When I was 12, I started practicing for my bat mitzvah. When I was 12, I started to become more involved with my Judaism. And when I was 13, I became an official woman of my Jewish community, and from that moment on, I knew I would be a proud Jewish girl, but I didn't know that I was going to become a Jewish leader.
As I turned 15, as a freshman in high school, I was introduced to a Jewish youth group. I was hesitant at first, but I grew accustomed to the people in my chapter and soon enough, the region. The love I felt, being surrounded by Jewish teens a few times a month was empowering. I felt on top of the world. I would talk all day to my non-Jewish friends about how much fun my youth group was and how I felt so sorry for them because they couldn't join. (A few of my friends wanted to convert, but that's not the point.) Learning about my Jewish heritage bloomed from a young age and I will hold that passion close to my heart forever.
In my junior year of high school, I took a "Holocaust & Genocides" course. I was the youngest in the class and the one who really paid attention. (Everyone else was a senior. I know how that goes now.) We would learn about Hitler and the Nazis and watch films about the Holocaust. It was so devastating to me, but also empowering because there I was, a JEWISH girl, watching a documentary about how the Nazis were trying to exterminate us all. Jokes on you. We made it. And I prayed to myself that it would never happen again. And I didn't understand why it would. I didn't understand what made the Jewish people so repulsive to others.
It's 2017. Nazis are in the streets yelling, "Jews will not replace us." My worst fear is coming true. After seeing the Vice documentary, "Charlottesville: Race and Terror," I was shocked to my core. How could people be so hateful to everyone other than whites? How could everyone not see this coming when Donald Trump was elected president? And to make matters worse, HE BASICALLY SIDED with the KKK, the Nazis, and the white supremacists. How could the president, THE MAN LEADING THIS COUNTRY, think this is okay?
This country is built off of freedom and the belief that all men are created equal. So, why are blacks excluded from this? Why are Jews excluded from this? Gays? Hispanics? Everyone who is not a white, Christian man? What makes you so different from us that you want to massacre everyone else out of America? Nothing. When you take away everything else and leave our bones and blood, we are the same. We are humans. There is no home for hate here in America, there can't be.
This is the land of the free. And I don't know what is going to happen in the near future, but we need to come together as a country and prevent these racist, sick people from wanting to destroy our lives. They think destroying everyone else who isn't white and Christian will make their lives better.
That is not okay. We can't let this happen again. So, Mr. Trump, if you agree even slightly that what these hate groups are doing is okay, then you need to resign from your position in the oval office and let someone who cares about morals and equality take your seat. Nobody needs or wants a racist man in the white house, leading our country.
With all of that being said, I will NEVER be ashamed of being a Jewish girl. Nobody will tell me that I am at a lower standard than them just because of my religion. I will stand proudly with other minorities and stand up for what's right. And this isn't right. None of this is right.
Hate has NO HOME here.