tamorapierce: flame torch, representing setting the world on fire (burning up)
During WWII, a nurse named Irena Sendler watched the growth of Nazism and the brutal shifting of Jews from their homes to the death camps. This Christian woman and her friends declared war on Hitler and risked their lives to save Jewish children from the Nazis' Final Solution. Irene Sendler was caught and tortured for her work.

After all that she and those like her did to save the lives they could, because they believed they were worth saving, how can people now spit on their gift and wave the flag of anti-Semitism? How can they speak its foul cant to children, parents, and people who are trying to make contributions to society?

Speak out when you see or hear it. Write your defiance when you read it. Don't be afraid to offend when you have already been offended. Be an example. Be a hero, even if it's only for yourself. Don't let this poisonous plant continue to spread in our home.

We live in an appalling time in this country. I am reminded of the 1920s and 1930s, when Father Conklin, the German American Bund, Henry Ford's consistent anti-Semitism and re-printing of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion set the anti-Semitic tone, and the rise of lynchings of blacks and the Tulsa Race Riot marked the standard of race relations. Are we going to come to this state of white gangsterism again? Are we facing mob rule and the etiquette of schoolyard bullies?

Or do we stand up, speak out, cry out, write? Even if you feel you are the only one, the only voice, do it. You will have to live with yourself in later years, remember, and how do you think you will feel if you remember that you were once a coward? I have those moments to remember, and each time I do, they burn like fire. I can barely stand to remember them, and yet I can't avoid it. And each time the shame is as white-hot as the first time I said nothing, did nothing, wrote nothing, and turned away.

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tamora pierce

September 2016

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