that being a Jew still means dealing with all sorts of subtle and not-so-subtle slights and jabs and outright bigotry. You may think I'm wrong. I know I'm not.

I'll accept that some of the issues I deal with could be avoided if I'd just back down, compromise, close my eyes a little. Yeah, maybe I take the whole Santa thing a little personally, but that still doesn't mean it's appropriate to bring him in to meet with kids in a public-school classroom. And maybe we actually could live in Arkansas or Kansas or Idaho and find a community and be accepted, but that doesn't mean that the experience would be easy, or the norm, or that many other Jewish families wouldn't even give it a try because they feel, like me, that we aren't really wanted or welcome in much of this country, that there aren't unlimited choices for us as to where we go, where we live. Maybe the constant pronouncements about how we are a "Christian nation," and the emphasis on "Christian morals" aren't directly translatable into "we're the majority, we rule, and how you feel is irrelevant." But that's what I hear. And maybe all those people who laugh at me and tell me that of course Joe Lieberman wasn't a good part of the reason there was even a question as to whether Al Gore won the 2000 election are actually right, but I doubt it. I know better.

Maybe that blog shouldn't have sickened me so much. After all, I keep saying I've seen so much. Why would it surprise me? Not to mention, again, that my father was born in Germany in 1938, and that my great-grandparents died in years unknown in camps whose names I can't recite, because my grandmother refused to speak of them, considering her failure to convince them of the dangers in their homeland to be the reason for their deaths. A little blog is really nothing compared to that, right?

Except that's not entirely true. Because everything starts somewhere. Everything starts small. And it all starts in hate, and then engenders more of the same. This I know for a fact, because I felt the hate, felt it start small and grow, as I sat staring at that blog. It began dragging me down to its level, that hate. And it's still pulling on me, even now, days later. But now I'm letting it. I'm just too angry, too sickened, too damned tired of this crap, to fight it any more.

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