Monday, October 29, 2018

#togetheragainstantisemitism

My friend Ali has fought for the better part of two weeks to expose an Anti-Semite special education teacher's beliefs.  Janet Arsanian enabled and encouraged her young teen son to dress as Hitler at a Halloween event in Boulder City, Clark County, Nevada.  She laughed at and later supported the behavior of her son when he saluted others and even took on the persona of Hitler.

When Ali exposed this unacceptable behavior, numerous worldwide news outlets picked up the story.   Arsanian continued to cyber stalk Ali when Ali wouldn't let the story die. Showing up on public pages, even stalking her on her own Facebook page, Arsanian continued to attack, not claim any ownership as a parent and refused to acknowledge why her actions as an special education teacher were reprehensible.  (She also speaks publicly about her favorite book being one about children dying by Nazi hands. Is Arsanian someone who should be teaching children with special needs and listening to her spew her support of Nazi actions during WWII?)

Why is this a problem?  There are still people in this world and sometimes entire populations that do not believe that the Holocaust happened. They do not believe that such a huge part of our world history that occurred less than 75 years ago was "big deal".  There are people that will argue death tolls in Russia were far greater and that it "didn't have anything to do with Jewish people."  Those of Jewish descent today, in 2018, still are discriminated against daily.  They are viewed as not equal to, but less.  Isn't that how since the beginning of time the Jews were persecuted and discriminated against? Is it women like Arsanian who believe her son's costume was "fantastic and so real like he walked off a movie set" enable the atmosphere of hate and racism to be fostered?

Just day's ago, 11 people were shot and killed and 6 more wounded in a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh Synagogue.  One of the people who was shot and killed was a 97 year old Holocaust survivor.  A Holocaust survivor was shot a killed in the United States for being Jewish and being in a Synagogue.  A place of worship.  Let that sink in.

Why does this matter to me? A Caucasian, Born Again Christian,  Middle Class American Woman? This is exactly the kinds of things that should matter to everyone.  These are exactly the things that we should speak out against and be angry about because they are still happening today in 2018.  The fact that my friend Ali is a Jewish woman is beside the point.  We as human beings, created in the image of God, all completely equal, need to speak up, need to speak out and need to make sure that our voices are heard.  We need to make sure that women like Arsarian know that there will never be a time in the future where dressing like or acting like Hitler will be commended. There will never be a time when persecution of any people group should be acceptable. There will never be a moment when words and actions do not matter. Because they do. And right now, her words and actions need to have consequences. 


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