Home Lifestyle RAMBLINGS: Antisemitism and earthquakes

RAMBLINGS: Antisemitism and earthquakes

Antisemitism, it seems, like other targets of hate in our society, has sadly become more prevalent in the last few years. Growing up and living in a small town in the South, I personally did not know anyone Jewish until I went off to college.

I always remembered my mom telling me about how thoroughly shocked she was when told by one of her instructors at the McCain Sanatorium Nursing School that he was unable to buy a house in the village of Pinehurst because he was Jewish. This was back in the 1940s. Having a successful OBGYN practice in Moore County, he still found time to teach classes at the nursing school. Of course, it was not surprising that he delivered my brother and me —and for that matter, probably over half of Moore County — back in the day.

My mom, like me, growing up in the small town of Carthage had never been around any Jewish people until meeting her instructor at McCain; however, in those days it was not uncommon to have a Jewish family owning a clothing store in many small Southern towns. These stores had excellent reputations and the families that ran these stores were well respected in their communities.

My dad who grew up in Hoke County always told me that when he started earning his own money, he always bought his clothes from Israel Mann’s store in Raeford. Richmond County had the Levine family, whose members went on to establish the highly successful Family Dollar chain of stores and gave back to their communities in extraordinary ways.

Only a few weeks ago, the Holocaust was commemorated and I thought about the many disturbing discussions in high school and college about how these horrific events occurred in the 20th century. Much was said about the scapegoating of Jews for the economic conditions which led to the first and second world wars. The “blame game” had unimaginative consequences which we are still dealing with today. We should never forget and in the words of Shakespeare, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”


It is hard to imagine the number of deaths and extent of destruction from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria this past week … probably more casualties than ever recorded from a natural disaster of this magnitude.

The worst earthquake in the Southeastern United States was the Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake in 1886 where around a hundred people were killed. I suppose this is only one among several other reasons why North and South Carolina are among the top 10 states where people have started moving into lately.

Other reasons would probably include better weather conditions, lower cost of living, and lower crime rates in these two states. Our neighboring county of Moore is bursting at the seams — the infrastructure there is hardly able to accommodate the rapid growth there.

Just happy to be in Richmond County!

Helen Cox is a former journalist and educator in Richmond County.

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