To the Editor:
“Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.” – Pastor M. Niemoller
When those that have forget when they could not, we have ignorance. For a government that represents a people as diverse as we are, to now dictate hateful, fearful venom is disgraceful. We are better than this. We have to be. It’s not just that the nations are watching. It’s that our children are.
Several years ago I joined a cohort of teachers at Kean University. Our purpose was to learn how to better teach anti-bullying techniques using history, specifically the Holocaust. We read how fear permeated through the cold walls of the ghettos. We saw video of survivors who described how they hid and in spite of so much hate, it was often an insider who showed some kindness, whether a piece of bread or a warm place to hide. Anything that helped another soul survive one more night was a slap to the face of racism, hatred and death.
Now is not the time to be silent. Now is not the time to ignore the harassment, intimidation and bullying of other souls. We have to march, we have to write, and we have to remind our government that it works for us, not the other way around. I am proud that Jersey City is a sanctuary city. I am proud we can see past our problems and see that no one should live in fear. We are better than this. We have to be.