Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Last week, my sister-in-law, a high school teacher, came to her classroom to find a swastika decal on her door. It seemed to be a stylized version of one; the arms were not of equal lengths as the Nazi one, but it clearly was a swastika.

What was the message here? She is Jewish as are many of the students. She has the same last name as I do as we are married to brothers, from which I guess one could infer that we are Jewish (though I am not).. She was fairly certain due to its timing that one of her current students in that particular hour put it there. She lectured the class on how odious that symbol was especially given that she lost so many relatives in the Holocaust.

She later learned that this decal was a symbol for some local African-American/Puerto-Rican rap group and that they were passing these out to get publicity for their group. Apparently these kids are clueless. They don't realize that if they were around when the Nazis were, they would have been sent to the camps too. So would the Russians, a large subset of the student population , as they were "Slavic" not "Aryan". The kids just saw the symbol as "bad-ass". The symbol is also that of some white supremacy group, so delightful. They would not be amused about the rap group using their odious symbol.

Things like this scare me. I realize that there are so many hateful people who would love to eliminate my grandchildren just due to their ethnicity.

I have warned Naomi that there are many areas in the country where she, Don'tae, and Maya would not be welcome. It wasn't that long ago when their marriage would have been illegal in many states. She could see some of this herself with the attitudes of the fans when her mostly African-American basketball team went to away games in the 'white' little towns. She wondered when we were in Philly whether we were south enough to be in some kind of danger. (south is where the racists are in her mind). I told her that Philly was founded by Quakers, the first people who went on record to say that slavery was sinful.

When I was in Switzerland 10 years ago, the inn keeper was German speaking though we were in the French speaking section. She had wondered about the origins of my last name as this 'was obviously of interest to her". Not obvious to me though. Was she trying to figure out whether I was Jewish or maybe she was thrilled to find another German descendant? At anyrate, it is NOT the name I was born with. I was already on her bad side as I had agreed to share a bed with a woman, which apparently there, one never does unless....
The word for a double bed in Italian is 'matrimoniale'. Double beds are for married people, not good friends trying to save money.

It is sunny but cool and windy. Not good for entertaining grandkids outdoors. Yesterday morning I took the boys to the bouncy castle palace so they could jump away their considerable energy. Oliver especially enjoyed it. In the afternoon, I had Ms. Maya. I tried to run in the gale force wind in between.

Big changes afloat for all of my kids. I just hope everything works out.

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