Brookwood H.S. escapade raises larger questions

Regarding the Brookwood High School band (“Band performance racial slur had been planned as a prank,” Metro, Nov. 6), when I read about their stunt, I remembered some of the things we used to do as high schoolers. I must say we have become so much more ultra-sensitive today than when I was that age, in the late 1950s. Would it not be better if we lived with a little less intensity about words and phrases that may refer to some ethnic group, race or subdivision of our culture? We have become afraid to talk about our differences, and that leads to avoiding issues that are obvious but unwelcome in daily conversation, like the cause of inner-city crime rates. We cannot solve a problem we are unwilling to talk about. I cannot help but wonder how we would react if those (Brookwood) students had been white.


Worried about hate-driven violence in U.S.

Eleven Jews in Pittsburgh were murdered in a synagogue by a white supremacist with a gun. Two women in Tallahassee were murdered in a yoga studio by a self-proclaimed misogynist with a gun. I am Jewish. I am a woman. And I am afraid. If I die by gun violence, please remember me: the data scientist, friend, master’s degree holder, wife, food enthusiast, daughter, activist, sister. Remember the woman who loved Disney and wine and karaoke and word games and spending time with the people she loved. Remember the Jew who wanted to make the world a little safer for everyone. If a white man with a gun comes into a synagogue or a yoga studio or another Jewish or female space where I am and murders me, do not forget the whole, actual person I was. I am real. I am here. And I have to wonder for how long.


Trump knows how to play Dems, mainstream media

With the midterm elections just days away, President Trump threatened to send thousands of American troops to the U.S. border to stop the caravan of hopefuls. The Democrats and mainstream media exclaim with indignation and outrage that the immigrants were being used by President Trump as a political tool, that it would be a waste of military resources and inhumane. In true Trump style, he played the Democrats and mainstream media, knowing they would loudly protest, and that the immigrants would get the scary message that the troops were coming, which has resulted in the caravan of thousands starting to disband without the military deploying. President Trump knew the caravan coverage by the mainstream media would rev up his supporters and scare some independents to the polls. I think the mainstream media was inadvertently complicit in their coverage.


Fascism’s danger is back, in U.S., world

My mother died 18 years ago this month. She grew up in Europe during the rise of fascism. She told me how fast things went south: how eager people were to swallow anti-Semitic slanders, to parrot the leader’s gutter rhetoric, to debase standards, to turn on their neighbors. She realized lifelong friends had never believed in democracy.

Fascism is back, in Europe and America. My mother would know the signs: the far-fetched conspiracy theories, nonstop rallies, tacit endorsement of hate crimes, dehumanizing of those one plans to destroy. She would instantly recognize birtherism, Pizzagate and the GOP’s demonizing of George Soros and immigrants. We’re not immune. Autocratic figures like Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford and Joseph McCarthy were popular here. We were lucky they didn’t come to power. Our luck ran out. If we want to preserve our democracy, it’s time to take a stand.