Once again, silence implies consent. Once again, the stakes are high. We must move beyond wringing our hands and exclaiming “But what can I do?”. I recently asked, myself.
History is replete with horrific examples of the consequences of remaining silent. Consider our own history relating to our treatment of our indigenous Americans, slavery in our midst, rampant lynching, racism-fueled wars, turning Jews from the safety of our shores until it became otherwise convenient, and recent hate-based killings on our streets and in our places of worship.
We must learn how to speak out wholeheartedly against antisemitism and any form of discrimination or hatred. We must educate ourselves and others by refuting stereotypes, creating dialogue and engaging empathy.
Parents can listen to and speak with their children, adults can challenge the joke and the slur with how they make you feel. Try not to preach, but teach through example. Think about it, stand up and speak out.
Yes, there are things we can do as individuals. Be compelled by your conscience, rather than by denialism rooted in fear. Turn a “bystander” into an “upstander.” Be prepared to answer the question by future children, “So what did you do when this was happening?”
Charlie Huchet, New Hope