Raise our voices for the cause of justice

Amy Fenster Brown

By Amy Fenster Brown

It’s 2020, a year we are not likely to soon forget. We’re barely halfway in, and the hits just keep coming: Australian fires, COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd, riots. We are people in emotional turmoil. 

The term for visual acuity is 20/20, the clarity or sharpness of vision measured at a distance of 20 feet. (That’s 14 feet farther away than you’re supposed to stand from people, by the way.) Having 20/20 vision, while technically perfect for distance, still could require glasses seeing small details close up, such as for reading small print.

In the world of numerology, the study of cosmic or mystical guidance based on numbers, there is a pattern of sequential repetition known as “angel numbers.” Those angel numbers are said to be a tool to get your attention, to point you in a specific direction. Angel number 2020 tells you to prepare for something coming your way, for a change that will happen physically or emotionally.  

So here we are in the year 2020, and not everyone around us is seeing 20/20. Angel number 2020 has certainly gotten our attention that something is happening and that we need to make changes.

The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is just the latest example. I have never been a black man, so I have no idea what it is like to live in fear of the racism, judgment and police brutality experienced by African Americans.  

I can look only at my experience as a Jew. While I have never felt that my life was threatened, many of us are related to or know Holocaust survivors or victims. Certainly, I have felt judged for my religious beliefs and absolutely have been the minority in many situations. I met several people during my freshman year of college who had never known a Jew and found myself explaining my Jewish perspective on many topics. 

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Most of the time, I have been greeted with great acceptance and only a handful of times have I heard a slur directed at me for who I am. But unlike someone who is black or brown, no one knows I am Jewish for sure just by seeing me walk down the street. To my knowledge, no one has ever crossed the street as I walked toward them or clutched their purse tighter when I got in an elevator. No one has followed me out of a store thinking I might have stolen something. 

I realize that while this article is printed in a Jewish newspaper, not everyone reading it is Jewish. I hope not everyone reading it is Jewish.  

My experience isn’t one of constant fear or feeling looked at in a different way because of the color of my skin. Yours probably isn’t either. 

What we need to do right now is listen. When there is an anti-Semitic hate crime, the last thing I want to hear is someone who is not Jewish telling me how I should feel, how I should handle the situation and how I should move forward. We need to listen to our black friends, neighbors and community leaders talk about their feelings, because they are the ones experiencing the injustice making headlines now – although it has been happening generations. Is it happening more or is it being filmed and shared more, so we see the evidence more? Does it matter? It shouldn’t be happening at all.  

The Black Lives Matter movement is not just a black issue. It’s a justice issue. Whether you are black, Jewish, gay, a feminist, handicapped or an average white guy, justice should be at the forefront of your mind, and you should be working for it. 

You don’t have to attend a protest or carry a sign to do that. You need to walk the walk and talk the talk, especially with your children and friends. It is everyone’s responsibility to fix the injustices before them, and that means really seeing the small details even if you think you have 20/20 vision. It means paying attention to the direction toward which the angel number 2020 is pointing you. 

For me, that points straight to the polls in November to exercise my right to vote for change. 

Racism, anti-Semitism and hatred are loud. We just have to be louder.

Amy Fenster Brown is married to Jeff and has two teenage sons, Davis and Leo. She volunteers for several Jewish not-for-profit groups. Fenster Brown is an Emmy Award-winning TV news writer and counts time with family and friends, talking and eating peanut butter among her hobbies.  Email Amy [email protected]