I belong to a number of groups which opposes hate in all its forms. In my opinion, President Trump is a proponent of hate groups. His inability to be crystal clear about sub-human people with twisted ideology such as the KKK, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists will stain his presidency forever. That verdict is in and he cannot unring the bell.
Since I strongly believe in independent thinking, I never belonged to any political party. I do support groups across the full political spectrum who reject everything President Trump stands for. So, I belong to conservative, moderate and liberal groups in an American alliance against the un-American ideology of Donald Trump.
Last night, at a meeting of one of my Trump resistance groups, I heard a terrifying first hand experience of an African American who went to Charlottesville, full of peace in her heart, to repudiate the sick ideology of these white supremacist. I will not reveal the group or the person.
She went to church the night before the white terrorists provoked, injured and killed anti-fascists. While in the Church, she witnessed the torches. She was not expecting this on Friday night. A acid chill went through her body and mind. Where are we? Is this America? Why are these hateful people dressed in military fatigue carrying rifles, gun and bats?
She went on to further describe what she witnessed on Saturday as peaceful protesters were attacked because of the color of their skin or religious beliefs. For the first time, she felt real fear for her life. This person is a strong minded individual who has no problem protesting the Trump agenda. That day was different. It was dark. It was ugly. It was scary.
She then went on to say that she now fears protesting against these groups. She realizes the risks she will embark on in the future. However, with a steel spine and pure goodness, she said that if she cowers in the face of evil, then evil will win. That is what we all should have learned from Nazi Germany. Not only did people not speak up, but they even refused to admit this ideology could be a threat to their very existence. White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis are not American. In fact, it is wholly a European ideology. What they fail to understand is that the evilness which all Americans fought and died in the millions has been rejected to the history books.
What these hate groups are banking on is that they get the support (from the leader of our country) to come out of their caves and hoods, use terror and violence to seep into the American norms of protest, and slowly attempt to wipe from existence Jews, Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, Asians and anyone else who is not a White Christian.
Out of fear, strength comes through the other side in ways you would not expect. She now has more resolve than ever to stop this cancer of ideas in its tracks immediately. She understands once it metastasizes, it could be too late. That is the lesson of Nazi Germany in 1933.
As I was listening to this accounting of the horrors in Charlottesville, things started to fall into place for me. As a Jewish American, I have been fortunate that I have not been discriminated living in New York City. I cannot say that for all Jewish Americans. I have been a strong proponent of social justice my entire life, and Trump actually made me an activist. His assaults on Blacks, Muslims, Women and Mexicans was a bridge too far for me not to get involved. Posting on Facebook or bitching around the water cooler is like getting ice in the winter – it counts for nothing.
I always felt that I could sympathize with the black experience. I realized that until you walk in their shoes, you cannot ever truly understand how they truly feel, the looks they get, the disdain they receive as ‘lesser people,’ and their battles to grow in a country infiltrated with systematic racism.
When these Neo-Nazis marched that Friday night, the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, it sent anger followed by a sense of purpose to my life. In the most perverse way, I was actually thankful to hear for myself, not through books or second hand accounts, these sub-human decaying beings say “The Jews will not replace us.”
I do not use language like this to describe people. But to recognize them as people of the human experience is a lie. I finally felt the scourge of other minorities’ experiences in the face of hate. It is appalling, frightening, and depressing all at the same time.
I now know what it is like to face hate groups. It is not a pleasant experience. What I am most disturbed about is the lack of outrage and total condemnation by the entire Jewish community. Is their selfish economic benefits more important than their very existence? Are they that naive that they think their apathy will make this go away? Is partisan politics getting in the way of basic decency for all Americans? Disgraceful!
I was also shocked to see that there were not massive protests in the streets Tuesday night and Wednesday demanding that our President resigns immediately. Sorry folks, this is not hyperbole. This is about who we are as people which made America great – its diversity. Its about the future of our kids and grandkids having a life without the daily thoughts of fear and violence.
Besides a few tweets from the Israeli Embassy which did not link Trump’s name to this situation, the one prominent rabbi who converted Ivanka Trump to a Jew, the silence is deafening. As for the GOP, their political calculations is the epitome of cowardliness at a seminal moment in our history. Every single Republican who is putting their party first over the future of this very country we call America is to be shamed. They are showing their true colors at this time and it is self-serving, and more puzzling, short-sighted. The Democrats have been no bargain either. They are timid and weak. They too need to do a lot more than just speak out.
So, since we have a morally bankrupt President of the United States and political parties more concerned about their own power positions, it is left to us – the great American People – exemplified by Susan Bro’s heartwarming tribute to her slain daughter Heather Heyes, to get out in the streets and say to the world that we will never allow such hate back in our society. We know Trump cannot lead us. He is the problem by aiding and abetting these racists. We must get out of our comfort zones and rise to the occasion right now – not tomorrow.
Will there still be a tomorrow worth saving?