How Long is “Never,” Anyway?
I don’t know about you, but today was something of a frightening day for me.
It’s been just over 70 years since six million Jews, as well as five million non-Jewish victims, were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime in the deadliest genocide in human history. To put that in perspective, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.74 years, so it was less than a lifetime ago that my ancestors were targeted and murdered for no reason other than their religion.
So much has happened over those 70 years, and we’ve heard from all corners that the world will “never forget” the atrocities visited upon the Jewish people, that never again would such a thing be allowed to happen.
And yet, less than 15 miles from my house this weekend, this happened:
If someone told you that reality star Tila Tequila would give the Heil Hitler salute at a Friendship Heights' Maggiano…www.washingtoncitypaper.com
And even closer to my home, in the heart of our nation’s capital, this happened:
"Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!" That's how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Sunday…www.theatlantic.com
Let’s dispose, by the way, of cute little names like “alt-right” for these groups. These are Nazis. If you’re performing the “Heil Hitler” salute while spreading Nazi-era propaganda about the Jewish people, you’re Nazis.
So what am I to make of this? How could I not be frightened by this turn of events? And it’s not just “fringe” groups of Trump supporters. It’s the Republican officials who are meeting with Trump to discuss cabinet level positions in his new government.
So yeah, I’m frightened. But I’m still determined. My question is, what are you feeling and doing about this? We can’t let this become the new normal in America. We need to stand up and put our arms around the Muslim woman being harassed on the subway. We need to support our gay neighbors’ right to marry and live in peace. We need to make sure that every citizen’s right to vote is protected, because when democracy crumbles, it crumbles fast:
North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, champion of the country's most notorious anti-LGBTQ law, lost his bid for…www.slate.com
We need to fight over the next four years, because if we don’t, “never” won’t be quite as far away as we think.
I’ll leave this with the words of a poor Jewish milkman from a little town in Russia:
“We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?”