I am not new to Anti-Semitism. However, as a Jewish writer and avid user of social media, the recent outbreak of blatant Anti-Semitism on Twitter has taken my experience to a whole new level. Having woken up to images of swastikas and concentration camps, as well as being called vile names like “kike” and “dirty Jew” earlier this week, I fear that the recent Presidential campaign has provoked voters and has given them the view that Twitter is a forum to target their abusive and racist messaging.
I grew up in Georgia. I was always one of five Jews in my class. When I took off for the Jewish holidays as a child, I was questioned by classmates and made fun of for falling behind. In first grade, a group of children danced around the Christmas tree making fun of the fact that I did not have one. During a trip to Washington, DC in high school, I roomed with a fellow southerner who sat by my bedside reading Mein Kampf, an autobiography by Adolf Hitler, in which he outlined his political ideology and future plans for Jews. My college roommate at the University of Georgia moved out of our dorm room because she had been taught that all Jews have horns.
I later moved to NYC in my 20s where it became much easier to express my Judaism. The expression and pride in my Jewish heritage became a very big part of me, and I felt compelled to carry on this passion when I joined Twitter in 2010. In 140 characters or less, I could talk not only talk about my Judaism but my feminism and liberalism. Twitter has led to real life connections, opportunities and has become an important part of my everyday work life as a writer and marketer for nearly seven years.
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