There are times that I look at frum people and think to myself that they are wonderful, warm, intelligent caring people. And then there are times that I look at them and see them as racist, isolationist bigots. And while I know that there are good and bad in all populations, I still cringe when I hear some of the things that come from people's mouths. Sometimes it's just plain ignorant, sometimes mean and sometimes their comments display a complete disregard to any life except the lives of their own kind.
A while ago, I was on a frum messageboard and followed a discussion that was brought up. Someone had commented something about intermarriage. Now, as a frum Jew, I think that intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews is a bad thing (no, don't ask me to explain it, just take it as a given from Hashem). I think all of us on the board agreed with that sentiment. But what struck me was when one person on the boards commented that in order for a man to have a complete kapparah for the sin of intermarriage, he has to hope that their non-Jewish children
actually die. One poster brought a story where this happened and stated that the person who did teshuva for this sin was estatic when his son died. Estatic! What sick people! Who rejoices over the death of an innocent person?! There were a few people on the forum who argued with her, but she maintained that her position was the only "Torah true" one.
I'm hoping that this person was an extreme example, but there are plenty of other stories that I can quote, both online and in person, where people show absolutely no feeling or empathy for anyone outside their little circle. In school, it was drummed into our heads that "the goyim" are only interested in hating us and killing us as quickly as possible. "If they could get you alone for a second and weren't afraid of being arrested for it, they'd kill you without even thinking about it," we were told. "And don't be fooled by the 'kind' grocer in the store or the 'nice' postman who delivers your mail. They just want to get rid of you too." Where do they get this nonsense from?
I suppose I must be defective. When I was fifteen years old, young and foolish, I stepped off a street corner into a busy two way street into oncoming traffic. I was simply not paying attention. It could have been the end for me, if not for the young black man who actually ran out into the street after me and pulled me to safety. He risked his life to save me. He could have just stood on the corner, or even shouted "hey you, get out of the street." But no, he actually ran out into traffic and grabbed me. He could have been hit by the same cars that were coming my way. It was then that I began to realize that what I had been told could not possibly be true. That little incident broke me, so to say. I was no longer able to listen to everything that was told to me and began to (gasp!) think independently.
Eventually, I was learned to think and explore for myself. And do you know what I found? Most gentiles want the same things out of life that I want -- to live peacefully, to be able to raise a family according to their values, to make some money, and to generally be happy. Most really don't care about Jews one way or the other. Sure there are some out there who hate us, but those are few and far between.
But I don't want my daughter to grow up to be a racist like most of the people I know. Sure I could try to counter the messages that she gets in school, but why should I have to do that? Why should I send her to a school where they lie about others and have to tell her that the school is lying to her?
But it's not even just school... it's the whole atmosphere around here. Some people here just think that gentiles are subhuman. Others think that they're human, but ignorant savages who wouldn't know right from wrong if it bit them in the butt. Others think that they're human but ultimately worthless and insignificant and not worthy of Hashem's love. But you know what? I'm sick and tired of hearing these things. And I'm sick and tired of dealing with people who are bigots. I don't want my daughter to grow up this way.