Happy New Year! And, Consider This…

new-years-eve-hero-hHappy New Year to all!

I just read a very salient article published on this fist day of 2017, which I would like to share with you all (in case you haven’t already seen it.The piece is Take It From A German: Americans Are Too Timid In Confronting Hate, by Sabine Heinlein, and I think it might help to get us in the right frame of mind for the new year and the coming changes in US politics. Some excerpts:

According to the New York Police Department, bias incidents in New York have spiked 400 percent in the two weeks that followed the election of Donald J. Trump, compared to the same period last year. The Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy organization that tracks hate incidents and provides tolerance training in schools, has released a report that stated that bias incidents have surpassed the 1,000 mark since the election. The vast majority of these incidents were directed towards immigrant women.

I vividly recall the teacher-led discussions in high school that dealt with the persecution and deportation of Jews. What would you do if it was your neighbor: look the other way or step up? We read eyewitness accounts of “good Germans” who hid Jews in their attics.

These aren’t isolated incidents anymore. Yet it is a trend our soon-to-be leader has decided to ignore. So how should we respond? What can we do to avoid becoming bystanders in something unspeakable? If you still think that we should just wait and see, I wonder when will you step in. Will you step in when it is too late?

Something to consider for the coming year: when is it appropriate to take seriously promises to disenfranchise citizens based on religion or ethnicity? Or to commit war-crimes? Or to limit free speech? Will you be prepared when someone tries to make those promises a reality?

Happy 2017.

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