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End of Innocence: A Majorette's 1st Experience with Anti-Semitism

STORY BY: Ruth Ilyse
YEAR: 1963
LOCATION: Montreal, QC

This story was submitted anonymously: "It was the early 60's, I was 15 years old, still in high school. I was a majorette at school (we would perform at school football games) and I loved it. I was also a serious ballet student. At that time, the Alouettes Football Team had majorettes and I tried out, hoping to become one. I did well, well enough to make it through all the cuts, until the end when we had our interviews.The interviewer's name was Edward McCracken. He asked me a few questions, all was going fine until he asked me about the heritage of my last name. I told him that I was Jewish to which he closed my file, stood up and told me that it was his experience that Jewish girls were not disciplined enough for this type of thing. I was gob-smacked. I didn't understand how, after so many successful levels of tryouts, that he could question my discipline! I picked up my baton and left, not knowing what hit me. When I got home and told my father, he said "it's amazing that it took so long for you to experience anti-semitism." And that was that.

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