Stand Together in a Time of Distress

We live in a world where hate is everywhere and there is not much that we can do about it. Just last week there was a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where 11 people were killed and a number of other people were left injured. It is times like this that I am scared to be who I am because there are so many racist and anti-Semitic people. People all over the world have been coming together in solidarity to show the Jewish people that they have support. Colleges and Universities held vigils to make sure that anyone and everyone had a chance to feel the support of their college communities. I feel supported when I was at the vigil at my school. I was proud of who I am. There were faculty and staff there. People that are not even Jewish but stand up to hate crimes showed up. It is nice to know that at times like these people come together to support each other. 

I am happy that so many people showed up because it means so much to me. I know students at the University of Pittsburgh that only live two miles from where the shooting happened. People don’t think about the fact that it could have happened at a place near them or at a place close to where their friends live. This type of thing happens all the time. By the time we try to do something about it, it is already too late. It goes back to the fact that people need to vote even if they don’t want to. We need to put people in office that will change how easy it is for people to get guns. Being killed by a gun is one of the leading causes of death. How can we let people get killed by guns? How can people think it is okay to hurt others for being who they are and want to be in this world? You cannot justify something like that.

The Jewish people all over the country are deeply saddened by the hate crime. When you target one spot, you target all of them. It makes people feel unsafe even if they have people like public safety on a college campus. It is too darn late to do something about it. We spend time sharing things like this on Facebook, but are we really doing anything to stop this from happening? A few weeks ago someone drew swastikas on a synagogue and it flew around Facebook like wildfire. The question is did anyone do anything about it or did they just decide to put it on social media to remind people that hate crimes against Jewish people are still happening 70 years after the Holocaust.

We as a community need to do something to stop people from hurting others. We need to make sure that hate crimes all over the country will not be tolerated. We should not have to live in fear everyday. 

I am angered and saddened by these events because this is the type of thing that hits home for me. I go through life being told to be who I want to be and who I am. Don’t try to be someone else. How can I do that when I feel like my world is falling apart right before my eyes? I stand against hate each and every day. I will continue to stand against hate because the constitution says that I should have the freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

To the people that are directly affected please don’t be afraid to be who you are. Now is the time to stand up for what you believe in and show that our community is strong and united.