Where Do You Stand?
Why do I feel unsafe in my own country? Because Nazi slogans are used to at a so-called #UniteTheRight rally where white men of all ages raise their arms in a Hitler salute and chant in unison "Jews will not replace us,” “Heil Hilter,” “Blood and Soil," “White Lives Matter.” Because Richard Spencer is legitimized as being a leader of the bullshit so-called “alt-right” movement, which is neo-Nazism and white supremacy in the plainest of terms. Because people make light of masses carrying modern day Ku Klux Klan tiki torches under the cover of darkness hours before the event turns deadly. Because the President of the United States refuses to call out white supremacy, neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism by name and condemn the violence and terrorism at an event that David Duke himself proclaimed “fulfills the promises of Donald Trump.” By saying there was “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” going so far as to repeat the phrase “on many sides” for emphasis, in his delayed, weak and calculated statement on Charlottesville, which lacked condemnation of Nazi and white supremacist murder, Trump legitimizes, emboldens and fuels hatred and extremism. There is immense power and unequivocal meaning in deliberate, calculating omission. As David French said, “Trump is very, very specific when he wants to condemn someone - ask the Khans, Judge Curiel, Comey, his AG - his vagueness has a purpose." There is no ambiguity about Nazi salutes, confederate flags, and Klansmen. Trump himself repeatedly declared that “anyone who cannot name our enemy is not fit to lead this country,” in reference to radical Islamic terrorists, yet he will not name white supremacy. "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality,” to quote Dante. The fact that GOP officials are being praised for condemning domestic terrorism, vile hate crimes, perverse white supremacy, clearly anti-American inhumane action, and pure evil is appropriate, not something extraordinary that is worthy of celebration – yet a break from Trump somehow still remains an anomaly in the current political landscape. We need many many many more (all?) elected officials to STOP supporting the man in the Oval Office, challenge these ideals HERE and NOW, and vehemently denounce his inability to condemn the toxic, pervasive hatred and all-too-real violence perpetrated by his base, including key strategists and top White House officials who hold those beliefs, like the still-credentialed and tax-payer-salaried Miller, Bannon, Gorka, the list goes on. When the Trump administration removed white supremacists from a government anti-extremism program, they said he was “setting us free.” The State Department's office tasked with monitoring and combating anti-Semitism has been abandoned without staff. A speeding car mowing down people is terrorism in the UK, terrorism in France, terrorism in Israel… but in Charlottesville? Nah. Make no mistake: were these to have been black people, Muslims or civil right activists in the streets, the National Guard would have been there immediately and Trump would not display one iota of respect or restraint. What happened in Charlottesville is not fringe; tragically, racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, hate-fueled acts are the norm for too many in this nation — a painful and dangerous reality that millions of us wake up with daily, some more acutely and intensely than others. Richard Spencer and David Duke have reignited their digital armies, as I am seeing with a flood of crushing, distressing, threatening anti-Semitic attacks in my inbox and across my feeds presently: I am inherently evil, my brain is markedly inferior, I should deal, die or get out of the country. But I am alive an physically unscathed, while one person is dead in Charlottesville and more in critical condition, not to mention the millions of innocent souls murdered by Nazis, KKK, racists, and terrorists in recent history. The Daily Stormer, the very website which launch the vicious, targeted, unrelenting attacks on me on the sole basis of my faith last year, published this text: "Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides! So he implied the antifa are haters. There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He said he loves us all. Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.” Could Trump send any clearer of a message? This week alone, the President of the United States has reconfirmed that he has no discernible grasp on truth or justice, is unable to command respect and unfit to lead — taunting nuclear war, thanking Putin for expelling US diplomats, bolstering white supremacy, attacking the legislative branch, and engaging in countless more alarming actions, as Amy Siskind chronicles in her weekly lists of things subtly changing around us, so we will remember, as experts in authoritarianism recommend. Good or evil, justice or injustice, love or indifference, freedom or oppression. The choice is simple, the sides are clear. Where do you stand?