Auschwitz Is Not A Metaphor
June 16, 2019 12:43 PM   Subscribe

The new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage gets everything right—and fixes nothing. Dara Horn reviews “Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away" for The Atlantic.

He is young, this rabbi—younger than me. He was realizing the same thing I realized at the Auschwitz exhibition, about the specificity of our experience. I feel the need to apologize here, to acknowledge that yes, this rabbi and I both know that many non-Jewish houses of worship in other places also require rent-a-cops, to announce that yes, we both know that other groups have been persecuted too—and this degrading need to recite these middle-school-obvious facts is itself an illustration of the problem, which is that dead Jews are only worth discussing if they are part of something bigger, something more. Some other people might go to Holocaust museums to feel sad, and then to feel proud of themselves for feeling sad. They will have learned something important, discovered a fancy metaphor for the limits of Western civilization. The problem is that for us, dead Jews aren’t a metaphor, but rather actual people we do not want our children to become.
posted by colorblock sock (35 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
That article was excellent and spot on; thanks for sharing it.
posted by shoesietart at 1:14 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]

amen to this. perhaps it's because jewish people are often seen as better off than other minorities that our history of genocide is seen more as a morality play about love and hope than, well, as history. (of course, the stereotype that jews control wealth is itself part of the reason for the discrimination in the first place, but i digress...) the article points out that 2/3 of millenials dont know what auschwitz was. how many fewer know about the pogroms in the 19th century, the scapegoating and blood libels of the middle ages, and on and on back through time immemorial.
the older i get, the less i think it will ever change. which is why i own a rifle.
posted by wibari at 1:45 PM on June 16 [12 favorites]

Yeah, I had to teach my high school history teacher about the pogroms in the 19th century, and I have yet to meet a non-Jew who knows about them.

At a recent internship in deep blue Somerville, Massachusetts, a couple of my full-time colleagues found it appropriate to post swastikas on Slack. When I reported the incident to my employer and my school, they did nothing, and in fact my school welcomed one of the swastika-posters back to the job fair the next year.

My current employer was also dumb enough to schedule my new hire orientation on Rosh Hashana, but at least I haven't seen any swastikas yet and have only experienced some minor offensive questions.

Thanks for sharing.
posted by marfa, texas at 2:08 PM on June 16 [23 favorites]

Wow, the absolute exhaustion that infuses this article... I get it.

I don't know what the answer is.
posted by obfuscation at 3:41 PM on June 16 [9 favorites]

I don't know what the answer is.

And I don't think the author has any answers either. The exhibition sounds endless, and yet it still can't capture the individuality of the victims. The layout of the show is based on the pattern in Yad Vashem and other Holocaust installations, but executed by a "museum show" business with an expertise in really ... uhhh, selling the product, ifyaknowhatimean.

When I was reading that article I kept thinking of the naggingly guilty feeling I would get at my college-town video rental store when I was looking for something worthwhile to watch, and see the 6 hour-long VHS tapes of Shoah. Is it my responsibility as a Jew to sit through that grueling document? Can I get that card punched by visiting the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum instead and really taking it seriously? It's important that these things not be forgotten, but is it really going to be effective as entertainment, or education, or a weapon for social change?

Anyway, good article, at least if you read it as personal reflections rather than solid analysis.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:00 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]

And I don't think the author has any answers either

There's a difference between "not knowing the answer" and knowing that "this is not the answer".....
posted by lalochezia at 4:26 PM on June 16 [6 favorites]

Anyway, good article, at least if you read it as personal reflections rather than solid analysis.

Yes, I liked it for its personal bent: This exhibition is being framed as an answer, but it answers questions other than the ones Dara Horn is having right now, such as her kids' safety in a place where the act of carving a swastika in a desk is no big deal. Where good intentions create new ways to minimize fear and suffering. Where neighbors' hearts are unchanged. Where neither love nor education nor the most excruciatingly detailed account of the horrors can make people safer. It grounded the stakes. Good essay, colorblock sock; thank you for sharing it.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:00 PM on June 16 [8 favorites]

A few years back, I found racist graffiti in my building, I reported it, maintenance was called. A week later it was still there. I reported it again, with a note that students would be back on campus in a few weeks, and it needed to be painted. Maintenance was called. A week later it was still there. I used a different bathroom, and there was a swastika carved into the paint on the back of a stall door. I called the university’s chief diversity officer, and said “what the hell kind of campus did we want to present to our incoming students?” Finally, they all got repainted.

It seems that the price of all this is eternal vigilance and lots of damn phone calls. And that’s the cheap price.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:28 PM on June 16 [35 favorites]

Agreed to the two events comparison, though, the final solution did have an economic agenda, which is common knowledge... perhaps not according to the article.

An answer is education.
posted by clavdivs at 6:06 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]

I wrote a long comment, angry and sad. Good metaphors, well written.

But I think I'll save it, sit with it, and simply leave you with how it ends. If you know how to solve the problems, I want to learn. I haven't given up.
posted by gryftir at 6:49 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]

hese reviews might show the wisdom of Tzvetan Todorov’s remark that Germans should talk about the particularity of the Holocaust, the Jews about its universality (applying Kant’s idea that if everybody worried about their own virtue and their neighbour’s happiness instead of the opposite, we would come close to a moral world).

Ooh, well put. A German comparing American slavery is poor form. There's no way to do it without attempting to diminish German culpability.


Barbados compares to Aushwitz all too damned well. They cold bloodedly accepted such a mortality rate among the sugar cane growers that they had to continue importing slaves to exist. And the Deep South colonies were founded by Barbadians. I'm a Member of the Tribe, so it's beholden on me to say it.
posted by ocschwar at 6:57 PM on June 16 [7 favorites]

Barbados compares to Aushwitz all too damned well [...] I'm a Member of the Tribe, so it's beholden on me to say it.

Sorry, no. If Auschwitz had been a labour rather than an extermination camp my dad's cousins would probably have survived the war. There are also ways in which slavery surpasses the Holocaust, not least in the extent to which we have avoided dealing with it, but that's my point: these comparisons are hurtful even when there's no attempt to minimise either event.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:27 PM on June 16 [25 favorites]

Regarding the claim that two thirds of millennials don't know what Auschwitz was - this is the closest thing I've found to the original source. I could be overlooking something, but I don't actually see a definition of "millennial" included?

I'm a little skeptical of that stat, at least as applied to we "real millennials." I mean, I'm too Jewish to be a typical example, but I think most people I know my age spent a lot of time on the Holocaust at some point in school. Though I feel like that was usually middle school, which might leave people with a fuzzier memory of the names and places than would be ideal.
posted by atoxyl at 9:33 PM on June 16

I think most people I know my age spent a lot of time on the Holocaust at some point in school.

It is really important to understand there are Holocaust units and there are Holocaust units, and as time passes, teachers seem to do them worse and worse.

I grew up in NYC, which at least at the time I went to school, did it well. We watched Escape from Sobibor in elementary school and it stuck with me so seriously that I remember it by name to this day. We watched video footage and saw pictures and read accounts. Holocaust survivors came to talk to our classes in middle school, which wasn’t that unusual because it was people’s grandparents. They talked about them starkly and honestly, not sugar coating anything for our age.

But when I left NYC, people would say they learned about the Holocaust, but it was mostly just “it happened”. It’s included as a part of WWII units, not as its own section, and it doesn’t repeat. You seem to learn the Holocaust happened, and then you’re done. And as this author says, it’s all metaphor - not the “Never again” but the “oh isn’t this an interesting way to look at ourselves?” And that doesn’t teach the inherent revulsion for anti-Semitism that the other stuff does.
posted by corb at 11:53 PM on June 16 [10 favorites]

I had two sections on the Holocaust during my school in Texas (town of about 30k people, big enough that we played sports against the city schools, but small enough that we only had one high school and one middle school). We had month-ish long studies of it twice. In middle school, it was the English class for some reason and we did alot of reading: Ann Frank of course, and another that I can't remember the name of but followed two sisters from the ghetto to Auschwitz. I'm pretty sure there were shorter essays and things we read in class too. The other time was about two weeks of focus as part of the WWII segment in high school. I can't pick out what I learned in that class specifically, nothing stands out.

Oh and I just remembered that we read Number the Stars in like 5th grade I think and spent a week or two going through that.

What is crazy to me is that I have a South African friend in her mid-20s and they didn't learn about the Holocaust at all. She didn't even know what it was until another friend and I were talking about the memorials (we all live in Germany at the moment).
posted by LizBoBiz at 3:04 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]

Thanks for linking to the Susan Neiman article. I too think comparisons of American slavery with the Holocaust are inadequate, and a reflection of how poorly we interpret history. Each arose out of very different contexts, and it's a grave disservice to the victims of both to try and conflate them. It's only by examining the particularities of crimes against humanity that we can even begin to understand them.

Without drilling further down into either (this is not that thread) I do think the comparison is legitimate if, and only if, it can be made so as to emphasise and challenge the myths about white supremacy that made each of them possible in their foundation. This is where we are right now, and I don't think it should be left to Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee to make the connection.

Also, I'm not entirely surprised that the Holocaust is not taught in South Africa, given its post war history... which kind of proves my point.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 5:18 AM on June 17 [9 favorites]

From the article:

There are photos of signs reading kauft nicht bei juden, don’t buy from jews, a sentiment familiar today to anyone who has been Jewish on a college campus with a boycott-Israel campaign.

I can’t say I’ve been on a BDS-heavy campus lately, but the author’s conflation of the state of Israel with the Jews as a people (and therefore the BDS movement with the Nazis) is pretty wild.

Perhaps there is overt anti-Semitism within BDS campuses, but it seems worthy of a deeper explanation than this unsupported, drive-by reference.
posted by mpbx at 6:58 AM on June 17 [12 favorites]

It's so hard to teach about the Holocaust - because, for most of us, the reality is unthinkable. You have a film like Schindler's List, which really did do a decent job of showing what happened. But it was still what I think of as "Holocaust-light", meaning a story that can shock and let people know what happened, but still elides much of the worst aspects (leaving them off-screen). People really can't handle the reality: I know I couldn't, after I had read Eli Wiesel's Night (and that was still second-hand, distanced through text). I think of myself as relatively educated about the Shoah - I'm married to someone who lost family in the Shoah and who is also a historian of conflict, I've seen Shoah (the documentary), I've read Night and also The Family by David Laskin (fascinating book, highly recommended), I know survivors. But every time, something can shock me anew, like a drawing of a prisoner dragging a woman and her baby from the gas chamber to the ovens. I knew it happened, but I couldn't really internalize the horror - and my brain will let this image fade, to protect me.

How can you teach the unthinkable, the incomprehensible? Especially to someone - like me - who has lived a life in safety and security, (mostly) protected from death by violence.

Except maybe the problem is that - obviously - these crimes weren't unthinkable, un-doable. Trying to understand how they became thinkable is itself difficult and dangerous - and maybe for that reason, I found the film Conspiracy more frightening than Schindler's List (but still a light touch compared to Night).

I just think: maybe a faded, softened message is the best that we can do. Maybe just knowing a touch of the horror is enough or better than nothing.

-------- ----------

As for comparisons - every crime against humanity is unique. But genocides often do share characteristics - and it is imperative that we understand those shared characteristics, otherwise we cannot recognize one when it is happening. We can't say "Never again", and mean just "Never again, for the Jews of Europe in the early 20th century". We need to see the similarities between the Shoah and the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, the Balkans genocides, the current Rohingya crisis.

Like cancer, genocides are complicated and may not even all be the same phenomenon (though they share an outcome: the destruction of a "people"). But, also like cancer, recognizing the similarities is not intended to elide differences but to help up better understand the pathology(ies).

I actually think that there are more than one major type of genocide. The genocide of Indigenous people in the Americas, Australia, etc., for example, are different phenomenons than the other genocides I mentioned above. That's not a judgement on severity or seriousness - I don't know about you, but I have a ceiling effect on crimes against humanity, and they all blend into equal horror for me. But the methods are different, which for me (as a historian and as a citizen) means that their response and prevention should be different. To keep up with my poor health analogies: bacteria and viruses can be both equally deadly, but have different treatments.

I write this comment, and I think: This sounds all very clinical and academic. How can I be academic about something which is hurting people? And then I think: because thinking academically doesn't mean being neutral or unaffected (trust me - I'm affected - this comment is emotionally difficult for me). Rather to "be academic" to me means trying to think critically about something to better understand it - and I think we need to better understand crimes against humanity if we ever hope to fight against them.


Which brings me back to the first half of my (excessively long) comment: maybe even with flawed teaching, it's still worth it. If we can only teach people about how nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiments and the construction of people as "others" contributed to the Shoah, maybe they will recognize it when they hear it in their own streets, in newspapers, on television, from their own politicians. When I hear someone claim that "Islam is not a religion, it's a conspiracy", I hear an echo of the Protocols of Zion and I get a chill.
posted by jb at 8:37 AM on June 17 [22 favorites]

The problem, of course, is that when we talk about the Holocaust, we are almost always talking about the gas chambers and the ovens and the death camps.

That is too late.

It is too late when the Nazis were forcing Jews into ghettos. It was too late when they were encouraging Germans to boycott Jewish-owned businesses. It was too late when they were simply blaming Jews for their economic problems.

Because it’s easy to oppose unimaginable horror after the fact. It’s easy to imagine yourself in opposition to such obvious depravity.

But the obvious depravity is never announced up front. That is only after you’ve journeyed so far down the path of cruelty that you’ve accepted so many small injustices the moral cost of one more is insignificant.

We can’t just oppose the Holocaust—we have to oppose the path leading to it.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:50 AM on June 17 [30 favorites]

Other victims of Nazi persecution have no defining name. There's a section of Wikipedia's article "The Holocaust" for: Soviet citizens and POWs; Non-Jewish Poles; Roma; Political and religious opponents; Gay men; Black people. Lesbians were as "asocials." Not annihilated, but victims, too.
posted by Carol Anne at 9:45 AM on June 17

Perhaps there is overt anti-Semitism within BDS campuses, but it seems worthy of a deeper explanation than this unsupported, drive-by reference.

Obviously it's a complicated subject, but I also think just dropping a comparison like that is pretty tendentious.
posted by atoxyl at 11:02 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]

Other victims of Nazi persecution have no defining name. There's a section of Wikipedia's article "The Holocaust" for: Soviet citizens and POWs; Non-Jewish Poles; Roma; Political and religious opponents; Gay men; Black people. Lesbians were as "asocials." Not annihilated, but victims, too

So, I’m not sure what this post is getting at? Yes, many other groups were oppressed by the Nazis, but only European Jews saw over 2/3 of their population wiped out. No other group saw a majority of their people sent to the camps and directly murdered in that manner.

Which isn’t to say that the Nazis weren’t going to do the same to the Romany, Slavs, gays or other ethnic minority, too. Right? The Nazis hated any non-Aryan people they identified as impure or lesser.


They were going to solve the “Jewish problem” first.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 12:24 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]

They were going to solve the “Jewish problem” first.

In a very real sense, Hitler's war was a war against the Jews. Antisemitism defined the Nazi regime from its earliest days and there was a sentiment, particularly towards the end, that if they could only exterminate the Jews it would all have been worth it.

The depth of this passion is hard for outsiders to appreciate: what Hitler proposed for (e.g.) Poles was colonialist displacement and subjugation with the incorporation of German-speaking Polish minorities into the new German majority. That would have been quite sufficiently bad, but it wouldn't have been an historically unique occurrence, and it was a plan to be implemented after the hypothetical German victory in Europe. In contrast, Jews were slated for immediate extermination, in a program that took priority over the war itself. The Reich sacrificed enormous numbers of Jewish soldiers, skilled laborers, technicians, and professionals; it spent resources rounding them up, confining them, and shipping them to extermination grounds; and as it advanced through Eastern Europe it dedicated troops to hunting down and killing Jews rather than securing the Front. (Greater) German civilians were literally starving at the end because there weren't enough people to work on the farms; there was a half-hearted attempt to use Jewish slave labour in agriculture, but the fact that it was only attempted in mid-1944 shows where the Nazi priorities were.

The position of Romany was theoretically different but it appears to have come to the same thing: all Roma, even privileged ones, were effectively subject to deportation, and once deported they ultimately fell into the same machinery that had been designed for the Jews.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:39 PM on June 17 [16 favorites]

what Hitler proposed for (e.g.) Poles was colonialist displacement and subjugation with the incorporation of German-speaking Polish minorities into the new German majority.

I agree with your overall point, but I think it is important to emphasize the large amount of deaths that would be the consequence of Nazi plans for their conquered territory.
posted by thelonius at 6:58 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]

I also hated the BDS comparison, I was right there with her until that. I also disliked her lack of acknowledgement of the power differential involved in the Israel/Palestine conflict (obviously "Death to the Jews" is never acceptable, neither is violent racist occupation) and was very uncomfortable with her bringing up ancient Muslim regimes due to those earlier jabs.

That said, I don't want to derail this into an I/P debate and I think the rest of the piece was well written and provoked interesting, uncomfortable questions.
posted by pelvicsorcery at 8:12 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]

I feel like the Holocaust was covered pretty extensively in my public education. In fact, I rather resent that I graduated not knowing that there were ever any other genocides in other places and times.
posted by mkuhnell at 12:33 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]

my public education was similar. I believe it was History 11 that went deep into the Holocaust. As for no other genocides being covered, I hear you, but rather than feel resentment, what it did was open me up to the reality of them. So yeah, it wasn't such a great leap to believe what was reportedly going on in East Timor in the late 70s and onward, or for that matter, what had recently happened in Cambodia.
posted by philip-random at 1:03 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]

"I feel like the Holocaust was covered pretty extensively in my public education."

A number of US states require the Holocaust be covered in K-12 curriculum; a smaller but growing number require coverage of other genocides as well. Illinois -- where I grew up and later served on a school board -- was the first state to require it as part of the curriculum, and an early expander to other genocides, at the urging of the task force that oversees Holocaust education curriculum and compliance. The statute requires teaching the Holocaust pretty comprehensively, and then "curriculum shall include an additional unit of instruction studying other acts of genocide across the globe. This unit shall include, but not be limited to, the Armenian Genocide, the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and more recent atrocities in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan." (Domestic American catastrophes involving Native Americans, Black slavery, Japanese internment, etc., are in different statutes.)

Anyway, while there are advocates in your local statehouse from various Jewish organizations lobbying for well-done and respectful Holocaust curricula (and often genocide curriculum beyond that), it's important to know that there are lobbyists who are VEHEMENTLY against teaching genocides in general or specific genocides in particular, and if you have any involvement in this educationally -- including serving on a local school board -- you will get hit up by genocide-erasure lobbyists, some of whom are very smooth and sophisticated. Some of whom come from foreign governments trying to whitewash their own countries' histories. (I had some weird experiences with genocide denial lobbyists when I was on my local school board, which are beyond the scope of this thread, but the key point is that they are out there and they absolutely lie about what their goals are and you have got to know the dogwhistles.)

But American K-12 public education about the Holocaust and about genocide more generally are absolutely a battleground where Holocaust deniers and other deniers run extensive and sophisticated lobbying efforts, opposed in many cases only by whatever state and national Jewish watchdogs keep their eyes on Holocaust denial lobbying efforts. It's worth finding out what your local schools and what your state have to say about the Holocaust and about genocides more generally, and it's VERY worth finding out who's lobbying to keep those things out of your schools.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:07 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]

Timothy Snyder makes the point in Black Earth that we must study the Holocaust to understand the subtleties of what is happening now and how climate change has to potential to create echoing circumstances and conditions that can create future Holocausts.
posted by kokaku at 4:24 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]

Nothing packed a punch quite like this paragraph:
At the end of the show, onscreen survivors talk in a loop about how people need to love one another. While listening to this, it occurs to me that I have never read survivor literature in Yiddish—the language spoken by 80 percent of victims—suggesting this idea. In Yiddish, speaking only to other Jews, survivors talk about their murdered families, about their destroyed centuries-old communities, about Jewish national independence, about Jewish history, about self-defense, and on rare occasions, about vengeance. Love rarely comes up; why would it? But it comes up here, in this for-profit exhibition. Here is the ultimate message, the final solution.
posted by lullaby at 6:00 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]

The problem is that for us, dead Jews aren’t a metaphor, but rather actual people we do not want our children to become.

I know it's in the pull quote, but can't stress this enough. Both my grandparents were at Auschwitz (along with their entire family who were murdered there, including their two small sons). And I find myself hesitating to type the word murdered, hesitating over whether to mention the boys who never grew up to become my uncles, or their ages, hesitating whether I should mention this part of my history at all here). There is a certain weird sense that Jews are already too loud about our tragedy, feel it too personally, invest it with too much meaning or importance, that we should really shut up already about it and how dare we point to it as anything with any practical resonance today. The whole debate about what to call the border camps is a part of this -- not least because so many people arguing that we need to call them concentration camps are simultaneously belittling or casting aspersions on the characters of the people who see that term as a unique definition to memorialize a unique set of circumstances that we're still struggling with. I agree that they should be called concentration camps - at this point it seems clear that that's what we're building. But I'm also glad to see that there's pushback, that there's discomfort, about using the term - that discomfort, when it comes from a place of trying to be sensitive, is worth the price. In the same way I'm glad there's discomfort about the BDS reference. Because that uneasy feeling is the same one I have when people say it isn't anti-semitic. In both cases, I think intent only matters up to a point. BDS is saying don't buy from Jews. Yes, it's saying "only this subset of Jews" and yes, boycotting also hurts a certain number of Israeli Muslims and Christians. But that's still what it's saying. Especially when it's also overwhelmingly hurting liberal Jewish Israelis who don't support the occupation, because campus boycotts are most effective at targeting academics. You don't have to agree with her (or with me). But there should be discomfort about it. Children don't end up getting put into ovens (children! in ovens!) unless a pretty large percentage of people agree with the basic idea that they're Other and therefore deserving of some sort of putting down. Anti-semitism is on the left and on the right and always has been. That doesn't mean something that targets primarily Jews is de-facto anti-semitic. But you can't shrug away that there are a lot Jews who see any movement that de-facto primarily targets Jews as deserving of a non-zero amount of side-eye.

I don't remember my uncles' names. My mother has their photo in a locket that trades homes with my aunt every 6 months, the 8 and 3 year old older brothers they never knew. She has told me their names many times (only when asked) and I persist in forgetting them, I think because the whole idea of it is too painful, too raw. My grandfather saw that they were sending women with young children into the same line as the handicapped and the elderly, so he took the boys with him instead of letting them go with her, which likely saved her life. They took the boys from him and put them alone in the line with the undesirables and she ran to join them and the Nazis beat her so brutally she never fully recovered from it and forced her back with the women. They both survived but almost their entire extended family didn't (only a couple of cousins). So Auschwitz isn't a pile of shoes or a boxcar for me. I can't see myself dragging myself through this exhibit - in the same way that I have yet to bring myself to go to the Museum in DC even when I'm there. I'm in NYC and seeing bus ads for this exhibit that use an #Auschwitz hashtag feel in incredibly poor taste to me. It's too big. It's not nearly enough.

I've been to Auschwitz. When I was there (in the late 80s) they had a gift shop. You could buy an Auschwitz shot glass or a pen. I don't know if that's still the case. I'm guessing this exhibition too will have a shop of some sort. I get it. But it feels so, so wrong. But in the same way that I've been typing this comment for 4 days now, and I'm still not sure I shouldn't shut up and not post at all. Any attempt to sum up the enormity of the horror into a small digestible unit just feels impossible. And any attempt to say it is more enormous than we can describe sounds - even more - self-serving.

So if you can't talk about it, and you can't not talk about it, how do you ever keep it from happening again?

This article is an amazing summary, though.
posted by Mchelly at 5:37 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]

Also Dara Horn is an amazing writer. I revisit her book The World To Come every couple of years and it still blows me away every time.
posted by Mchelly at 5:39 AM on June 21

Not to comment on my own post but I just wanted to thank all my people who are engaging on this with their personal feelings, no matter how complicated or uncertain or painful. It means a lot to hear your voices and feel the validation of being able to express complex emotions on this thing and this pain we're supposed to not talk about in except in certain gentile-approved ways, except among each other, etc. To decide to post this was scary in itself.
posted by colorblock sock at 11:10 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]

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