The hate continues.
Following the horrific synagogue shooting this past weekend in Pittsburgh, anti-Semitism is finally a topic of conversation.
For so long, hate crimes involving religion have been swept under the rug and pushed away from headlines. Why did 11 have to die and six have to get injured in order for Americans to ultimately start talking seriously about anti-Semitism?
Merriam-Webster defines anti-Semitism as “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.”
The fact that we have a specific word to describe hate toward people of a religion is disturbing.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents occurred in the U.S. in 2017. That number rose by over 700 in one year.
Being Jewish and going to a large public university with such diversity is a beautiful thing most of the time. Learning about other religions and backgrounds is something that not many people have the privilege to do in their daily lives. We are in the perfect setting to embrace our differences and learn from one another.
But instead we turn away from people who are unlike ourselves and close our minds to beliefs other than ours. Why is that?
Try to remember the last headline you saw about hate against the Jewish people before this past week. These acts — that happen every single day — tend to not be addressed due to topics that are seen as more important. The truth is, these are just as necessary for the public to know about as anything else happening in our country.
Do we see headlines about the Swastikas written on Jewish people’s property? Do we see headlines about headstones being destroyed by prejudice-filled people in Jewish cemeteries? Do we see headlines about Jews being harassed online?
Although Jews only make up around two percent of our population, according to The Denver Post, we account for more than half of the Americans targeted by hate crimes committed due to religious bias.
The most disturbing part about our society is that shootings bring important topics to light. It took the Parkland shooting to address gun control, mental health and school security. It took the Synagogue shooting to address anti-Semitism.
How many more massacres have to occur for us to see the topics that need to be focused on in society?
Anti-Semitism is finally rising to the forefront of conversations. The fact that it took a shooting to make this happen says something extremely concerning about our country.
It is time we all have conversations about our religious affiliation. Embrace your beliefs and share your differences. We need to educate one another in order to embrace our distinctions and diffuse hate.
Zoe Zbar is a junior majoring in marketing.