How can we discuss any other subject when faced with the absurdity that our President is a Nazi sympathizer? Those supporting him today – vocally or silently – share his shame.
Donald Trump’s personal racism has been tracked since the 1970’s when his companies were cited twice for racial discrimination. Throw in his racist “birther” attacks on President Obama; his calling Mexicans “rapists and murderers;” and his insistence that African-American workers be shifted to the back rooms of his now-shuttered casino on days when he planned to visit and even this abridged list of evidence proves his bigotry – before he appointed loud, proud racists to important White House positions.
But, to stand in front of the American people, as did Mr. Trump, and declare that there are “fine people” marching under the swastika of Hitler’s Third Reich and screaming the “blood and soil” vitriol of 1930’s Germany demonstrates his open approval of the genocidal maniacs whose evil ideology opposes everything this country stands for.
My dad, a bona fide war hero, hasn’t shared any stories about the good Nazis whom he helped to stop from enslaving the world. I guess he was too busy dodging their bombings and strafings and lobbed artillery shells to develop an appreciation for such “fine people.” And, for another reason, he has been reticent about what he saw at the concentration camp his Third Armored Division liberated.
Racists depend upon ignorance. That’s the only way to explain that our Nazi-sympathizing President cannot comprehend that his Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren would be targeted for such death camps if the “fine people” of his racist base had their way. And, two of his wives and their offspring, being of Slavic stock, would be second-class citizens at best – except, of course, for that favorite daughter, who’d be herded into a boxcar.
The bogus claims of racial superiority give ignorance a bad name. The lies spouted to make pathetic cowards feel better about themselves multiply like cancer cells. With one side of their sneers, American Nazis, Klansmen, White Nationalists and others of their ilk will deny the Holocaust ever happened – while calling for another one out the other side.
During the campaign, an acquaintance told me that one of my columns sort of sounded like I might be suggesting that any people with a Trump sign in their yards were racists. “Yes”, I replied, “that’s exactly what I mean.” Who else would support a racist? And, for those who said that Trump and Clinton were both bad, I would point out that, while Mrs. Clinton wasn’t my ideal choice, “She’s not a racist.”
That was, and remains, a huge difference – a huge moral difference – which reminds us that most of the public religious leaders who backed this racist, Nazi-sympathizer have made it a week without denouncing his rantings or the organized invasion of Charlottesville by home-grown terrorists, some of whom are celebrating the murder of Heather Heyer in a vehicle-as-weapon terror attack just like those in Europe.
Silence emboldens bigots – and helps identify their allies.
(Gary Edmondson is Stephens County Democratic Party Chair.)