The Right Side of History

The Right Side of History

Rebekah Rosenstein, Staff Writer

Sitting in my room, watching neo-nazis and white supremacists rally in America in the year 2017, I’m not just appalled; I’m disgusted.

The “alt-right” held a Unite the Right march on Saturday, Aug. 12 to protest the taking down of a confederate statue. The march, held in Charlottesville, Va, consisted of tiki torches, swastika flags, guns, and anything else you could hope for at a gathering of a bunch of angry, white supremacists.

You would think being a Jewish person and seeing wannabe neo-nazis stomping through the streets chanting “Jews will not replace us,” “blood and soil,” and plenty other racist rhetoric would have me beside myself in fear, but rather, the opposite happened. I felt stronger. I think it came out of spite; like, my Jew powers enhanced with each swastika tattoo.

I didn’t feel scared watching the white supremacists in Charlottesville. My grandfather didn’t fight in WWII for me to feel scared. I felt proud. Proud of my ethnicity, of my nose, my religion, my hair; everything that makes me Jewish. Proud I know what it means to have a culture. I felt proud of my great-grandparents for coming to America. The only thing I didn’t feel was fear, because to give them fear means they matter and they will never matter.

While the march didn’t quite have me shaking in my boots, it made me livid, and I still am. I’m livid I still have to see this, that we haven’t eradicated the dark cloud of hate and bigotry that looms over America, seeping into its corners like a fog and infecting every nook and cranny.

Not long after the events in Charlottesville took place, the Holocaust Memorial in Boston was vandalized on Tuesday, Aug. 15 for the second time that summer. In February, Jewish community centers received bomb threats in 11 states. The Anti-Defamation League even reported anti-semitic incidents in the United States increased 86 percent during the first three months of 2017.

Famous Jewish people have been standing up in solidarity to fight rising anti-semitism and neo-nazi activity in the United States. Billy Joel, the son of Jewish parents and relative of holocaust victims, even wore a yellow star at his concert on Tuesday, Aug. 22 in reference to the ones Jews were made to wear during the Holocaust.

People tend to look back at past events and wonder what action they would’ve taken then. This is it. Take action. Speak out. Don’t wait until the moment passes to be on the right side of history.