Words of the Week

“Ultimately, what upsets me the most is not the existence of swastikas—I have unfortunately been conditioned to expect anti-Semitism in many spaces in America—but rather the failure of our community to acknowledge anti-Semitism as a problem that we must confront in our own circles. I’ve been frustrated and exhausted, attempting to be an advocate for myself and my community when it seems like no one ‘gets’ it. Multiple friends have said, ‘Why are you so upset? What’s the big deal?’ I’ve attempted to answer these questions: because the last time this symbol was widespread, my grandfather lost his entire extended family to death camps. Because epigenetics have shown that trauma is passed down through generations, so my Jewish brothers and sisters are actually feeling the same PTSD that their grandparents developed after the Holocaust. Because anti-Semitism is ignored because of hatred of Israel, or because Jews are assumed to be universally white and therefore unable to be oppressed.”

Source: Madeline Budman, “How I’m Coping with the Swastikas on My Campus” (Alma)