Ever feel like you need to get something off your chest? Sometimes I’ve just gotta talk it out. That’s why I’ve decided to do a monthly feature called “Thoughts On…” At the beginning of the month, I’ll provide a prompt to stimulate discussion. The point is to get us to put our thoughts out there – writing it all down can be quite cathartic. If you want to keep your writing private, that’s your thing and I won’t question it. If you’re ready to put it all out there, I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments. At the end of the month I’ll provide my own thoughts on the topic of the month. Think of it as a book club for writing.
So I pretty much provided all my thoughts on this topic in the original prompt, but here are some additional thoughts:
I’m not sure what we can do to protect others from experiencing this. In some ways, I feel sure anti-semitism and hate speech in general will always exist to some degree, as sad as that is. What we can do is take a stand when we hear it firsthand. When my Mom read this story, she said she thought I was brave for saying something. I felt exactly the opposite way. In my mind, I uttered one small note of dissent and then got quiet when I realized it was fruitless. I didn’t make a scene, but looking back, maybe it was still something. I may not have changed the mind of the person saying that word, but maybe the non-Jewish employees who overheard the conversation had a change of heart. Maybe they realized that words like that can hurt and will think before speaking that way themselves. I hope that’s what happened. A small change is still a change.