I’ve had a lot on my mind. It started with my 95-year-old father-in-law moving into the personal care portion of the Jewish Association on Aging. Having lived in a small town outside of Altoona most of his life, he has to pinch himself to believe that finally in the final years of his life, he finds himself in a community of Jews.
I watched the fascinating five part series by the British Historian Simon Schama: The Story of the Jews a PBS series that is informative and thought provoking. Schama proves that given our history of marginalization, demonization and annihilation, it is quite improbable and at best very complicated to find acceptance in this contemporary heterogeneous world.
There is an article by Jonathan Chait in this issue of New York Magazine entitled The Color of His Presidency documenting how much the obsession with race factored insidiously into Obama’s presidency even as he worked time and again to navigate beyond the everywhere-and-nowhere racial fixation that surrounded him.
Another PBS production by Daniel Goldhagen: Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity, describes the use of fear and power to get seemingly normal people to commit heinous crimes of massacres, exterminations and forced expulsions in the attempt to eliminate unwanted or threatening groups as a way to destroy opposition and safeguard their power.
Where does it end? What does it take? How are we to find the oneness in our differences? No rest for the weary.