Arthur Henry Memorial Dedication Ceremony


Orlando Sentinel Letter to the Editor

Orlando fails to protect the disenfranchised

You have failed us, Orlando. Talking about your intolerance for nazis — you shouldn’t capitalize the name of something that should not exist, because capitalizing communicates that you validate a thing — comes at a steep price for many Jewish people. For those of us who have done the hard work of coming to terms with the effects of the Holocaust, and the damage it has rendered in our families, the sight of a nazi flag is not free, cheap, or easy: It steals time from family, it robs capacity from work, it subverts our humanity, and it prohibits the pursuit of happiness that is supposedly sacred and inherent to all citizens of our nation.

You talk of punching nazis, and standing up to hate. But you do so through the safety and protection of social media, and in the company of like-minded people where your words mean nothing; your lack of action indicts you. You do not celebrate Jewish people, and our tremendous contributions to culture and society. Instead, you stand atop our pain triumphantly patting yourself on the back for comfortably expressing your disdain at one of humanity’s most visible and widely despised villains: the antisemite emboldened into unspeakable atrocities of industrialized murder and legislated dehumanization.

But what do you say about the humanity, the resilience and the indomitable genius of Jewish people? You say nothing, because you either fail to see it, or you see it as less valuable than your right to participate in your long-treasured rituals of antisemitism. We see you Orlando. We see your pitiful values laid bare upon Parramore and cast aside when you drive past the throngs of homeless people on your way to theme parks, and airports that displace your regard for the humans suffering in front of you into the bank accounts of far off corporations that share your values.

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