Monday, January 09, 2006

Fear is Valuable or Paranoia?

In the United States, army veterans make up about 8% of the entire population. Yet 23% of the homeless population (the gross majority being mentally handicapped) are US veterans.

Yesterday, as I was rushing home for my mother’s birthday, it was beginning to get dark and I was stopped by a large American man in front of a local grocery store. He was wearing a hat that said ‘Vietnam Vet’ and he stared at me as I was attempting to pass by him. I thought he must be mistaking me for some one else, yet even when I walked in front of the grocery store light he began to talk to me. Now, as a female, New Yorker and imaginative individual, I know quite well that one should not speak to strangers, but some thing he said made me want to stop and listen…
“Are you rushing home? The Jews rush home before it gets dark, they don’t want to be out when it’s dark. Yeah, they leave work early and make the Christians and Muslims punch out for them…”
Something about what he was saying was extraordinarily interesting to me. I really wanted to know where anti-Semitism begins, and listening to this man speak about the Jews was insightful. But as he was speaking I realized this man is sick and it has nothing to do with Jews. He was afraid and paranoid about a specific people, and I’m sure it doesn’t stop at Jewish people. Satisfied, I proceeded to walk away; he then asked me if I know Karate. I say ‘goodnight’. He yelled “Do you have a bomb in your bag?”
…The funny thing is I was rushing to get home. Today there was a special reason, but most often because of people like him. I too am afraid and paranoid about a specific people. Are either of our fears justified?

3 Shpeils

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Blogger stranger said...

interesting thought... the difference is, this guy is totally nuts... are you?

Monday, January 09, 2006 6:38:00 PM  

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Blogger surely i can said...

it depends who you ask! {:-|}~

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 4:50:00 PM  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really appreciated that post. (Full disclosure: I am white; american). Clearly, there is reason for worry. The worry should not be physical danger, but harrassment - which is a valid enough concern. Anyway, I am also struck by, and somewhate mystified by, the persistence of anti-semitism. I have met many intellectuals, radicals - friends of mine - who say some f*&cked up sh?t. Of course I point it out, but their comment comes from a place of such conspicuous weakness that it's hard to really flush out why they think like that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 4:18:00 PM  

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