PUBLIC HARASSMENT: HI, I’M JUST A TEEN…
Hi, I’m just a teen but I’ve experienced a lot of street harassment.
I’m a girl who grew up in a ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, so throughout my life I’ve abided by a modest dress code. Because of this, I’ve been targeted for a lot of hate and Antisemitism that people have, in addition to hate against women. But here I want to focus on something that I feel is gravely under-addressed: antisemitism.
Once, I was walking down Eastern Parkway, near Kingston Avenue when this guy started hollering at me. “You k**e! Dirty Jew! Go back to your own country! You don’t belong here!” and more and more really nasty things that obviously reflected his disgusting Antisemitism. I was especially hurt because I am an American citizen who was born here, and I have exactly the same right to live here in peace as he does. But I didn’t make eye contact, and just kept walking until I got where I needed to go. I was terrified that he might start getting physical, but he didn’t I am so glad that it didn’t get violent and was only words, but words can sting- badly. This is just one story of many that I have experienced.
I don’t understand why people carry around this much hate. The emotional energy it must take to carry hate against an entire nation day in and day out blows my mind. But in the wake of an attack on a Jewish Belgian family where an attacker slashed up their faces, I feel I must say something.
Jewish people are just like you. Normal people. With feelings and emotions and families that love them. Antisemitism like what I have witnessed has always existed, and it wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t know what it leads to. 6 million of my people were killed in a tremendous genocide called the Holocaust. Countless more have been killed in acts of baseless hatred throughout history. It hits close to home for me. My close friend’s father was severely hurt in a street attack where his he was beaten up amid slurs and threats, just for walking around in Jewish garb. This is not OK.
Please stand with me in ending violence against Jews and antisemitism. Thank you.