This past Sunday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Earlier this week, actor Jussie Smollett was verbally and physically attacked on the streets of Chicago for being a member of the African-American and LGBTQ communities.
Though both events may appear to be different, they are related by one very disturbing fact: someone decided that because another human being is different, they have the right to verbally abuse and physically attack them. In an ideal world, we would judge our fellow human being by who they are as an individual, not by how the identify themselves. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where we someone walking down the street and we judge them based on factors such as skin color, religion, etc.
Last night, actor Ellen Page was on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and accused Vice President Mike Pence of contributing to the attack on Mr. Smollett.
I agree with her. Whether we realize it or not, those in power can influence the average man or woman on the street. If we see our political leaders working towards diversity and respect, we try to emulate them. On the flip side, if we see our political leaders endorsing hate/prejudice and using their position to legislate either, we see it as a go ahead to attack another human being because they are not like us.
It’s 2019. We have a choice at this point. We can choose love, diversity and respect for our fellow beings. Or, we can continue on this path of hate and prejudice. I hope that we (when I say we, I mean a collective cultural “we”), choose love, diversity and respect. But these days, hope often springs eternal.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. We remember the not just the six million Jews who perished, but the millions of others who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.
This Holocaust Remembrance Day feels different. It feels different because Donald Trump has enacted a ban on Muslim immigration to the US. While America in 2017 is not Nazi Germany in 1933, there are echoes of Nazi Germany coming out of the White House. Those echoes should send a chill down the spine of every American citizen and ask them to take a hard look at the man who is the leader of the free world.
I can’t help but think of the millions of lives that could have been saved had America opened her borders when the need was greatest. In May of 1939, the SS St. Louis left Germany with 900 Jewish souls aboard. Upon reaching the Americas, the ship and it’s passengers were rejected. The ship was forced to return to Europe and many of those aboard were killed by the Nazis.
While I understand the need to ensure that those with less than honorable desires are prevented from entering this country, I do not understand why innocent people fleeing persecution and violence should be denied entry into the US. It’s appalling and it breaks my heart.
We say never again every year. Unfortunately, never again has happened again. Not just to the my people, but to other groups as well.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Today we remember the 6 million Jewish souls whose lives were taken simply because they were Jewish.
There are so many angles that I can use to approach this post.
Today I want to talk about the possibilities that were lost.
The six million that were murdered, the possibilities of their lives were endless. But we will never know what directions their lives could have taken.
Especially the children. 1.5 million Jewish children were killed at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. An entire generation was lost before they truly had the chance the live. The children who did survive and grow to adulthood were forever changed. Imagine what these children who were murdered might have accomplished as adults. Imagine what their children and grandchildren and perhaps great-grandchildren would have accomplished as adults. But we will never know.
Every year, we say never again. But sometimes it feels hollow, just another statement without action to back it up, especially considering that antisemitism is one more rearing its ugly head.
I’m going to say it again and perhaps it will stick with one person. I hope that is not too much to ask for.
May the memories of those murdered be a blessing to all of us, so we can remember how inhumane we can be to our fellow human being.
Filed under History, Music
The definition of genocide is as follows:
the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.
Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations has declared that that Armenian genocide 100 years ago was not a genocide. He labels it an “atrocity”.
This is just another example of why the UN has become more and more irrelevant.
If a particular ethic group or culture is singled out for murder simply because of who they are or what they believe, that is genocide. Plain and simple.
By denying or downgrading the facts, the UN is going against the very reason it was created. In it’s charter, the following is stated:
To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
Today, as many of you may know or not know, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. I stand with my Armenian brothers and sisters, who 100 years ago, faced the same fate that my own family faced 70 years ago.
Perhaps it’s time to clean house at the UN, or better yet, dismantle an organization that has become nothing more than a mouth piece for despots and murderers.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Today we remember the millions murdered 70 years ago. They were murdered not because they committed any specific crimes, but because they were who they were.
Jews, Gypsies, Communists, Homosexuals. They were all murdered because they chose to be true to who they were, instead of conforming to the society around them.
We say never again, but history continues to repeat itself.
Bosnia, Darfur, Syria. Millions of people are still murdered simply because of who they are, because of hate and prejudice.
Some might say that we don’t need to talk about the Holocaust anymore, that we have learned from the past.
We have not learned from the past.
We will continue to say never again, until we can finally say never again.