Overheard (sort of)

This was not exactly overheard because it was said to me, but I’m describing it that way since I ignored it.

A man on standing idly on the sidewalk shouted as I walked by him, “Go home Jew!”

Where does one begin with all the things wrong with that?

7 thoughts on “Overheard (sort of)

  1. The audacity of that imposition on your psyche makes me cringe. I didn’t know people still said such things.

    You should have said, “YOU go home, stupid jerk! Oh, that’s right, you’re a stupid jerk, they probably don’t want you!” I’m not very good at comebacks.

    Seriously, that’s awful, and I’d give you a hug if I could.

  2. Bwahahahaha!

    Does that mean I get the rest of the day off? (This is like when people call being queer a disease, and I say, can I call in queer to work?)

  3. To point that I’m not actually Jewish, suggests that it was his getting me wrong is the problem and not the sentiment, or that I’d be bothered to be thought a Jew. I think the man was having a mental break, and more deserving of pity than scorn, but all the same, saying things like that is NOT okay.

    Since I’m a very lapsed Catholic, it seems ridiculous to be called anything else, and I’m going to assume (risky, risky) that if I were Jewish, I might feel more threatened because after all, anti-semitism is alive in many corners of the world. At least not belonging to the threatened group allows me some sense of safety (deserved or not)–hey, he doesn’t mean me.

    But nonetheless, it was unsettling and unpleasant, and I had a hard time shaking the feeling off. More troublesome, however, is that this occurred in front of my school and all my students are from other countries (and are adults), and I worried that he might say something to one of them. Hassle me if you must, but leave my students alone!

  4. Once a guy on the sidewalk (possibly the same man as the man outside your school) hissed at me, ” Why don’t you go back to Poland?!”

    I’m not Polish.

    The comments was absolutely absurd, but it was upsetting to me as well. I think it’s because – for a moment – we realize how terrifying it is to be hated by a stranger for something like creed or nationality or gender. I don’t think it’s an overanalysis to say that all sorts of emotions are touched – guilt, sympathy, anger, revoltion, relief, amusement, fear.

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