Two news stories made me have hope for my country. The image above is of a little boy cleaning a Jewish headstone at the cemetery in Missouri. Many of the headstones had been desecrated in a hate crime. A Muslim activist group has raised over $100,000 dollars to repair the damage. One Jewish lady interviewed on CNN intimated that the various bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers were damaging to the Jewish communities psyche. Who is doing it? I am pretty certain that white supremacists are at fault and hoping that the Muslim community is blamed.
This sacrilege got front page news, as it should but just a week ago, the town mosque in Victoria, Texas burned to the ground. At this stage they don’t know if it was arson or an electrical fire. The Rabbi handed over the keys of the synagogue to his friend, the Imam, so that the worshippers would have somewhere to pray. Other Christian churches followed with similar offers. A crowd-funding effort has raised over $850,000 to rebuild the mosque.
All of our hearts should be singing at these kind acts following at least one hate crime. The world looks at us tentatively with current political tensions very high. Are we Russia’s friend or not? I hope we treat them with the same suspicion that we have always done, along with any other state that wages war or terrorism on innocent people. It feels as though people who have been bigoted and racist in private are emboldened to come out from their filthy shadows.
I was the victim of a white on white hateful moment this past Sunday. I was sitting at the traffic lights waiting for them to turn. A truck screamed past me on the left turnaround lane and the passenger was shouting filthy cuss words at me whilst giving me the finger. Initially, I had no idea why until Teddy explained that he had been in the inside right lane wanting to cross over but I was a couple of feet away from the car in front. Why didn’t he beep or flash and I could have moved up? He looked just like you would imagine, white skinhead with tattoos – just as well he didn’t know I tick the Hispanic box, eh?
As I was walking today, I tried to assess my reaction to this. Firstly, I was shocked because I have never been the recipient of such undeserved rage in the place I live. Then I was angry – really angry. I started to imagine what I would have liked to have done. If we had been in a carpark, I would have gone straight up to him and told him how disgusting his behavior was. If he attempted to hit me, I would have kicked him in the testicles to down him and then would have beaten his face until it was bloody. I am just an ordinary person who has self-defense skills and I have had to defend myself with violence on a couple of occasions. Mostly, I just dream about Barbie dolls or Syrian limo drivers.
This is what happens when you live in a hateful society. Be kind to your friends and neighbors, give a stranger a smile.