One of my friends shared this news story on Facebook the other day, shocked that such hatred could happen in our hometown, and it reminded me of when basically the exact same thing happened to my house.
It’s weird how you forget about things that happen, and then when you recount the stories, it hits you how major they are.
When my brother was in high school, which means I was in junior high, he used to work out at the Jewish Community Centre here in our hometown. He worked out there, as far as I know, because it was fairly cheap, the gym was never overly crowded, the people were nice, and I think he had a few friends who went there, too. We aren’t Jewish – which to me is a completely like, unimportant fact in life, because what does it matter? – but apparently someone saw my brother working out there and decided to target him.
One morning, my mom was on her way out when she saw that something was wrong with my brother’s car. We had experienced a lot of car vandalism in our neighbourhood, but it usually consisted of smashed windows. This was different.
Someone had slashed all four of my brother’s tires and smashed at least one of his windows, but they had also spray-painted all over the car’s hood. They had spray-painted a giant swastika, accompanied by the words, “DIE JEW.”
My mom called the police, and also called my brother out to see the damage on his car. Soon we were all in the front yard, in shock, waiting for the cops to show up and wondering who would do such a thing. We hadn’t even noticed the rest of it yet. A few moments later, we would realize the swastikas spray-painted all over our white fence and the white siding of our house, again, accompanied by the words, “DIE JEW.”
Not unlike what happened this week:
I was pretty young at the time, probably 13 or so, so I was upset, but didn’t quite understand the severity of the situation. Looking back on it now, I find it horrifying that there are people out there who live life in that mindset. I also find it horrifying that the police weren’t more worried about it than they were. We never got any answers, and the whole thing was taken with a few notes scribbled on a notepad, a shrug, and a “we’ll see what happens.”
One thing I was definitely aware of is the hate. Some people are just full of it.
P.S. I’ll try to go back to being mildly amusing tomorrow!