Tuesday, November 6, 2007

11-6-07: Strange Swastika Incident

Every so often, a story appears in the news that starts off one way and ends up being something completely unexpected. That’s real news.


Apparently a girl had been deliberately drawing swastikas on her own dorm room door at George Washington University, and had been complaining to campus police about them for a short while. At first glance, you’d think “She’s an awful person,” because she is Jewish and should be appalled by the symbol. Well, she is Jewish and is genuinely appalled, but decided that other people weren’t quite as appalled as she was. From what I’ve read, she registered a complaint, or multiple complaints, about some one drawing swastikas on the door of her dorm room. After the police didn’t take the action she thought was required, she began drawing the symbol on her own door and kept complaining. It was meant to draw attention to the original acts, which she says she did not commit. What she had admitted to is drawing swastikas on her own door for most of the incidents.

I find these sorts of stories very interesting, because there is an extra layer that most people don’t notice. They just assume one thing and stick to it. They read the headline and assume the girl drew all of the swastikas, when in fact (according to her) she had only drawn most of them because she felt the original swastika drawing had been ignored. She obviously was too naïve to realize that getting her point across this way wouldn’t work. It’s a universal fact that Jewish people are greatly offended by swastikas, but the simple truth is that you won’t win any one over by committing fraud. What she ended up doing was embarrassing herself and her Jewish friends, and she lost all credibility. It was the exact opposite of what she was hoping to accomplish.

I’m not advocating anti-Semitism, or saying the girl is a bad person. She just got caught in an emotional battle and she simply took the wrong path to resolving the situation. I just find these sorts of stories, where typical roles are reversed and that extra layer of truth is often ignored, quite interesting.

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