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Blurred Lines

November 17, 2015

I know that I am having a bit of a meltdown and this is really not the best platform for meltdowns, but let me explain a little about why the bigotry towards the Muslim faith hurts me so much.

When I first learned about the atrocities committed towards the Jews during WW2, I was of course appalled. How could the world let this happen? And I was so innocent too. The equation was simple. Hitler=evil and we=good. Hilter just somehow snuck this under our good noses.

I continued to learn about the Holocaust in college and then again as a teacher, reading books such as Night with my students. I went a few times to the Museum of Tolerance. My education on the events of WW2 are limited. I am not a historical scholar, but I know something went very wrong. My heart hurt. I almost threw up at the Museum of Tolerance when learning about how the soldiers used babies as target practice. Not only was there a lack of compassion, the Jews had ceased to even be human in the soldiers’ eyes; less than even animals.

Remember how for awhile in the 90s everyone was into swing music? I was right in there on that fad. One night, I rented “Swing Kids” thinking it would be about swing dancing, but it isn’t. It is about how the Nazi party spent years training children that the Jews were not human. They were vermin.

So then it started to feel like maybe it wasn’t just Hitler=evil anymore. Lots of people started to equal evil or maybe lots of people started to equal misguided. All the simple equations began to fall apart.

And then…..there is my grandma. She was raised in England during WW2. She was there when the Nazis bombed London. A bomb fell through her roof. It landed on a bed and didn’t explode or I would not be here. My grandma was raised in Europe during the time that the Holocaust was happening, and she is a very personal connection to the ideals of Europe during that time. She makes the good and evil equation fall apart for me.

My grandma was raised to hate Jews. She was a racist. That hurts to even write because I loved my grandma. And it wasn’t her fault. She was a good person, but the lines got really blurry. Jews killed Christ you know. Christians and Jews didn’t get along so well back then. And then media blamed them for what was wrong with the world. Media made them less than human. Media and propaganda taught Europe to ignore the pain of the Jews, just as you ignore the pain of vermin you are exterminating.

So world….when I see you blaming all Muslims for the heinous acts of terrorists, I feel pain that the shame of racism and bigotry will continue and I will not have that for my family. I cannot stand by and keep quiet while innocent people are reduced to a simple equation. Islam does not equal evil. Middle Eastern decent does not equal terrorist.

Atrocities such as the Holocaust didn’t happen because one guy decided to cause immense suffering. It happened because of many, many years of many people reducing an entire race of people to something less than human; something to be feared and destroyed.

Let us not repeat the same mistake.

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