Like anyone with a heart, a mind, and a soul, I’m still reeling from the disgusting display of hate that took over the streets of Charlottesville, Va., this weekend which caused one young woman protesting, as well as two state troopers, to lose their lives.
I still can’t wrap my head around the heinous racist chants groups shouted during their “Unite the Right” march. I struggle to comprehend how anyone can feel as they do, let alone be so open with their blatant bigotry.
And I can’t unsee the grotesque video of a white supremacist revving his engine to plow into a crowd, hell-bent on death and destruction at any cost.
Fortunately, although our own commander-in chief has seemed reluctant to call out the white supremacists and neo-Nazis by name, many others have: public figures, lawmakers, celebrities and average citizens. They’ve all denounced this weekend’s horrors.
And out of the ugly I’ve seen glimmers of hope: the UVA students that stood together against hate in a small group among a sea of white supremacists spewing vitriol and violence. I’ve seen gatherings and protest marches forming in my own city and cities around the country. I’ve read countless op-eds and moving pieces that tugged at my heartstrings and made me hope this is at the very least, a wake-up call to unite against hate, regardless of party politics.
Scrolling Instagram last night on the hunt for some uplifting photos or quotes, I came across P!nk’s latest post and began tearing up.
It’s incredible to watch neo-nazis march in 2017, while I, a Jewish woman, headline a show in Berlin where these tunnels were built by him, built curvy so he couldn’t be shot in the back. I walked through this tunnel to get to stage while people just like him marched in Charlottesville. My heart aches for the amount of hatred in this world. But in this place, where so many awful things happened once upon a time, here we are together in Berlin. People of all walks of life celebrating together. He didn’t win. Hate didn’t win here and this show, all of us on stage and in the audience together, we are a living testament to that. This city of Berlin is full of beautiful, loving people who accept me for who I am. The world is still full of beautiful people. Hate will not win if we don’t let it. It’s up to each of us to choose love and acceptance. This is an old war that’s already been lost. They will not win. RIP Heather Heyer
Her words were beautiful and heartfelt, to be sure. But what struck me most is I’d never heard P!nk identify explicitly as a Jewish woman so clearly before tonight. I knew her mom was Jewish and her dad wasn’t, but that she was raised without religion and a self-described lover of the human race. Yet in the wake of everything going on in the world, it appears that her Jewish core is shining through—and it’s a beautiful thing to witness.
I wonder how many other Jews are having a similar awakening?
You don’t have to be a practicing Jew to feel it in your bones. To know who your people are and to feel a bond with a fellow Jew even though you just met. To understand how we have suffered and how we’ve overcome; it’s visceral.
I can understand why she’s speaking out now and honoring her title as a Jewish woman. I get it because my own Jewish identity has strengthened in recent years, and especially since Trump emerged as the Republican nominee and later won the presidency. Though I’ve always been proud to be Jewish, I feel as though I wear my faith as a badge of honor now more than ever. It’s like all the anti-Semitism and bigotry out there has made me want to be a better person and a better Jew.
So thank you, P!nk, for those small words that mean so much.
Hate will not win.