In 1945 survivors of the Holocaust emerged from concentration camps and said one thing to the world:
These words became the foundation for the modern Jewish state of Israel. The Jews who founded the state of Israel vowed never to be rounded up and exterminated again. They vowed to fight and die like their ancestors did on Masada two-thousand years ago. I have issues with things the Israeli government has done over the years and continues to do now in regards to the Palestinians, but I fully support the right of the state of Israel to exist. The dwindling number of Holocaust survivors can tell us their stories of evil are real and that anyone who talks of doing evil has to be stopped.
What we saw with the domestic terrorists who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 was not a surprise to anyone who has watched right-wing racists in action. I’ve believe every word that comes out of their mouths, their views, their goals, and their intentions. This isn’t just shit-talk no matter how many times they try to walk it back like some are trying to do now.
Words matter. Words matter because words can become actions. In 1933 the words of the Nazi Party became action that culminated in a World War and genocide.
On April 19, 1995, the words of right-wing extremists culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing in which one-hundred and sixty-eight men, women, and children died. I was watching tv when it happened and one image was burned into my mind forever: a group of nurses were running towards the building but then were told to turn back and go get body bags. There were the horrible images of children dead and dying being brought out by first responders. Today a memorial of chairs, including child-size ones is there to show the world the loss of life.
After that terrible day, we saw exactly how the threat of right-wing extremist violence was real. And I’ve been afraid ever since, and more so in the last four years. Yesterday was a dress-rehearsal for what these bastards have been telling the whole damn world, and because of modern technology, we have a record of their words in sight and sound. What more proof does anyone need these bastards are for real and have to be stopped?
President-Elect Biden announced Merrick Garland as his nominee for Attorney General. Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court was thwarted by now Senate Minority Leader McConnell in 2016. Merrick Garland was also part of the team that prosecuted the Oklahoma City bombers. I said this nomination was poetic justice for the Supreme Court nomination denied to him. I want to see him lead a team at the Justice Department to do to the bastards who stormed the Capitol yesterday, and others like them, what was done to the Oklahoma City bombers: investigated, tried, and convicted in a court of law.
Using the system against these racist bastards is the best thing we can do to live by the words ‘Never Again’. Record voter turnout in November and just this past Tuesday brought in candidates of worth (Joseph Biden/Kamala Harris, Rev. Raphael Warnock/Joel Ossoff). And we have to keep doing that no matter what happens, no matter what violence happens. We can’t give up. Ever.
Most of all, we can’t minimize it, argue it away with ‘both sides’ bullshit, or ‘what about…’ bullshit arguments, or just not talk about it at all. We stop talking about it, we stop speaking out against it, it rises like steam from a warm pile of shit. This is why I have vowed never to stop talking about it. Hopefully when I’m very old it will be just mostly stories of decades before, like my father told me. But even if it’s just stories, stories always need to be told so we don’t forget. We have technology to keep the stories on record long after their storytellers are gone from this Earth. And we have our oral tradition, and memory.
Oh, and choose your damn side once and for all. Don’t talk about solidarity with Holocaust survivors and then try to lie about white supremacists who storm the Capitol wearing shirts that say ‘Camp Auschwitz’. There is no middle ground with racist evil. There never was, and there never will be. I chose my side as a child, and have affirmed it as an adult, and will stay on my side until the day I die.
I’ll tell the stories, say the words, and vote like my life depends on it.