Friday, December 14, 2007

Hope in Humanity

A Brooklyn man, Walter Adler and his friend, responded to someone wishing them "Merry Christmas" aboard the Q train with "Happy Hanukkah". To his surprise, Adler was surrounded by people who didn't appreciate his mentioning Hanukkah. Maybe he was annoyed by hearing Christmas, or "the new C-word". Maybe he just wanted to mention Hanukkah and give it recognition and notoriety, after all, it is an important Jewish holiday celebrated around Christmastime.
Adler found himself cornered. One man showed Adler a tattoo of Jesus and said, "Happy Hanukkah. That's when the Jews killed Jesus."
Adler was surrrounded by 14 people who berated them with such gems as "Jew bitches" and "dirty Jews".
The fact that this shit is happening in modern New York is disturbing.
Here's what's hopeful about this story.
A Muslim man, Hassan Askari, jumped into the fray and tussled with Adler's attackers. Given the animosity between the two religions, this was a really good story. Askari, asked about the incident, replied, "I did what I had to do. My parents raised me that way."
One of the good things about this is their ages. Adler is 23 and Askari is 20. I like when young people throw off the prejudices of their fathers and embrace each other as equals. It's the way it should be. It doesn't matter what religion you are, how much money you have, the color of your skin or where you're from. What matters is the goodness you carry with you and whether you do the right thing.

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