Nazis blew their one chance at being members of the human race in the 1931-45 time frame. So, anyone who dredges up the images, icons, salutations and rhetoric of Adolf Hitler and his band of monsters is not to be coddled or protected.
Just because it’s speech does not mean it’s protected speech. I can say “Fire” anytime I want, but I can’t suddenly scream that in a dark movie theater with the intent to cause bodily harm by causing a panicked stampede. Likewise, Nazi punk scum cannot march through my taxpayer improved streets and parks and shout hateful rhetoric like “Jews will not replace us” while invoking the memory of Adolf Hitler’s storm troopers and Nazi Germany’s Final Solution.
Our greatest generation fought this scourge at great loss of life, and it was our nation’s finest hour. How dare they flaunt their Nazi ideological stench in our America. What would our heroic World War II veterans buried in Arlington, Va. and the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in France think?
I don’t feel any different about the Klu Klux Klan. Their members were and are monsters, and I don’t have to guess why their meetings are now held underground.
I do not believe our president really “sides” with these monsters. I just believe he is in over his head (“many sides, many sides”) in this political world of imaging and messaging, and I believe he thinks he’ll be just fine doing the opposite of what most politicians do — it’s his personal way to keep his promise of “draining the swamp.”
But, unfortunately, the anger and hate and racism that is percolating in America’s hot streets and public spaces is getting angrier and louder; so, President Trump is not the issue. The public is no longer looking to the president to speak up on this. People are taking it to the streets.
Finally, it’s been 152 years since the end of the American Civil War. The great majority of monuments to the Confederacy went up in the “Moonlight and Magnolia” era of the Jim Crow South — after Reconstruction and up to and through the mid 20th century culminating in the bloody Civil Rights era. Heritage not hate? Let’s go back and see what history was being recalled versus what history was being made when these monuments were erected.
See the meeting minutes of the county commissioners courts and city councils commissioning these statues, read newspaper reports celebrating the unveiling of these monuments. Look at the pictures of the public who attended the unveiling. Then determine whether this is a “history” worth preserving and celebrating in our public squares in today’s diverse America. Society is changing, and change is inevitable; I welcome change. Friends, there is no “going back” or being “great again.” Let’s all acknowledge each other’s roots, but let’s be great Americans together in a sharing, forward-looking perspective.
Out of many, One. Those words — in Latin — appear on the Great Seal of the United States of America. I acknowledge our differences; except for Nazi and KKK scum, and ISIS and like violent, murderous ideologies, I respect the diverse many: white, black, Latino, Asian and all Americans of many races, creeds, political persuasions and sexual orientation. But you’ve got to acknowledge our one common purpose: we are the flickering light of freedom in a dark, dangerous world that regularly attempts to extinguish that light. The torch atop the Statue of Liberty is the perfect metaphor for the United States.