My religion and heritage haven’t always been accepted.
Throughout my life, I’ve had to deal with hateful comments, bullying and prejudice that follows being Jewish.
I never felt like I could be proud. I never was able to understand the hate.
Since Trump’s presidency I have seen multiple hashtags on Twitter for different religions, races and groups of people.
Saturday night, I saw one labeled #JewishPositivity. I scrolled through my phone reading the stories of people like me; stories of how they’ve overcome hate and bullying.
I was inspired to do the same.
Everyone was posting four photos of themselves and sharing why they were proud to be Jewish.
I searched through my phone, scrolling picture after picture trying to find the perfect four photos to share with this group of people I suddenly felt a connection to.
My thumbs danced around my phone keyboard searching for the right things to say, a few minutes later I finally posted it
Three minutes later, I deleted it.
I wanted to be proud. I wanted to post it. But I couldn’t.
I was scared of being judged and just plain scared.
Unfortunately my fears of violence and hate came true, in my own city.
This afternoon I was notified that someone fired a round through the window of the Evansville Temple Adath B’nai Israel.
Stories like this that need to be talked about. These stories are the reason why we have the hashtags.
I regret deleting that tweet. I regret not joining in and standing up for my rights as a Jewish American.
We are in a time where every minority is being targeted, Mosques are being vandalized, graves are being destroyed, people are having their rights stripped away from them and it’s horrifying.
I can honestly say I never thought that we would have to turn to hashtags to prove a point that everyone deserves equality.
But I can say that next time, I won’t be fearful for standing up for my religion.
Next time I will be proud.