There are many steps in my morning routine. I shower, I brush my teeth, I pick an outfit to wear. If I’m feeling especially motivated, I’ll wear some jewelry. Maybe a pair of statement earrings or a cute little ring. Maybe I’ll wear my Star of David.
This is where things get complicated. How am I getting to class? If I’m taking MARTA that day, it’s an instant no, unless my collar is high enough to cover it. What classes do I have today?
Do I know my peers in those classes well enough to trust them? A lot of thought goes into the necklace. It’s easier to just not wear it.
So what? It’s just a silly necklace. But it’s not just the necklace, it’s every Jewish emblem I own and every Jewish space I choose to occupy.
Every little thing can and will identify me as a Jew.
As a white-passing person, it feels silly to fret over these things. I don’t wear my identities on my skin, and this protects me in many scenarios. However, whle being able to blend in may be a privilege, having to do so is not.
As some may know, this weekend an armed gunman entered a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas and held four Jews inside hostage.
They remained there for 11 hours until they were safely freed. They survived, but how many haven’t?
This was not an isolated incident.
There have been so many stories that haven’t been publicized.
During the eight days of Chanukah alone, there were at least 16 reported acts of violence against the Jewish people, from the vandalization of our homes and places of worship to physical violence against our people.
Some argue that this incident and others weren’t motivated by anti-semitism, and while there were other factors at play, breaking into a specific religion’s place of worship and holding a Rabbi hostage is blatantly intentional; choosing to blame this occurrence on other reasons is ignorant.
Right now, among the fear and anger and sadness, the worst feeling of all is the one of abandonment. The silence from my non-Jewish acquaintances is deafening.
When a community is in danger, we as the human race have the duty to look out for each other.
We must stand up for the Black community, the AAPI community, the Muslim community and so many more who are also facing hate in these times.
But the Jewish community is among those in danger right now, and the mass overlook of our peril causes the situation to worsen every day.
For my peers, I call for solidarity. For my institution, I call for action.
Please do not let me become the next headline.