We are in the midst of two crises, the pandemic and fight against racial injustice. Some are choosing to ignore and/or minimize the pandemic while some of the same individuals are also choosing to denigrate and/or dismiss those who want to confront racial injustice and bring about real systemic change.
The days of ignoring, minimizing and dismissing need to end. Although I am not a person of color, I grew up experiencing hatred against me, as a Jew, and witnessing hateful acts against people of color. As one of the few Jews growing up in Pine Bluff, Ark., in the 1960s, I became well aware of the bigotry in the South against all minorities at a young age. The hateful words and deeds traumatized and frightened me as a child. I never talked about them, but I never forgot. We are well into the 21st century and it is time for hatred to end.
After watching the first presidential debate, I fear that white supremacist groups of all kinds will feel ever more empowered and emboldened if President Donald Trump is re-elected. The whole country, not just the South, will have been given permission to perpetuate the hatred that continues to plague our country. Yes, there are far-left people that are anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, but they are not arming themselves and breaking into synagogues, churches, mosques and stores to shoot people.
Trump must be defeated. Jews, along with all Americans, need to work toward that goal wearing a mask.