More Tears Of Shame for America

“Racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, or hatred of anyone with different beliefs has no place in the human mind or heart.” – Billy Graham

“Anti-Semitism has no historical, political and certainly no philosophical origins. Anti-Semitism is a disease.” – Daniel Barenboim

“Where anti-Semitism persists, the well being of all our people is at risk.” – Paul Sarbanes

Last month I wrote about Richard B. Spencer in a post titled Free to Hate  .  Spencer, you may remember, is a white supremacist, leader of a group called ‘National Policy Institute’ (though that is a misnomer) who advocates for a white homeland for a “dispossessed white race” and calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture. Today he has come back onto my radar in a frightening way.

whitefish-mtSpencer’s mother, Sherry, happens to live in the small town of Whitefish, Montana.  Ms. Spencer claimed in a recent article that she was being harassed to sell her property in the town because of her son’s views. While I don’t approve of harassing the mother over her son’s views, the fact is that she has come out in support of his racist, anti-semitic views and there is some dispute as to whether any harassment has actually taken place.  However, this is 2016, the year of post-truth, so facts do not really matter.

anglinEnter another evil character, Andrew Anglin, publisher of the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer.  In response to the alleged harassment of Mr. Spencer’s mother, Anglin plans an armed march in the town for the second week of January — days before Trump’s inauguration. His purpose?

“Montana has extremely liberal open carry laws, so my lawyer is telling me we can easily march through the center of the town carrying high-powered rifles. Currently, my guys say we are going to be able to put together about 200 people to participate in the march, which will be against Jews, Jewish businesses and everyone who supports either. We will be busing in skinheads from the Bay Area.”

A Whitefish real-estate developer, Tanya Gersh, with ties to Montana Human Rights Network, had allegedly advised Ms. Spencer to sell a building she owns after her son made disparaging remarks at a conference in Washington, D.C. last month, including “America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity.  It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.” He closed the conference with Nazi salutes and chants of “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

On Friday, December 16th, Anglin called on his readers to harass Jews, describing them as a “vicious, evil race of hate-filled psychopaths” and “a people without shame.” He included photos, phone numbers, email address, and social media accounts of members of Love Lives Now, a peace organization “committed to co-creating a caring, open, accepting and diverse community, free from discrimination and dedicated to equal treatment,” which Anglin refers to as a “terrorist group.” In addition, he included photos and physical addresses of Tanya Gersh, her husband, and her young sons. The call for harassment has gained the support of many readers and followers of The Daily Stormer and the alt-right movement.

Not surprisingly, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke lent his support to Anglin’s effort on Twitter. Although Anglin urges his followers to avoid threats of violence, a co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network told the New York Times that the group has received numerous threatening messages, including one that said, “All of you deserve a bullet through your skull. Choke on a shotgun and die. All of you would be of greater worth to society as human fertilizer than citizens.”

whitefish-2Anglin’s most recent post included a photo of the gate at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, where more than 1 million people, most of them Jews, were killed. Photos of Whitefish residents, including a child, were superimposed on the gate. Anglin’s site, and many of his posts, contain a disclaimer that The Daily Stormer opposes violence.

White nationalism and race-based violence have been on the rise since 2015, alongside Trump’s frequent, bigoted messages about Muslims, Latinos, and African Americans. In the first week after the election, there were at least 300 reported hate crimes, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a number that has since soared.

This, friends, is the world we now live in.  This is the world that Donald Trump has given us.  This is the world that those who voted for and continue to support Trump crave. Look at the flag at the top of this post.  That is what is left today of the America we all grew up in. I have made comparisons in the past between Trump and Hitler.  Some thought I was being an alarmist, others thought I was joking.  Does anybody still think my comparison is far-fetched?  The Holocaust Museum wrote in response to Spencer’s conference last month, “The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words.” Remember reading about Kristallnacht – November 9-10, 1938?  Not quite 80 years ago, and half the globe away.  We thought we were better than that, didn’t we?  Turns out we’re not.

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26 thoughts on “More Tears Of Shame for America

  1. Dear Jill and friends,

    Does anyone recall who was a major proponent of the birther issue regarding President Obama? Oh yes, It was DT. Which republican U.S. Senate Majority leader vowed to obstruct anything that President Obama did, even if obstructionism hurt the American peoples? If republicans want Americans to come together, they are going to have to do more than make demands.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • The divide is wide, and yes, it will certainly take more than them saying “sit down and shut up” or “you lost — get over it”. Funny, isn’t it, that for 8 years now we have had to listen to them criticize and lie about President Obama, but we are supposed to just “get over it”. Sigh. Hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill, and friends,

    I concur with Rob, I have had a dialogue in the past with Once Written. He kept saying the same things over and over again without indicating his sources etc. He is a troll, not someone who wants to just discuss and share differing points of view.

    Hugs, Gronda

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  3. Once Written is obviously a Troll. The best way to cope with relentless internet trolls that knowingly post lies is to block them. This troll has no interest in a conversation.

    What you are describing is another result of a disinformation campaign launched against the people of the United States and promoted by trolls like Once Written.

    Russian Disinformation campaigns use the media and the internet to fuel sectarian differences, to promote an extreme right wing agenda, to blur the line between fact and fiction and even to prevent rational discussion of the facts. Weaponized disinformation campaigns use ‘chatbots’ to disrupt meaningful discussion.

    “The chatbots — basic software programs with a bit of artificial intelligence and rudimentary communication skills — would send messages on Twitter based on a topic, usually defined on the social network by a word preceded by a hashtag symbol, like #Clinton.

    Their purpose: to rant, confuse people on facts, or simply muddy discussions, said Philip N. Howard, a sociologist at the Oxford Internet Institute and one of the authors of the report. If you were looking for a real debate of the issues, you weren’t going to find it with a chatbot.

    “They’re yelling fools,” Dr. Howard said. “And a lot of what they pass around is false news.”

    This is not fiction. This is supported by evidence produced by our government and other credible sources.

    Think of the power Putin will have if the U.S. sinks into a mire of sectarian violence stoked by a campaign of weaponized lies.

    Our problem is not that anti-Semites and racists exist. Our problem is that we accept premise that they have an intelligent POV. The question is why? Why has this generations retrogrades gotten this far.

    One thing to consider is that disinformation is a weapon, it was developed as a weapon of war, and it is still being used against the people of the United States. We’ve been attacked by one of the most insidious weapons ever devised.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You make several good points. When Once Written first started posting opposing views on my blog, I felt it only fair to leave it alone, respond respectfully, etc., as I don’t think it’s right to only welcome those that always agree with me. But he/she/it has become increasingly disrespectful, almost to the point of harassment, and I think the best thing for me to do at this point is block those comments. Thank you again for your points and the link … you are a wise man!

      Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, exactly! I welcome dissenting viewpoints, encourage those who bring supportive facts to the discussion, but I do NOT tolerate disrespect or condescension. That is the problem I find with Once Written … he brings no facts, eschews the facts I have researched, and talks to me as if I were an 8-year-old.

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  4. Jill, thanks for sharing this. We do need to find ways to speak against racist and hateful rhetoric. I admire Billy Graham for his statements and how he has lived his life reaching out to many. What troubles me is his son, Franklin, for all the good he does, tarnishes that good with some of his publicly bigoted remarks.

    As for the President-elect, he does a deserve a chance to lead, but he has not met my low expectations. He selection of Bannon speaks volumes which reinforces many of the messages he said on the campaign. And, we should not ignore Trump’s history of exploiting people of all colors, but he has also been found guilty of racial profiling in his housing on at least two occasions.

    Many thanks, Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Keith! Yes, I admired the views of the father, but the son seems no better than any other far-right extremist (speaking of Billy/Franklin Graham). I would agree that the incoming person deserves a chance to lead … except … I don’t think he is capable of it. His agenda, I am pretty sure, has nothing to do with the good of the nation, much less the good of the world.

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    • As a liberal, I am deeply ashamed of those in this nation who discriminate against others in this way, and who encourage and promote racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and all forms of bigotry. I am ashamed of those who keep quiet about these issues, rather than speaking out. So if that is what you mean by ‘liberal tears of shame’, then yes. I, at least, have retained my compassion, my humanitarianism, which is more than I can say for many.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Jill , you are again way OFF the mark. This world of hate and white supremacy was here way before Trump was elected president. He has also disavowed the KKK and other hate groups. It’s a poor way to try and support your view the DT is a bad man. Give him a chance and remember over 62 million people voted for him and he won the electoral vote. Support your president-elect and stop writing posts that try and tie Donald Trump to white supremacy groups, etc. You may think this is clever and a way to show that Trump was not the people’s choice. It’s dumb and fool hardy. Don’t fret, there won’t be another Holocaust as you suggest. And guess what, Jill, we ARE better than Nazis and what they perped some 80 years ago.

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    • I am, as are most of the people I associate with, including most readers of this blog. But I do not necessarily believe that the whole nation is. In fact, I have seen so much pure evil in the past two days that I am fairly convinced that much of the far-right has no humanity, no set of values, and no morals. This may, perhaps, include even you.

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      • Again, way off. Read my about page. Just like a liberal to tell us we have no morals, no humanity, no set of values, etc. We are the backbone of this nation supporting many out of work, slugs and illegals in this country. Don’t forget that.

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        • For what it is worth, I am a 58 year old white man, independent voter who has been a Republican and a Democrat in his lifetime. I consider myself fiscally conservative and socially progressive. I have found most people are a little bit of everything, so labels are hard to apply. When I see people resort to labels or name-calling, my first reaction is their argument is poor.

          I did not vote for the President-elect, but whether folks like it or not, he is our next President. Our fortunes are tied to some of his decisions, so I hope he is successful in accomplishing some good things, yet I do have low expectations. I hope he will promote investment in our infrastructure which is sorely needed and over due, but I do have concerns over retrenching on progress on climate change and environmental actions and civil rights.

          As for our current President, he is a better president than Republicans give him credit for, but not as good as Democrats believe. Under his time in office, the stock market has more than doubled, we have less than 5% unemployment, we have over 11 million net new jobs, we have the fourth longest economic growth period ever in our country although it could have been more, the CFPB is a huge success and the ACA is working pretty good, but needs several improvements. I am disappointed in his not moving forward the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan, for his fondness for fracking, and for not moving quickly enough on Syria.

          I am open to dialogue with real data points and positions and not political rhetoric. I left the GOP ten years ago primarily because of their stance on climate change, gun control and civil rights issues. I am disappointed in our Congress mostly and President some for not collaborating more. I find huge fault with both Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, but find the most fault with strident legislators who refuse to collaborate.

          I have witnessed that neither party owns all the good ideas and some of the ideas both espouse are not reflective of the holistic causes of problems. So, we must collaborate with real data. I also find that Jill does a darn good job with her research, so I learn a great deal by reading what she says, whether I agree with every conclusion she reaches or not. Sorry for the soapbox. Have great 2017, all, Keith

          Liked by 1 person

          • Let me know how Obama’s policies have actually improved the stock-market, increased jobs and decreased the unemployment rate? What I see in actuality is people have lost jobs and unemployment for middle income and higher paying jobs have actually gone down. Maybe minimum wage jobs have increased? In all, Obama has done sqaut for out economy. I think the stock-market is main immune to what Obama has done in relation to any ‘poliy’ improving the market. I would like to hear your take on it though.

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          • While the President position gets too much credit and too much blame for the economy, they do provide head winds or tail winds. As for efforts to aid the economy and in turn the stock market, here are a few tangible actions. The federal stimulus bill was said to have failed in campaign rhetoric, but per six econometric firms was accretive to the economy – it just needed to be more. Bailing out the auto industry saved a huge number of jobs (estimated as over 1 million) related to the US auto industry, The abatement for two years of 2% of pay of the FICA tax aided in getting the economy moving. The continuation of the Bush tax cuts for the majority of people (although I disagreed with this move because of the deficit) helped people in spending. The ACA has been accretive to state economies, especially those who expanded Medicaid per several health-related Foundations and George Washington University. Oh, and providing COBRA tax credits for people who were laid off was also accretive.

            The decline in the middle class has been occurring for forty years under both parties’ watch. It is due to technology, outsourcing, offshoring, down sizing and right sizing. This just did not happen on his watch and will take a longer time to fix. The dilemma technology will kill even more jobs as will retrenching on global trade.

            It would have been nice to see Congress and the President work together rather than at odds more, as infrastructure investment would have been very helpul.

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            • Yes, given that President Obama has fought an uphill battle with Congress on nearly everything he has tried to do, many gains have been made, yet with conservatives, he gets no credit for the positive, and receives all the blame for the negative, even those things that have been in process for decades prior to 2009. As I have said all along, though … history will be his judge, not today’s radical right! It would have been interesting to see what these past 8 years would have been if Congress had not been so intent on blocking him at every turn.

              Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree, but Trump’s rhetoric has given them, they feel, permission to hate. His appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief advisor re-affirmed that there is tolerance and acceptance for their kind. Which explains, in part, why so many of us do not look forward to the coming year, as we envision this type of behaviour to increase exponentially.

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