Tag Archives: theygottago

Where’s Our Community of Care?

“I see students going about business as usual, as if there’s not something so grossly and monumentally messed up with the state of Wesleyan University.”

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In middle school, I distinctly remember having to say, in a classroom full of my peers, that Holocaust jokes are not okay. That my grandmom was a Holocaust survivor. That so many of my family members
died.

I also remember the uncomfortable silence that followed. Afterwards, people would stop making those “jokes” around me, or at least made them knowing that I would call them on it, that they couldn’t get away with being that awful. I remember a lot of uncomfortable silences after that.

I also remember wondering what happened when I was not in the room. I remember wondering if the people I spent all of my time with—in classes, in activities, in the community at large—ever made a Holocaust joke when they knew I wasn’t there to make them feel guilty for it.

I remember thinking a lot about the word “integrity.” What you do when nobody’s watching. I remember feeling like I did not trust the integrity of the people who stopped making Holocaust “jokes” around me because I saw them make other hurtful comments that targeted other groups, and passing it off as humor. I remember wanting to say something, but not wanting to be the buzzkill, the girl who took everything too seriously.

I’ve thought about that a lot this week.