As I was riding the six train this morning, I looked up at the 23rd street stop and noticed someone had painted a swatiska on the pole. It was done with a shaky hand and in fuscia, not red, nail polish, but it was still clearly identifiable.

When I was in high school (which had a 71% Jewish population), someone drew a swastika in the girl's lockers. All the girls were quite upset, except for me. The person who had drawn the swastika hadn't done his/her research very well and so he had drawn the legs going the wrong way. This first set of legs, because it was permanent, couldn't be erased. Instead, the would-be neo-nazi scribbled out the first set of legs, and then drew in the second set of legs properly. "How can you be upset by this display of idiocy?" I asked. "If anything, it hurts their cause more. And what kind of moronic neo-nazi comes to a school where the majority of students are Jewish?"

There were, amazingly enough, three neo-nazis who attended my school-two blonde boys and one brown haired brown eyed boy ( he was the flunky of the other two). Jason, not of the Argonauts, was the "leader" of the three. He resembled Beavis, a pointed narrow face, acne, acne scars, and small beady blue eyes. Jason was also dating a Jewish girl. I suppose it was alright because he was abusing her. We all knew it. He would slap her in the hallways or the parking lot, but as she refused to turn against him, we simply accepted her plight as part of the natural condition of the school. Jason's second in command was also named Jason. Not big on creativity or individuality Jason2 bore more than a passing resemblance to his mentor. The difference here was that this Jason was not mean, but simply stupid. Jason2 also wanted me to be his girlfriend, he sent Jason one as his messenger. Jason, who had never liked me much, sidled up to me in the library.

Jason: You know 2 is a really nice guy.

Bunni: Ya, I really don't care.

Jason: You should go out with him.

Bunni: No, I really don't think that's possible.

Jason: Why not? He's attractive, he's nice. He can take care of you.

Bunni: Did you guys not read the manual? I'm a disabled, intellectual, Jewish, brunette-I'm right out. Totally against the rules. I'm contraband.

Jason silent for a moment.

Jason: You really should go out with him.

Bunni: Did you not hear what I just said?

Jason: I mean really? Why not?

At which point I stormed out the library if only to go someplace where I could actually study. Jason, however, kept up his pestering for an entire semester. It is probably this type of brilliance which gave birth to the dyslexic swastika in the girl's locker room.

We used to tease the nazis by throwing dandelions in their car windows while they were parked in the student lot ( they left them open a crack). When we returned to the parking lot the flowers were always on the asphalt, but they never closed their windows. I think secretly they kept a couple, thinking it was the work of a secret admirer.

Don't misunderstand, neo-nazis disturb me. But I am much more disturbed by the passing comment a young guy from Wisconsin made to me this weekend, "You know I wanted to go into finance, but you just can't get into that field unless your Jewish or have a Jewish name." Coming from a young man who seemed nice enough and educated and for the love of g-d is actually a teacher in the NY public school system, such a comment seems far more insidious than the shaky painting of a swastika on a subway platform.

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