Talking it Out: Ep. 232
Know. I don't respond with great clarity to moments of great injustice or trauma. I'm someone who seeks refuge in silliness, and for Varsity and binge watching television. It's a shock to a lot of people that when really terrible things happen, and not just the public police murder of a black man, but let's say a war starting in Israel or a terrorist attack in America. I retreat. Retreat from those things often for a long time, which is curious thing for a journalist to do, but that's that's my personality. It's how I encounter that and you know I. Have the privilege to retreat from it in until the time when I'm ready to do it. The Squirrel Hill shooting, being the great exception in my life to that a lot of you know. So when I finally come around to think about it, I have trouble finding sort of fixed point from which to stand like how do I? Interpret something and you know what with what Lens to even figure out. Well, what do I do? What is my responsibility? How do I think about it? How do I have anything to contribute or do I? Just sit back and listen or absorb and I. Think a lot of our listeners also have that sense of uncertainty when faced with. With monstrous evil so I, really just want to offer where I am right now, and this will no doubt evolve, but I can't pretend to any greater resolution in this. I have three ways that I realized I look at monstrous evil like the killing of George Floyd, and the three ways are that I. Think I look at it as a journalist as a Jew and as a human being and I'll very quickly say what I mean because I really want to get onto Leon. Stephanie and then more important. Our interviews I think that I do encounter things as a journalist, even though I also sometimes played MC or comic, or whatever my real vocation is journalism, which I mean the thing I think I'm best at is finding other people's stories to lift up and to share that I am better as an interlocutor, I am very very uncomfortable, prescribing action or even in those cases talking about myself and my feelings, but I think I'm very good. Good at finding other people's stories to tell, and then putting it into an article or putting them on a podcast for putting them on a radio show, or whatever so as a journalist, my first thought is whom can I talk to who will teach me something and teach my audience something as a Jew, I, always come back to the notion of justice, and I want to be specific about that. That's not a mealy mouth concept like I believe that the Jewish God or Or the Jewish conception of God is one of Justice, not one of love, not one necessarily of forgiveness, because in Judaism forgiveness is between people, not between the person and God necessarily, but Justice is the thing that God expects of us, and ultimately is the thing that brings about the world to come if you believe in such a concept, and so we are not free to look away from injustice, even if we briefly put our heads in the sand, we have to take it. It out and tore. It does not say only when Jews achieve justice within the Jewish community, the world has to be justice filled, and that comes from Jews observing bits vote and creating a template for humankind to observe God's laws. Then the third thing is as a human being, and that's often where I struggle the most, and that's why one reason was so pleased to do these interviews. This week is okay fine, so I'm a person I'm a citizen. I'm a data a resident. Resident, of a particular town, like what can I do, and I'm often overwhelmed by the fact that the first place I want to write a check to or give money as a journalist I know I will often find out is a place that doesn't spend it well. I actually almost attended a particular March this past week, and then found out that that particular march was being run by people who were politically opposed to people running like a more authentic or important march and that. That there was whole and I just got so nervous and scared that I then retreat back into journalists, persona, and so all just find people to talk to. So I sometimes find those three identities in conflict, but I also have like made my piece of the fact that everyone has identities in conflict and different obligations, and I try to figure out which one has to come to the fore at any given time, so it's a little discombobulated, but I hope it's candidate and. I don't know Stephanie. Where where are you at with these things? I, think it's interesting you're talking about like what perspective are you coming to this with and for me what? I've been thinking about so much over the past few weeks is. is coming to this as an Ashkenazi, too, but that is the that is the prevailing thought that I've had. Of course there black Jews for whom these issues of racism and prejudice and violence. These are real issues to them. These are lifelong issues, and it's taking us way too long to talk about them, but I've also been thinking about the Jews like me. Who are what we call white passing right I'm an Ashkenazi Jew, both sides of my family hail from Eastern Europe which I think is acute euphemism for fled Eastern Europe.