Sadly, anti-Semitism is still alive in the United States.
A school role playing exercise in a small Texas town, designed to sensitize students to the dangers of intolerance, got out of hand, when the "Nazis" punched and spat on the "Jews."
One could fault the school for what happened.
Or one could say that it was a lesson well learned.
Rather than disciplining the students, the school should use this as an opportunity to open forums to discuss discrimination in all its ugly forms.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were more than 15-hundred documented anti-Semitic attacks in the United States last year. Shockingly, that number represents a decline from the year before.
Jews, of course, are far from the only victims of intolerance. Muslims, gays, and African Americans remain among the most notable groups to be targeted.
It's easier to commit acts of violence against objects than people. Discriminatory commentary reduces human beings to that vulnerable level.
One needs only to follow the debate over radio talk show host Don Imus' recent bigoted comments to know that the issue of race, religious and gender bias remains woven into the fabric of society. Imas reputation as an equal opporunity basher makes him a good case study.
The Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance says this about bias on that Continent:
Across Europe, racist incidents among young people are on the rise. School is the place to make or break our efforts to stop this trend.
School. Wasn't that where they were trying to enlighten the children in Waxachachie, Texas?
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