On July 1, Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was minding his own business outside of a Jewish school in Brighton, Mass. A man walked up to him, pointed a gun at him, and demanded he open his van, ostensibly to kidnap him. Then the man pulled out a knife and started stabbing the Rabbi — eight times — as the Rabbi attempted to flee to a park across the street.
The alleged assailant has been arrested and identified as Khaled Awad, a 24-year-old resident of Brighton, according to police. Thankfully, none of the wounds were life threatening, and the rabbi is in stable condition and recovering at a local hospital.
According to WBZ 4 in Boston: “There’s still no word on a motive for the attack. ADL New England regional director Robert Trestan said Friday facts were “emerging” that included “multiple indicators pointing towards antisemitism.”
The suspect will be arraigned today.
Meanwhile, in Denver sometime overnight between June 28 and 29, more than a dozen vehicles were vandalized with spray paint of swastikas and racial and ethnic slurs. No suspects have been identified.
These two events don’t appear to be connected in any way, save one: indifference.
In both cases, there hasn’t been more than a blip in coverage, save for the communities directly impacted by them.
And that’s what hurts the most. As the frequency and tenor of these events continues to increase in ubiquity and vitriol, the public seems to be suffering a general malaise in interest. And, given the raging debate over the value of teaching accurate U.S. history in our schools (read: Critical Race Theory), calling it a “malaise in interest” sounds downright generous. The more sinister take is that there are a growing number of Americans who simply don’t see the evil in these acts as a problem that needs addressing.
We find ourselves steeped in a culture war — on that, I think we can all agree. Just review the comments on these columns when shared on Colorado Times Recorder’s Facebook page. The entrenchment of sides has only grown deeper as the Republic has allowed the voices of misinformation to hold sway over the discourse in our town squares. We can’t even agree on the simplest of facts, let alone find a way to agree on the problems we face, let alone find a way to compromise on solutions. And as such, even on the things we should all agree are “bad,” there are those who shrug their shoulders when they see that those who are victimized are on “the other side,” and choose to ignore it.
And that is how you destroy a nation as powerful as the United States of America. From within. By making us either hate each other — or at least ignore the hate when it’s aimed at those with whom we disagree.