web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Part VII: The End…The Beginning


Fish-Out-Of-Water-logo

I don’t get angry often, but I was livid. I stood watching as hundreds of student filed past security to hear him speak. I paced the floor outside of the auditorium for the duration of the event, whipping myself into a frenzy.

My thoughts ran wild: “This was unacceptable. This was a direct assault on me and all of my fellow Jewish students. The rules never seem to apply to us, do they? How was it possible that political correctness completely ignored the rights of Jewish students? How is it possible that I am the only one who is here and upset by this? Where was the protest among the students, if not the campus as a whole, at the very least by the Jewish students? If I am already seen as the representative of my faith, don’t I need to be more proactive about defending it?” It was just too much for me to bear.

I never found out what Farrakhan actually said during his speech. It was not taped and the only discussion of the event in the student newspaper was a complaint that event security, reportedly hired by the Nation of Islam, treated students differently strictly along racial lines, but it didn’t matter. Farrakhan could have had nothing but praise for Jews and Judaism in his speech at NEIU, the fact that a person with his repugnant history was a welcome campus guest was an affront to everything I held sacred.

It is tempting for me to wonder what I might have done had I been in that auditorium. As I see that day as a turning point in my life, I like to think that I would have stood up against a largely hostile crowd and challenged Farrakhan directly, lambasting him for his racism and criticizing my peers for allowing this abomination to take place in their midst.

The truth is, even though I would eventually take an active role defeating initiatives to fund student trips to Farrakhan’s “Million Man March” as well as defeating a plan to invite Leonard Jeffries, another well-known racist, to speak on campus, I was not yet ready to lead such a charge. I may have booed and hissed during the speech, but it is very unlikely that I would have done anything beyond that, regardless of what Farrakhan said.

As I watched the students leave the auditorium after the event, and I didn’t see any form of protest, I had more than I could stand. Perhaps Jews are treated differently on campus and different rules apply to us. It was clear to me that Jews could be directly attacked on Campus in a public forum by the very symbol of American anti-Semitism with the full approval of the college administration without a whimper of protest from anyone, but I didn’t have to stand for any of that.

As I walked away I vowed to myself that something like this would never happen again as long as I was a student at NEIU! At that moment I vowed to run for Student Government and make sure this could never happen again.

I was angry and upset, and I certainly didn’t realize it at the time, but that was a watershed moment that forever changed the course of my life, transforming me from passive to active and from a timid and self-doubting follower to a vocal and assertive leader. I would no longer complain about things I did not like, I would take the initiative to change them. I vowed to change NEIU, but what I really changed most was myself, and none of it would have happened were it not for Louis Farrakhan.

Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed is a social media consultant and a freelance writer currently working on a book about his collegiate experience. He welcomes comments and feedback at chaimshapiro@aol.com or on his website: http://chaimshapiro.com/

About the Author: Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed is a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant. He is currently working on a book about his collegiate experience. He welcomes comments and feedback at chaimshapiro@aol.com or on his website: http://chaimshapiro.com/


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Part VII: The End…The Beginning”

  1. Perhaps, but it did have a fundamental effect on my life.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist
Live Updates: Ashdod Shul Hit by Rocket (Latest Update: 5:28 pm)
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-082214

As they fall upon us we go
To the WALL.

Twenties-082214-Girls

One minute you’re shaving shwarma off a pit, then the shwarma guy tells you he read a (fake) WhatsApp that the boys are dead.

Lewis-082214-Gaon

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

Astaire-082214-Main

This went on until she had immersed eighty times, and then Hashem at last took pity upon her.

Because Menachem lives in Israel, he can feel the ruach in the air.

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

Chabad of Arizona centers recently hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the 20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

Woe to us that we have to be put to death like common heathen and murderers!

More Articles from Chaim Shapiro
Careers-logo

Just a few months ago, I was having a difficult time getting a refund for a missing product processed via the customer service call center at a major retailer. After spending hours on hold and having my request denied, I sent a Tweet to the company’s Twitter account.

I have a background in counseling, and I can say that the biggest mistake that I ever made was refusing psychological help after we lost the twins. I was trying to keep my tough-guy facade going, and convinced myself that I could deal with the pain.

We had suffered through an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My wife had to go through labor and deliver our children to their deaths, and I was unable to save them or even give them a little warmth while they died.

Special Note: It is an unusual phenomenon that many bereaved parents share. We can almost see our age-adjusted children in our sukkah or running up to us during a family simcha. As quickly as they come, those visions seem to disappear as we go through the life cycle. They are hard moments made harder by the thoughts of not only what could have been, but what should have been.

I had to believe that things were going to be ok. They just had to be ok. We had gone through so much, had sacrificed so much and were doing everything the doctors told us to do. I remember speaking to a hesitant professor in my Ph.D. program about getting an incomplete in her class. The conversation stands out in my mind because, looking back, I can see how odd it must have seemed as I matter-of-factly told her I was too busy for coursework because my twins’ amniotic sack was bulging through my wife’s cervix.

On our first day in the antepartum unit, one of the nurses mentioned how critical every moment of pregnancy really was. “One minute in is worth two minutes out (in an incubator).” We weren’t really expecting a premature birth, but her comment put a fine point on the importance of the care my wife was receiving.

The best way to describe our emotions the morning of our major ultrasound was nervous excitement. We had survived a serious scare with a threatened miscarriage a few weeks prior. My wife was on bed rest at home, but we had no real reason to assume there would be any new problems.

It was only after we celebrated the great news that we were expecting twins that we saw the first sign of problems. First of all, my wife was losing, not gaining weight, even as the babies continued to grow normally. Soon after, routine blood work revealed that my wife was suffering from gestational diabetes.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/part-vii-the-endthe-beginning/2012/06/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: