provenance: unknown

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Collateral damage

A New York Times article on anti-Semitism in Russia begins with this grim tale:

The sign was the size of a large poster, pounded into a green roadside about 20 miles southwest of here. It stated its ugly message in thick, block letters: "Death to Yids."

Although commuters streamed past it for a day, it was Tatyana Sapunova, a 27-year-old Muscovite, who stopped her tiny car to tear it down. But when she gave it a tug, it exploded, ripping wounds in her legs, hands and face.

Tatyana, the Times reports, isn't Jewish. She had no personal reason not to ignore the sign like everyone else. Perhaps she shared some strength of character with her mother: "My daughter is not a hero," her mother said. "She is just an ordinary person. Anyone would have done the same in her place."

Her mother's wrong, though. The scum that did this lashed out at a society's rarest and most precious element — a person who even just sometimes does a thing for no other reason than because it is right.


June 3, 2002 1:25 AM

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