Outrage

Taking a different tack today. Henry visited the Illinois Holocaust Museum with his 8th grade class this morning. It was a somber visit for normally raucous thirteen year olds. Henry came home with some outrageous numbers. 500,000 people were sent to Auschwitz. Two survived. 499,998 people did not. A total of 6 million Jews were murdered from 1933 – 1945.  These numbers stood out for Henry. He learned that the term “genocide” came into our lexicon because of these extreme facts.

And, somehow, there is still genocide in our world today. The museum eloquently states on their website:

“In order to honor the memory we preserve, we must endeavor to affect our world today.  Issues of human rights and genocide continue to pervade humanity, yet we continue to say “Never Again.”  From Armenia, Ukraine, Cambodia, the Balkans, Rwanda, Darfur, we cannot teach about genocide from a distance and must challenge younger generations to think about what it all means for them personally -“How does this relate to the way we live our lives?” “

We can be full of hate and hostility. We can answer hate with hate. And the cycle continues. That takes no courage.

How to change the cycle? Can we? Yes. Reflect on your own basic goodness. Be outraged by the lack of courage to do otherwise.

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5 thoughts on “Outrage

  1. I absolutely agree with everything you stated in this blog. It is very important and urgent we teach our children about all these horrors, past and present. I believe that one of the problem is that we are all becoming desensitized to all the violence around us, especially our children. All parents should take their children to venues like the Holocaust Museum so that they can appreciate and remember these despicable acts. Great blog

  2. Courage!

    “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

  3. Your young son should also be aware that genocide doesn’t just happen ‘over there’. We should ALL remain aware that the indigenous native population of our country had genocide practiced against them (‘us’, actually, since I carry Seminole blood in me) during the ‘settling’ years of America’s past, and that those injustices have still not been redressed. Throw in the horrible treatment of the indigenous Aboriginals by the invading Austrailians, and you’ve got plenty to discuss…

  4. Genocide is the result of a simple, primitive idea: The need to be better. I am better than you, therefore you do not deserve what I deserve. You cannot accomplish what I can accomplish, you are less than me, less than human. Thus, my world would be better without you. We must work to look beyond that, to open our eyes and realize no one is “less than human”. Genocide is not only hate but fear. Fear of someone that’s different, someone who doesn’t look like you or talk like you. But that does not make them less. In 1948 the term “Genocide” was created, and with it a promise, a promise yet to be fulfilled. But history repeats itself, it always does, and there will be more hate, more fear, and more killing. We must work to achieve the promise, even in the face of the fear, in the face of the dead and mutilated and radicals and extremists. Never Again.

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