To the editor:
I recently marched with tens of thousands of people in a solidarity march against hate and anti-Semitism. As someone who has seen anti-Semitic graffiti and language in my own place of work, it is uplifting to stand with friends and allies in the constant struggle against fear, bias and hate.
While heartened by the solidarity, it is also another reminder that we do must do more to explicitly teach empathy and history to our children.
I am so proud to live in a community that comes together through love to combat hate and violence. I feel blessed to live in a country with strong organizations that stand up to hate whenever it rears its ugly head.
However, there is still so much more to do, and standing up to hate must not be responsive and sporadic. It must be proactive and consistent, and woven into our daily lives and education.
As individuals, we have a duty to explicitly teach our children and each other empathy, and to ensure that the memory of those who suffered and died through hate is not lost.
As a society, we must prioritize love and empathy as cornerstones of our education system. Dark chapters in our history must be confronted and integrated into our children’s learning, and not simply considered the “next day’s lesson.”
We must transform our education system and worldview to reflect the growing need of explicit, anti-hate instruction, because the true test for our society lies not with an end-of-year standardized exam, but in the type of society we build for our children.