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by Aubrey Tadman, October 16, 2012


[ Editor's note: Former Winnipegger Aubrey Tadman reflects on the recent spate of anitsemitic posters in this piece that he originally sent to Rosalind Marmel in L.A. for the Winnipeg Jewish Review]

Well, here we go again, anti Semitism in Winnipeg. Or at least blatant anti Semitism. It’s always been there but like most places in the world, it’s been kept under wraps, the unspoken credo of the racists; “Get rid of the Jews.” 

When I heard of this latest act of racism, the anti semitic posters emerging in downtown Winnipeg on September 14, my mind flashed back to the Second World War. And in my flashback I saw young, Jewish and gentile boys, side by side,  going off to fight the Nazis so that Canada and the rest of the world would be free of those horrible monsters and be free of anti Semitism. 
All those candles burning in the windows of the North end homes. Candles representing the missing and dead boys who had gone over there to stop what is starting to rear its ugly head once again in my own home town. 
Where do you learn to become a bigot, a racist, an anti-Semite, a hater of human beings of different religious beliefs and different skin colors than yours? Not in school. Not in church or synagogue. You learn it at home. It’s a tradition passed on from part of one bigoted generation to another. And so racism is still with us, just like it always has been and always will be.  Fostered by those sick, hate-filled cowards who promote it and keep it alive in order to accomplish their goal; the eradication of Jews.
Growing up in Winnipeg I had the good fortune to have made many friends who are still my friends today-Jewish and gentile. Buddies I went to the YMHA and St. John’s Tech with-Jewish and Gentile. Pals I played music with in all the night clubs and theaters in Winnipeg-Jewish and Gentile.                   
Interesting how little racism you find in music. Musicians work together trying to achieve the best musical results they can. And that’s through practice and performance. But most of all it’s the ability to be able to play together, to be supportive and sensitive to your fellow musicians. And at the risk of sounding naïve, isn’t that the way all of us should be? 
Unfortunately, that’s not the way life is, and it doesn’t look like that’s the way it’s going to be. 
Funny, I don’t think of my  "Jewish" friends or my "gentile" friends as being "Jewish" or "Gentile". And even though I don’t get the chance to see those friends who are still alive, I will always think of them as brothers. 
Just like the beginning of this article, there is no happy ending to it. Racism and bigotry have been a part of our world for thousands of years, so I don’t believe anything I’ve written will make a difference. Just a bunch of heartfelt words that I wanted to get off my chest.
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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.