In times of trouble, the following statement comes up:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
The latest incident in the rash of hate crimes against the AAPI community happened yesterday in Hell’s Kitchen, a neighborhood in Manhattan. A sixty five year old Asian woman was kicked and stomped on by a stranger. What makes this incident worse is that it happened in the middle of the day with more than a few people around. Instead of fending off her assailant, the witnesses chose to ignore what was happening right in front of them.
As cliché as the quote above is, it is also the truth. The only way to stop hate and it’s horrendous physical and emotional off shoots is to speak up. Hate crime laws are important, but they are toothless without the assistance of the average citizen. My heart and prayers go out to this woman, may she have a speedy recovery.
P.S. The building employees who chose to walk away should be fired, in my opinion.
Diversity, as we all know, is a huge thing these days. But diversity for diversity’s sake is meaningless and empty. The only way it works is if we truly understand why a certain culture or faith has certain practices.
Over the weekend, Jews around the world recounted the story of the Exodus via the holiday of Passover. Carly Friesen, a Christian Lifestyle coach, decided to have a “Christian Seder“. The meal was completed by “Passover Challah” and a prayer to the Christian Savior.
If there was ever a definition of cultural appropriation, this is it. Anyone who has any basic knowledge of Passover knows that bread, pasta, and other foods in that category are verboten during the eight days. She could have made a genuine gesture by at least trying to adhere to the traditional food rules of the holiday. The amount of resources she could have pulled information from is nearly endless.
Instead, she took some of the most precious and respected aspects of Judaism and this week and twisted them to fit her needs. It is not exactly a secret that some members of the Christian faith have not exactly been shy about taking everything, including our lives, from Jews at certain points in history. It’s 2021. It’s time to think about how we treat minority cultures and people, especially when it comes to their most sacred objects and traditions.