I’m sitting in the 24-hour lounge, pretending to study. I stopped listening to music a while ago and instead opted for casually eavesdropping on conversations around me, like the Samwise I am. At the table behind me, a guy is sitting with a friend and chatting. Their conversation is boring until another person walks by.
He greets this person with shalom and mazel tov. When the person carries on with where they were headed, I hear the guy explain to his friend that this person was his “Jew friend.” The comment merits no response and they both fall silent.
That was until he started up another conversation when he asked his friend if there’s a dating website for Jewish people. He goes on to explain that he’s not Jewish, but would want to “date a Jew girl.” Jewish girls, he claimed, are morally grounded and ethically superior to other girls.
There is about an infinite number of reasons why putting one group of people above another is catastrophic.
If you Google search “did the Holocaust happen” directives to neo-Nazi sites such as “stormfront” and “expeltheparasite” are the first to pop up. Thankfully, Google has made a move to create an algorithm that put results such as these further down the list.
As an answer to the question, maybe Google should instead give searchers the names of families wiped out from the Holocaust, directions to Auschwitz, an outline of “The Final Solution,” or one free viewing of Schindler’ List.
Okay, I’m being sarcastic, but that’s only to cover up the real terror I feel.
Neo-Nazis, of course, are furious about this. They believe it’s an impeachment on the first amendment. In America, the freedom of speech act is a catch-all term. The government has no right to censor your voice.
For a country that was founded in revolution, I’m sure you can see why such a thing is so important. Now, I’m a big believer in freedom of speech; I agree that it is one of the fundamentals of a free country.
But this isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech. This is Nazis actively wanting to kill Jewish people in the twenty-first century.
In Montana on Jan. 15 (Martin Luther King Day), there will be an armed march against the Jewish. How is a thing like this possible?
Because America is a country that still has a Nazi political party and the first amendment protects all. The American government cannot and will not intervene with Nazis. Instead, they protect and sanction them.
It’s not fair to uphold this guy from the 24-hour lounge to the same demonization as the Montana March or the neo-Nazis critizing Google. Those people are dangerous and will hurt others.
While this guy didn’t want to hurt anybody, he most likely doesn’t understand that his words uphold marginalizing ideology. But I’m also not letting him, or anyone who speaks like this, get away scot-free.
No, you’re not leading an armed march to slaughter or refusing to believe a genocide, but your words do harm. Marginalizing Jewish people this way, though extremely minor comparatively, is part of a larger problem. Anti-Semitism thrives in our world like a cancer and it is killing us.
Despite all that is happening, I want to believe that things are going to be okay. After seventy-two years, people have changed. So, right now, neo-Nazis may be loud, people may not understand the things they say are wrong. The world is better than this and we’ll rise above it.