The Rise in Anti Semitism, It’s Everybody’s Problem


Twenty years ago, two of my children were in a North Hall High School production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” As part of the preparation, the students were given a primer on anti semitism in the world and for many, it was the first they had heard of it. Former editor of Ladies Home Journal, Myrna Blyth, thought it was so interesting that a mostly white, mostly Christian high school would do a play like that, she wrote an article about it. The message matters.


I grew up with a father who was a POW in WWII and both my parents worked in the retail and wholesale sales world. We had Jewish people in our lives for as long as I can remember. One of our best family friends and colleagues was Guenther Hecht who passed away a few weeks ago. His family evacuated from Germany and emigrated to the United States right before WWII and when I was a high school student, Mr. Hecht would come to my classes and talk to the 1970s DeKalb County high school students about his experiences being Jewish during WWII and in America afterwards. The message matters.


I was horrified to see the neo-Nazi group protesting in front of a synagogue in Cobb County. How can people still think that way? Unfortunately, our culture throws the term “Nazi” around with reckless abandon and for many, it doesn’t mean anything. But make no mistake, the ideology of genocide unacceptable and must be stopped in its tracks. The message matters.


Words matter, but actions matter more. I am a born-again Christian evangelical. I also have a family history of diverse religious background built on respect and curiosity. I’ve never looked at other faiths as something to be afraid of, I’ve looked at it to learn about people. God calls us to be loving and understanding of all people. The message matters.


Free speech and the free exercise of religion are the two things that are the foundation that makes America the greatest and freest country in the world and it’s worth standing up for.


As Americans, we must denounce this behavior. The Nazis of Germany did not only come after the Jews. They came after the Catholics and just about anyone else that got in their way. This ideology must be stopped. There is no room for anti semitism in America.