“Nazis. Nazis organizing and hurting people. Police standing by watching it happen. I literally don’t understand why the whole country is not up in arms about this.”
My partner and I spent much of the weekend watching the white supremacist Nazi rally in Charlottesville unfold, being not at all shocked about the deaths and injuries that ensued, and talking about why well-meaning people are not taking action. Especially Jews who have spent our whole lives hearing “never forget” and “never again.”
Never means now.
It’s hard to face it, but it’s inaction by well-meaning people that has allowed hate to flourish and go unchecked. This is that moment when we ask ourselves what we as individuals and a group would have done in 1930s Germany. If the answer is “Something, of course,” then this is a moment we cannot let pass us by.
You may have already started to mobilize, donated to organizations doing anti-racism work, and begun to examine how (if you’re white) you can use your privilege to fight racism. But if you haven’t, join me in taking action.
Below is a list of opportunities that extend beyond social media posts and commentary. Do as much or as little as you can, but please do something.
- White people: It is our job to fight racism. There is a group near you doing it, and they need your help.
- Email and call news outlets that are not reporting this for the white supremacist rally and terrorist attack that it is.
- If you’re Jewish, call and write your local federation and other local organizations and ask them what specific actions they’re taking and encouraging members to take to combat this.
- Contact your senators and congresspeople if they have not spoken out in opposition. Track them here.
- Attend a rally near you and organize your friends and family to join you.
This is about us, about people we love, and about people we’ve never met who deserve the same safety, security, and justice. Jews. Muslims. People of color. People with disabilities. Refugees. Immigrants. LGBTQ people.
Ask yourself what you would have done when Nazis and Nazi sympathizers began to take hold in the 1930s. Then ask yourself what is holding you back from taking action now.
Then do something.
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