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From the Desk of the Managing Editors

By Zaq G. and Celina S.

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Pittsburgh, the racially motivated shooting in Kentucky, and the sending of pipe bombs to outspoken Trump critics, we think it’s time to actually talk about what is happening in our country. We are the generation that has become desensitized to mass shootings, hate crimes and outlandish violence. This is not okay.

The people being killed from such unnecessary violence are just that — people. People with mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and perhaps children of their own. The perpetrators of these violent acts think that it is their place to take all of that and more from them. According to the Washington Post, “Reported hate crimes with racial or ethnic bias jumped the day after President Trump won the 2016 election, from 10 to 27, according to an analysis of FBI hate crime statistics.”

But what is the first step to pull us out of this rabbit hole that our country has dug itself into? It seems we are asking ourselves this question more than ever. We can go to the polls and vote for candidates who decry hatred and violence, but it still won’t take the hatred out of the hearts of some Americans.

This past Thursday there was a vigil to honor the lives of the 11 victims in Pittsburgh and to come together as a community to stand against hate. With the power we have as students growing up in this corrupt world, in our opinion, this is the best route to take. To stand together as one community, one nation and one world.

We’d like to present one of the poems read at the vigil. Jeremiah Karass is a student here at SMCC and they shared their point of view as a mixed-race, transgender Jew through their artistic talents in poetic form.

I am a Jew
By Jeremiah Karass

Shalom!
I’m a student at SMCC, an activist and a Jew.
I’m a Chinese Jew.
I’m a transgender Jew.
An American Jew.
An angry Jew.
A terrified Jew.
I’m a Jew and my Jewish family came here to escape genocide. Only a few of us made it.
My great grandmother watched her entire family die before her eyes.
They were lined up in a closet and shot through the door.
She escaped genocide.
She found my great grandfather here. He escaped genocide.
I’m a Jew and some of my Jewish family were turned away.
America stopped accepting us.
Some came anyway.
Am I an illegal Jew?
I’m a Jew.
My grandparents passed away, one last year and one a few months ago.
They watched Charlottesville.
They watched nazis walk the streets.
They died before they were able to experience the trauma of Pittsburgh.
I’m a Jew.
I listen to people say “how could this happen,” but if you’re a Jew too, you know that 
this has always happened.
Anti Semitism did not start and end with the holocaust.
It will not end with Pittsburgh, either.
I’m a Jew.
We escaped genocide and we get a tiny table of Chanukah decorations to choose from 
at Home Goods and Target for the trouble.
I’m a Jew.
My friends are Muslim. They do not get a table of decorations to choose from for their 
holidays. No one wishes my friends Ramadan Kareem.
I’m a Jew.
My cousins are black. They see terrorism against them reflected every day.
In this piece, I am also honoring the victims of the murders in Kentucky.
We mourn the black lives lost to racism as well.
I’m a Jew and I am angry.
Show up for us. Show up for those people who see violence reflected against them every single day.
Show up.

Categories: Calendar

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