31 Dec 2019 Fighting Hate by Helping Strangers: A Project 21 Member’s Challenge
In the wake of the attack on a Hassidic Jewish celebration of Hanukkah by a machete-wielding assailant, Project 21 member Marie Fischer is issuing a challenge to help end religious and racial hatred in 2020 by asking people to get out from behind their keyboards, venture outside their comfort zones and help people.
Fischer, who is black and Jewish, posted a video tendering her challenge the day after the attack on the home of a rabbi and the neighboring synagogue in Monsey, New York. Jews in the New York City area have endured a significant increase in anti-Semitic attacks lately.
In her YouTube appeal, Marie says:
People need to stop making blanket statements, because all they’re doing is adding fuel to the fire… causing more baseless hatred.
Her challenge begins with: “What are we all gonna do?”
Marie was one of the people who joined activist Scott Pressler in helping to clean up a blighted Baltimore neighborhood after President Donald Trump and city officials faced off over crime and trash problems there. Marie suggests that people need to be more proactive, rather than “making general statements” on the Internet and elsewhere — statements that she says are only compounding problems:
Unless you’re someone… who’s going out there and doing things and helping people that they know nothing about, and know nothing of, but they just go out there and help them, then we’re not doing anything.
Pleading for people to get involved in the new year, Marie asks:
What are you going to do to stop all this? Not only the anti-Semitism. The hatred. The disgust we all seem to have for each other.
Her suggestion as to how to rise to the challenge? Marie advises:
Help someone. Help someone you don’t know anything about. Help someone who looks completely different from you. Help someone that might have a different religion from you. Help someone of a different race from you.
Go out there and help somebody. Don’t just sit there on the Internet and point fingers and block everybody else.
Marie closes her challenge to America in 2020 by saying: “Let’s change the world.”