Readers ponder the sting of sudden bigotry
The cashier taught a lesson
I have another story inspired by Scot Lehigh’s May 12 column (“Advice from Readers on How to Respond to an Anti-Semitic Incident”, Opinion). About three decades ago, I was second in line to pay for an item at a convenience store in Brookline. The teenager in front of me was charged $1.01 for his purchase. The cashier asked the teenager if he had a penny, and the boy replied, “What, you think I’m Jewish?” The cashier took the two dollars from the teenager and gave him 99 cents in change. When it was my turn to pay, I gave my cash and my praise to the cashier.
James Alan Fox
Each of us has a responsibility to rise to the occasion
Scot Lehigh’s column on anti-Semitism is important in the time we live in, when so much hatred for “the other” has been unleashed. When I worked in a Catholic hospital, where many of the staff were Jewish, a nun from the Southwest came with handicrafts made by native tribes. I admired a bracelet but the price was a bit high. The nun said she would try to “Jew” the artist at a lower price. I went to the CEO (also a nun) and asked him to explain to our visitor why the term is offensive.
It is the responsibility of each of us to say and do something when derogatory terms or actions are expressed towards others in this most diverse country in the world. It is our strength.
There is power in an empty expression
Unfortunately, this type of behavior is far too common. A lot of people find it amusing, even though they know it hurts to be so blatantly bigoted. I tend to express my disappointment by not smiling, laughing, or even not reacting. That in itself stings and is easier than trying to educate someone who just needs to know better. Sometimes it seems like they’re trying to get a reaction, and depriving them of that satisfaction is very powerful. (Posted to BostonGlobe.com by Richmond12)
“I feel bad more than 40 years later”
When I was young, I once, out of ignorance and insensitivity, used the expression “Jew them” to a colleague. They backed off as if I had slapped them, but they didn’t say anything. I learned later that they were Jewish. I feel bad more than 40 years later and I erased this expression from my vocabulary. (Posted by improv)