One of your friendly Yokels took her eldest to a powerful program today. The Beth Sholom Congregation on North Market Street hosted a Holocaust Memorial Service open to the public. It was a lovely, moving ceremony that got this Yokel and her offspring really thinking about the world around us.
Below I will post pages from today’s program for you to peruse on your own. The hightlight of the ceremony was a very moving story of his own survival from Bill Loew, owner of Loew’s winery in Mount Airy. As powerful and important as his story was to listen to, equally valuable were the examples in which intolerance has spurned violence since the Holocaust. From Cambodia to Bosnia to modern-day Syria, humanity still has not learned the lessons of the past. One young lady recounted a story of what happened to a young Latino friend at Francis Scott Key mall the other day. Someone assumed she was Mexican (I am assuming from the language she used that the young lady was not, even though that really does not make any difference) and yelled, “Go back to your country!” If you think it’s a stretch to make a connection to a comment like that to genocide I would invite you to do some reading of the rise of the Nazi party. All bad things start with bad words.
We would like our Yokels to recognize and fight against the intolerant rhetoric flying around our country today. Building walls, patrolling neighborhoods, carpet bombing civilians… all this kind of talk serves to do is pit one group of people against another. A common theme today was the guilt of the people who stood by and did nothing. Who didn’t, in the early stages of these dark periods of history, stand up and say NO! We won’t allow our fellow humans be scapegoated for the problems of a nation or for the actions of a few.
Your gals at the Yokel want our followers to be good stewards of our human history. Please read up on the atrocities of the past and just how these acts were allowed to happen. If you do, then you will see there really aren’t a lot of footsteps between yelling, “Go back to your country,” and unspeakable acts of genocidal violence.
My young Yokel remarked that as people of this Earth we really have more reasons to work together than issues to tear us apart. He asked me to imagine how much quicker we could have gotten to the Moon if the U.S. and U.S.S.R worked together instead of treating it as a finish line in some ridiculous race. He also marveled on how much we have accomplished together on the International Space Station. I agreed wholeheartedly. We have diseases to fight, water to make drinkable and children to educate. Too bad there aren’t more people as optimistic as my young fella.
Now don’t worry fellow Yokels, your favorite bloggers aren’t advocating tolerating the intolerant. Yes, we’ve had people tell us we are intolerant because we speak out against others. We will continue to expose those whose actions put our county government at risk. On a not too surprising side note, two frequent subjects on our site our YUGE supporters of that master of intolerance, Donald Trump. Kudos to Mayor Randy McClement, Aldermen Russell and O’Connor and County Council members Donald and Fitzwater for attending. And stay tuned, two of your Yokel ladies are going to see George Takei tomorrow at the Weinberg. I am sure we’ll have more to say about learning from the past and tolerance after that. Let’s all make sure Frederick is an accepting, tolerant place to live.