The year is 2021. Hate resonates throughout America. Violence and prejudice against minorities happen every day. Privilege is obtained by being white, straight, christian, or a male.
From preschool and up, stories were told that turned cruel history into a fun story of people being friends. According to my kindergarten teachers, Columbus came with three ships to the Americas, made friends, called his friends “Indians”, and ate corn with them. Making white men heroes has been a recurring theme. Why aren’t kids taught about the white man who stole and murdered to attain our “great nation”?
Life for black minorities is challenging in America. America teaches fear to prove the white person is superior. America’s justice system separates and categorizes people based on what they can not change. It makes skin color significant, but why should that separate us? The Declaration of Independence states: all men are created equal. That is a fact, yet it is treated like an opinion. Every human has blood, bones, and we all have basic DNA. Our identity should unite us. In America, our difference is the difference between life and death. George Floyd was killed for an alleged counterfeit bill, while Nicholas Ferguson, a white kid who stabbed an officer in the neck, gets jail time. George Floyd was unarmed and did not resist arrest, yet he is not on this earth anymore. Nicholas Ferguson was armed, resisted arrest, and stabbed an officer, but his family gets the opportunity to hug him.
I can not change my race, yet it is the reason I have privilege. I can not change my religion, yet it is why I am seen as less than.
The Holocaust ended 78 years ago; yet, the hate is still in the hearts of many. 6 million Jews died because of their religion. Innocent people were starved, beaten, murdered, abused, and experienced the unimaginable.
78 years ago, multiple members of my family were shot and killed for their religion. The ones who were not killed were taken to Auschwitz to slave away every day. My great grandfather, Nathan, helped kids to escape, worked every day, and kept his faith and hope. After the Holocaust, he stayed in Germany and helped rebuild while working for the government.
My great-grandfather came to America for his family to have peace, safety, and to live a better life. He worked to help the disgrace of this country travel to a better place. He built a successful company, worked in real estate, and served on multiple boards. What would Nathan say if he saw people destroying the capitol while wearing shirts that read “Camp Auschwitz'' and “6 Million Wasn’t Enough?” He watched his family get shot in front of him, yet found the strength, mental and physical, to continue on.
America claims it has come a long way, but nothing has really changed. Whether it’s race, religion, gender, or sexuality, hate is mixed with identity. The KKK is still a thing, Nazis still exist, women’s products still cost more than men’s, and gay conversion camps still exist. Gen Z is the generation to fix this country. With the knowledge that everyone should be equal, accepted, loved, and given opportunities, we will be the ones to create change in America.
I am a fourth generation Holocaust survivor. If that offends you, too bad. I am proud of my religion and what I have. I am grateful and proud of my family and our dedication to an undeserving country.