An event occurred last weekend on campus that really hit home for me and the 52 brothers of my fraternity when insensitive comments were directed toward one of my fraternity brothers as he walked past another fraternity house.
These comments directly insulted my house, my religion and the egregious wrongs that happened in Eastern Europe.
Anti-Semitism is very real.
The sad thing is, I believed offensive remarks toward Jewish people or other groups were far behind us. As college students preparing for professional roles, it is our responsibility to govern our actions.
It is very easy to make a comment that could be taken completely out of context and thought of as derogatory. This is why we need to watch what we are saying. One day, when you are in the workplace, one offensive comment can affect your future in that job.
There is no excuse or justification for making remarks that target religious groups or minorities. When something of this severity occurs on our campus, everyone should wake up and realize what happened.
Let’s be honest. We all joke around sometimes, and we don’t necessarily mean what we say. However, when a mistake is made and the wrong thing is said, the responsible individuals need to be held accountable for their words and actions. A simple “I’m sorry” may not suffice.
Those words from last weekend may have been directed at just one person, but through that one person, a fraternity of 53 members was affected. And those few comments could also affect an entire community of Jewish people. One temporary lapse of judgment can turn into a very serious matter.
That is the gravity of the situation.
When it comes down to it, the person who said these things will know who he is. The people who the comments were directed toward will move on. But a lesson needs to be learned.
Watch what you say, because no matter what your intentions are, an individual or an entire group could easily be hurt.