When my kids were small they spent a considerable amount of time looking for the white cow. The white cow was born out of necessity. We were in the car, and everyone was getting antsy. To keep the kids entertained, I told them to look for the white cow. Searching for the white cow became a pastime for many years, and eventually morphed into a family saying for something you have heard about but have never seen. I saw a white cow at gymnastics today.
I knew that we lived in a conservative Christian area. I knew that some conservative Christians are very right wing and have some radical ideas, some bigoted ideas. I had never knowingly run into one before, and, like the white cow, they were just something I had heard of, but never seen.
Today in the waiting room at gymnastics, one of the other mothers said that Jews want to kill Christians.
I am letting that stand alone, because it takes a minute to take that in. She really said that Jews want to kill Christians. I was playing Angry Birds and enjoying my hour off, and I sucked all the air out of the room and turned and asked for her to refrain from talking like that because I find it offensive. I then returned to my game.
Eventually, I got up to see what my daughter was doing and she walked over to me. I could feel the presence of hatred, and I began to scurry over strollers and other parents to escape. She began to talk to me about what she had said. Probably not my best moment, but I labeled her behavior and told her to stop speaking to me, to not even be near me. I have never been so close to that level of hatred and denial in my life. During our conversation she told me that “the whole thing with Hitler was a media exaggeration.”
She went on to explain that the Talmud tells us it is ok to kill Christians. When I asked if she had read the Talmud, she told me no, but she had read interpretations. She knew that those interpretations were accurate. At this point I was so overwhelmed by the insanity of what was being said, I wanted to make it end. I wanted to not be near her.
The level of her ignorance was frightening. It made me seriously consider that she might attempt to harm me and my children. She might try and burn a cross in my yard. We have taken measures to insure our security.
It was a shocking and hard reminder of the choice that I made for myself and my kids. I have chosen for them to be raised in a religion that many people hate. I have chosen to put them in a highly concentrated conservative Christian area. I have made them targets.
I met my first out-spoken anti-Semite today. I have felt for the first time the hatred some people feel towards Jews. I hope I can shield my kids from that, but if I can’t I hope I can teach them to be strong and carry on.