Skip to main content

Something that I learned while watching the coverage of today's horrific shooting at the Holocaust museum in Washington DC, was that former Congressman, Senator and Defense Secretary William Cohen was at the museum waiting for his wife Janet Langhart.

Their marriage is probably something that James von Brunn, the accused shooter, would not approve of since not only is it an interracial marriage, but Cohen was born to a Jewish father and a Christian mother, and Langhart is black. (HT to arodb for the correction...I'd stated Cohen was Jewish but now identifies himself as Unitarian)

But the purpose of this diary is not to talk about von Brunn ( directly ) or even Cohen and Langhart's marriage.

The reason that the Cohen-Langharts were at the museum is because tonight, a one act play written by Janet Langhart entitled:

Anne and Emmett

imagining a conversation between two more people von Brunn would likely have hated, was to be performed.

Anne Frank and Emmett Till, two people who have educated so many about the horrors of war, hate, bigotry, and racism.

The play is described as follows:

If Anne Frank and Emmett Till had the chance of meeting one another, what would they say to each other?

Can you imagine? I'd never thought about it until I heard about Langhart's play today which is the only good thing that has come out of the sickening events of today.

The play was originally discussed in a book written by Cohen and Langhart:

Love in Black and White: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Romance

"Anne and Emmett" tells the story of a beyond-the-grave meeting of its two titular characters: Anne Frank, a 13-year-old German Jewish girl who hid from Nazis until she was sent to a concentration camp and died at age 15, and Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American from Chicago who was kidnapped, beaten and murdered on a trip to Mississippi in 1955.

In the play, Frank and Till find many similarities in the slights that are part of their heritage. Both come from ethnic groups that suffered through slavery — the Jews, as told in the Bible, as the laborers of Egyptians, and blacks for hundreds of years in the United States. Both have been forced to live in ghettos — blacks in 20th century urban America, and Jews dating back past the Nazi occupation to the first ghetto, instituted in 1516 in Venice. Pre-1950s caricatures of Jews bearing horns and blacks having tails suggest a devilish or animalistic view of both minority groups, depictions of them as evil and worthy of hate.

"This is not only about race, it’s about hatred," Langhart Cohen said in a discussion held after the reading.

Hatred indeed. The kind of hatred that brought von Brunn to the Holocaust museum today. The kind of hatred and fear promulgated by too many in our society still. The kind of hatred that we ALL must fight against everywhere we see it. The kind of hatred that killed two teenagers before they even knew who they might be in life.

So as sad and angry as I am, we have to show this man and others like him that we are not afraid.

Originally posted to The Underground Lair of Vita Brevis on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 01:08 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site