Powerful piece. When I was a child, grown men and women would skulk behind their fences to hiss “Jew” (at me) through the slats as I walked past them, going to school.
People can be ignorant and cruel. And by ignorant, I don’t mean stupid, though they can be that, too — but it’s the literal definition I refer to here.
Grouping people into “us vs. them” is evolutionary brain development. Cavemen lived to breed by knowing who the “other” was. That’s the root of racism and prejudice. Darn shame we don’t teach that sort of thing in schools.