Should We Take a Public Stand?

A NEIGHBOR
When a man saw his 68-year-old neighbor taping a paper menorah to her window, he begged her to take it down. “Don’t you know what’s going on?” he asked. “Yes,” the woman replied. “That’s exactly why I’m putting it up.”

 

CONGREGATION BETH AARON
In the months before Chanukah, attacks against Jews escalated. The previous March, the leaders of Congregation Beth Aaron had decided not to speak publicly about these incidents. Tammie Schnitzer recalled: "They seemed to feel that to acknowledge a problem or identify themselves as being different would make us stand apart."

 

MARGARET MACDONALD 
Margaret MacDonald encountered similar resistance in the Christian community: "There’d been an emphatic hard-line stand in the town, like a brick wall, that the less said about the skinheads and other racists, the better."

 

POLICE CHIEF WAYNE INMAN
Tammie Schnitzer, Margaret MacDonald, and others disagreed with the decision to be silent. They formed the Billings Coalition for Human Rights to make racist incidents public. Police Chief Wayne Inman supported their work. He argued: "Silence is acceptance. [The hate groups] are testing us. And if we do nothing, there’s going to be more trouble."

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Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.