Museum of Tolerance
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The Museum of Tolerance is a place that not only is a home to a memoriam of the Holocaust but it also tries to break the barriers of racism, prejudices, and discrimination and tries to teach and incorporate in people that even though everyone is different, everyone shares a universal attribute, that each person around the world no matter their race, gender, country of origin, or choice of religion still bleeds red, feels pain and are human beings. As soon as people realize this fact and accept that no one set of people are better than the other, places like The Museum of Tolerance will not be needed but till then we need to remember what hatred, prejudices, discrimination and the inability to accept people for who they are has and can do to this world.
The many exhibits in the museum explore different types of hatred, prejudice, and discriminations. The first exhibit is on globalhate.com and interactive investigation of hate websites on the internet. Before the year 2000 there were fewer than 30 hate websites on the entire World Wide Web now in present day 2005 there are thousands of sites advocating various hate groups. Websites that advocated different ideas like Nazis, to people for the deportation of immigrants, and hatred toward blacks, woman and the disabled. This exhibit showed that even though it is not something we see everyday it is something that is being advocated everyday and night and needs to be put to a halt. If we pretend that it is not affecting us we will learn the hard way that if it is not stopped soon who knows what our future and a world can be.
The Point of view interactive exhibit is a chance to voice ones own opinions on different scenarios. My interactive experience had to do with the first amendment and hate speech. How much is too much and how far is too far. In my scenario there was a talk show host that voiced his opinions on immigrants and African Americans and how we take jobs of white people and how we don’t know the language. How it puts his people out of the running to receive jobs. While his listeners believe his opinions to be entertainment they don’t see how this talk show host opinions are slowly becoming theirs and without knowing they start showing it in there everyday speech. While at a Diner owned by an African American male they begin to fool around making crude comments about African Americans and the security guard on duty gets offended and proceeds to try and set them straight telling them they have no right and calling them crackers and derogatory names.
Soon an altercations breaks out and one of the white men grabs the gun of the guard and they begin to fight over it and just then the gun goes off and an innocent bystander gets shot and killed all cause two people that had different views were expressing themselves through the right of freedom of speech. My interactive journey began by getting to ask certain characters whether or not they believe they were responsible the talk show host felt no guilt cause he said, “all I do is talk I don’t tell people to go kill people I have a right to speak my mind and ill use it.” Then I was asked if I believed that limitations should be put on the first amendment and truth is I don’t cause once certain liberties are taken the rest will follow but I do believe that people have to take into consideration of their surroundings and feelings of others.
In the millennium machine I learned about two different aspects of international crimes of discrimination and abuse. First was the world wide abuse of children. Children all over the would are being exploited, from having to work 15 hour days in factories making goods for the united states and only getting paid 5 cents an hour. Other children are sold by parents because they cannot afford to keep them so they sell their children in to sex trade (human trafficking) where the children will turn tricks for no pay. Many other children are homeless without food and die of curable diseases but due to the lack of government participation are forced to wonder the streets searching for food until that inevitable day the cease to exist. Military bound children in some countries are bought or forced into the military by the age of 7 trained to kill and given weapons to serve their country.
Often told that they should be proud to die a soldier, if any try to escape the military officers send the same children to hunt and kill the runaways for desertion. Why is it that in the United States actions like these are extremely punishable and prohibited but when other countries practice these methods and import goods to the US we turn our heads? The United States is one of the biggest countries in the world that participates in human trafficking and only recently has been questioned because of recent cases of US Caucasian girls being abducted in foreign countries. Truth is these abductions have been happening for a while now but I ask why it is only now becoming an issue. Also an issue is child porn children are exploited everyday through the internet with child porn sites and in a recent Supreme court case and producer of porn won a case stating that all his children pornography is artificially made with animation from a computer and since no real child is being harmed its his right to express himself as he pleases.
Secondly, we were taught about the mistreatment of woman around the world. In some countries husbands of wives remove sexual pleasure organs of woman for they will not be tempted to sleep with other men. Sex is only supposed to be enjoyable for the husband. These procedures are rarely done in sterilized rooms with right utensils, hangers are used, poles, pipes, and even screwdrivers. Other husbands in other countries have the right to remove and disfigure woman’s eyes, ears and noses for no temptation will ever arise in their bodies. Other things that are affecting woman around the world are prostitution and rape. A woman is raped around the world every 2 minutes. A local discrimination towards woman is in the workforce woman are constantly facing the glass wall and glass ceiling the forces in the workplace that do not allow woman to move laterally and vertically in the workforce. Sexual harassment is always being blamed on the woman stating that they were asking for it. In many countries woman are looked at as property that can be dealt with in anyway the owner sees fit. Here in the states we as woman must take a stand like those who have come before us and not allow ourselves to be mistreated.
The 65 minute tour through the beginning of the holocaust to the end and liberation day gives an in-depth look at how Hitler came to control a at the time when a weak Germany was extremely vulnerable and how he was able to get the countries support and execute his final solution and try eradicate or commit genocide on an entire race of people. It begins to explain how Germany was in great need of a boost due the humiliating loss in WW1 and the depression. How Hitler took advantage of the situation of his country and ran for chancellor and in 1933 achieved his goal. Soon after the his Nazi regime came into power and started molding Germany into a dictatorship nation taking away all civil liberties, freedom of speech, press, education, and beliefs, and soon took it a step further herding all Jewish people into ghettos, not allowing them to own business, homes outside of ghetto territory, and taking their right to vote.
Soon Hitler began to spread his Anti-Semitic views through help of propaganda and the scapegoat theory. He used images of Jewish people as cheaters, liars, fat cats that wanted everything for themselves and began to blame Jewish people for all of Germanys problems soon the citizens and non Jewish began to believe his nonsense with help from his powerful speeches and desire for a better country. We saw how naive people were in those prewar years within a year or so the finial solution was set into overdrive with a nonstop trip to genocide. Families were separated, children, the old, the disabled murdered. New born babies thrown out of windows 5 stories to their deaths. Thousands put in gas chambers nude then placed in mass grave sites, family member usually had to bury loved ones. Woman’s hair chopped off, raped, and also had medical experiments performed on them with not anesthetics. Forced to work 18 hour days with little or no food watching as one by one they dropped to their deaths.
We also learned that there were numerous amounts of resistance efforts both planned and spontaneous were prisoners fought to the death destroying all that they could in the process. One group of rebels blew up the ovens that murdered so many only to be captured and executed themselves. Others held off for a month in a medical office destroying Nazi forces until the building was bombed. By 1945 Germany surrendered and all remaining Jewish were liberated.
Unfortunately after liberation some died of mal nutrition and not being used to real food. We were also giving a passport of a child that gave us information on how our certain child’s life was changed during these years. My child was Hanna Blawat she was born in 1938 in Gabin Poland her father had moved to France in hopes to make a better life for his family. By 1940 Gabin was over ran with Nazi soldiers and invaded Gabin Hanna her mother and grandparents were stuck just before her father received papers that would allow her family to go to France. On May 12, 1942 Hanna her mother and grandparents were sent to Chelmno death camp and were murdered upon arrival. Her father spent the war years fighting Nazis in hopes to find his family alive but never found a trace.
Overall my experience at the Museum of tolerance was an enlightening one I learned more about things I knew little about. I am more cautious about how I talk around people. I came to a deeper realization on how bad our country and others still really are. When I left the museum I was kind of still a little stiff over the images shown in the holocaust exhibit, I left feeling grateful for where I live where I was born and the parents that had me. I knew that prejudice, stereotypes, discrimination, words and hate, exploitations were all troubles that affected us but also that you never really get it till your slapped in the face with it.
I also know that since we all are human and make mistakes that we all have at one point stereotyped, assumed, discriminated, pre judged and blamed others for one reason or another so nobody can openly say they are without fault but if we all can accept that and learn to change and recognize that we are all different but that’s what makes life so beautiful than we can create a better tomorrow for the children of the future but until that happens I left the Museum glad that a place like it exists to teach all that are willing to learn that hatred isn’t the name of the game.