It’s time for me to talk about my grandmother

The first time I wrote a post for real, it was in reaction to racism. Don’t dare congratulate me or telling me that it was wrong, I had nothing to do with this: it was my grandmother!

She is… she is not alive anymore, so it may sound a bit creepy, but I feel that my grandmother comes back from the dead to make me write whenever there is something that she wouldn’t want me to be silent about.

This day, not so long after her death, I heard horrible things about Jewish people, pure racism. Then, I heard some Jewish people complaining about it. Then, in the same sentence, they were being racist about other people. It was like normal for them. Nothing wrong about that…

 I didn’t understand. I started to tremble and to have this weird feeling in my throat. Many thought went into my head and my trembling hands started to write. I was possessed; it was my grandmother paying me a visit!

She made me write about the duty of memory and its meaning: a responsibility as a descendant of Jews murdered during the Holocaust, but also as a descendant of survivors rescued by “goyim.” The message was clear: No matter what, racism suck.  Making differences between this or this kind of racism, calling it anti-Semitism or by other different names, raising your voice only when you are the one concerned by it… it’s all bullshit! With other words of course! Or maybe not… It could have been her saying that too. In clear, if I don’t speak up when I witness racism against “others” I don’t deserve the risk that those people took to save her life during the Holocaust. I owe them. What a legacy!

I have no choice. I can’t be a victim, too much deja-vu, enough. And because of this, I can’t allow myself to be neither a perpetrator nor a silent witness. Didn’t I-we-you understand anything about our history!?

This is what I’ve been writing about ever since. Sometime, I would like to write about other subjects, lighters. But I’m too lazy to write anything without her help and it seems that she will not resurrect to help me write about something like blue jeans’. She likes to show up to remind me where I come from, who she was and what she believed in. What I believe in. That’s why what I write is always a reflection of her.

Today, again, she didn’t show up, but look who I am writing about!

About the Author
French social educator, Chloe Perla Portheault didn't come to live in Israel because of anti-Semitism but in order to try to understand a country and and conflict that people talk so much about from afar. It's been a perpetual quest ever since.
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